…queries Okowa’s spending of over N2.8 trillion in seven years.
Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election in Delta state, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has described his opponent and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as a stooge and third term holder of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
The sitting Deputy Senate President while unveiling his manifesto to journalists in Asaba on Thursday, said that Oborevwori will only serve the ego of Governor Okowa if elected, urging Deltans to utterly reject the PDP candidate at the polls.
According to Omo-Agege, “Our main opponent would represent a third term for a failed governor who ran out of ideas to develop the State. We call on all Deltans and men of goodwill to reject this imposition by Governor Okowa. Delta State belongs to all Deltans, and we must all join hands to take it back.”
While commending members of the APC for finding him worthy to fly the party’s flag for the 2023 governorship election, Omo-Agege told journalists that he is presenting himself not just as the Governorship candidate of the APC but also, as the bearer of the hopes and aspirations of all Deltans.
Parts of his speech as obtained by this medium is represented below.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I entered this race, because I am deeply dissatisfied with the state of affairs in Delta State. This event, therefore, marks the beginning of a historic journey, which I have committed into the hands of the Almighty God for direction, strength, guidance and wisdom. It is a journey for the good of the generality of the people of Delta State.
“My aspiration is beyond the ordinary quest for power, rather, it is a movement to liberate, rebuild and reinvigorate our dear State, which ought to be the leading light of the Niger Delta region, and indeed, Nigeria. I am certainly concerned that our dear State has been left behind on key development indices despite the huge sums of money that flow into the State from the Federation Account and 13 percent derivation along with internally generated revenue by way of the various taxes and rates that our hard-working people pay. By the records of the Debt Management Office, Delta State also has the second-highest debt portfolio in the country. This is certainly unacceptable. Ours is, therefore, a movement to restore and revive a State that had been misgoverned and rapaciously pillaged by those whom we had entrusted with leadership.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am Barrister Ovie Omo-Agege, the Obarisi of Urhobo land. I am an alumnus of the Faculty of Law, University of Benin, and Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria having been called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. I am also a Solicitor and Advocate of the United States Supreme Court having been admitted to the Bar of the State of California in 1992, where I remain a member in good standing. In 1993, I established the Law Firm of Agege & Esin in California, in partnership with my dear wife, Barr. Rosemary Iman Esin, a US-trained attorney. I obtained a Master of Laws degree with distinction from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, USA, in 2002.
“I joined partisan politics in 2002 and unsuccessfully aspired to represent my people in the House of Representatives. In 2003, I was appointed Executive Assistant to the Governor of Delta State and in 2005, Commissioner for Special Duties. In 2007, I became the Secretary to the Delta State Government. Having served as Commissioner, Secretary to government, senator, and currently, as Deputy Senate President, I am privileged to have an extensive understanding of the issues of governance. It is these experiences I bring to bear on my plans for Delta State.
“I have worked with one of the best team of experts to come up with realistic policies and plans, which when implemented will get Delta State going in the right direction again. I believe in setting goals and coming up with realistic plans and policies to achieve those goals. Our manifesto is therefore a product of profound thought based on my practical experience both in the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
“Never in history have we faced such difficult times in our state. Beyond politics and political party affiliation, we all know that with the enormous resources and competence of Deltans all over the world, our state is not where it ought to be. Under the PDP, and especially in the last seven years, the problems of Delta State have been squarely rooted in bad leadership, misplaced priorities, pervasive incompetence, and even corruption. The offer of PDP in the 2023 gubernatorial elections in the person of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Oborevwori is a bad one for Delta State, because it exemplifies incompetence, bad judgement and everything that went wrong in the past seven years.
“Delta State deserves better. We must reject leaders who will not be independent of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the cabal that brought us to this sorry pass. For Deltans to get out of these problems and return to a path of economic prosperity, there must be change that offers progress beyond mere promises. With my record of public service, my candidacy represents and offers that change.
“If you make an objective assessment of every village, town, city, and local government area in Delta State, including the riverine areas, you will come to the sad conclusion that the state is lagging behind in every index of socio-economic development and economic prosperity. Okowa’s government alone has swallowed up well over N2.8 trillion in seven years. We are all Deltans here. Do you see anything on ground that is commensurate with that receipt?
“There is poverty and profound infrastructural dilapidation from Asaba to Warri and environs, Ughelli to Udu, Sapele to Effurun, Koko to Oghara, Agbor to Ukwani, Ndokwa to Abraka, and other areas of the State. The PDP government has abandoned the riverine areas of the State to their own devices. When compared to other states in the Niger Delta with similar FAAC and IGR revenues, Delta is beset by poor or non existent infrastructure. Even the few projects that exist are poorly executed. The net effect is that the state looks like a giant junkyard. Most of the roads and structures purportedly executed by the Okowa government in the last seven years have failed and, in many instances, outrightly collapsed.
“Many such failed projects that litter the State are being recycled and re-awarded to cronies without a visionary and credible plan for sustainable infrastructural development. Recent examples include the back to back collapse and fire in sections of the Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba, that for the grace of God, could have killed several Deltans; the dilapidated and failing Effurun roundabout flyover, the derelict Warri township stadium and scores of road projects across the State, just to mention but a few.
“Gentlemen of the Press, while other States in the Niger Delta and elsewhere are celebrating shiny milestones in infrastructural development, human capacity development, healthcare, education, sustainable economic development, good governance, and improved institutions, the people of Delta State are shell-shocked; benumbed by the sheer audacity of Okowa and his co-travellers as they daily bring the state to its knees. Even sadder is fact that the governor has been going around borrowing with reckless abandon, making the State one of the most indebted in Nigeria even with its monumental FAAC allocation and 13% derivation revenue as an oil producing State.
“Today, there are strong reasons to believe that monies meant for the development of Delta State are now being channeled to fund the ill fated ambition of Governor Okowa to become Vice-President of Nigeria in 2023 by every means. Just go around the State. The poverty and frustration inflicted by this government on Deltans over the years are palpable and scary. Insecurity, low quality projects, lack of vision to revive the economy of the State, misplaced priorities in governance, corruption, nepotism, government waste, incompetence, and lack of accountability are pervasive and profound.
“The PDP government has no clear ideas to create programs and promote policies that support innovation and entrepreneurship. Our working class, our women, and youths are cast adrift without as much as even a paddle. And in the 21st century, life remains nasty, brutish and short for many Deltans.
“We surely can do better than our label as the “Keke” capital of Nigeria because of what this government has done, and even more, failed to do. The new slogan today is “see Delta and cry”-from Delta North to South and Central, tears come to your eyes. We have now come to that time in the history of Delta State, when all Deltans must rise in one accord and boldly declare that enough is enough by voting for the APC.
“The handpicked PDP candidate Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Oborevwori is a mere clone of Okowa, because like his master, his middle name is incompetence. By his background, or the lack thereof; and public record, or the lack thereof, the PDP candidate would be a human disaster in Government House. His nomination, championed by an inept and corrupt PDP administration, is an insult to the sensibilities of Deltans. Delta State should not leave its destiny in the hands of a man who has no mind of his own and will continue to be Okowa’s stooge even as governor.
“Our main opponent would represent a third term for a failed governor who ran out of ideas to develop the State. We call on all Deltans and men of goodwill to reject this imposition by Governor Okowa. Delta State belongs to all Deltans, and we must all join hands to take it back.
“The handpicked PDP candidate Rt. Hon. Sheriff Francis Oborevwori is a mere clone of Okowa, because like his master, his middle name is incompetence. By his background, or the lack thereof; and public record, or the lack thereof, the PDP candidate would be a human disaster in Government House. His nomination, championed by an inept and corrupt PDP administration, is an insult to the sensibilities of Deltans. Delta State should not leave its destiny in the hands of a man who has no mind of his own and will continue to be Okowa’s stooge even as governor.”