By Olise Onwusando
Despite running for the first time as the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Dr. Goodnews Agbi is not new in the politics of Delta State and by extension Nigeria. He had worked behind the scene in support of the ambition of other persons until he decided to offer himself for service, this time around, at the highest level in Delta State.
In throwing his hat into the ring, his decision was not fortuitous but the result of a well-thought-out plan which is bolstered by the quest spirit, a dominant force that continues to propel his choice of endeavours since he came of age slightly over four decades ago. The issue here is that Agbi is not a man that would be lured into an activity or a game without personal conviction about the rightness of the idea and its altruistic import to the human society.
This characteristic feature influenced his choice of a relatively smaller party with a manifesto that aligns with his own idea of a governance model direly needed to drive sustainable development in a pluralistic state such as Delta State. He justifiably felt that the NNPP’s emphasis on “the care for human life and happiness, not their exploitation and extinction…” is what is lacking in the template of governance in Delta State.
Although he’s a man of many parts, his enviable candidacy lies with an untainted past, unlike the alleged brigandage of mace theft or an unenviable background marked by name alterations associated with the APC’s Omo-Agege and the PDP’s Sheriff Oborevwori respectively. He is neither beholden to a godfather that will make demands on him if he gets elected nor carries the baggage which the failure of the ruling party at the national level imposes on its candidate in Delta State.
He came into the race with a background of sound education, exposure derived from acculturation and interaction with a broad spectrum of the Nigerian society and awareness of the people’s yearning for an honest candidate who had not been part of the pillaging of the state’s treasury either in the past or at the present time. For him, it’s about what should be done to steer Delta State off the path of regression inflicted on the oil-rich state by the three purblind governors in the last 24 years.
It’s remarkable that his campaign team had researched and proffered solutions to problems bessetting the state. These include broadening the educational curriculum to enrich beneficiaries with employable skills, turnaround of the health sector, tackling insecurity by creating a state security outfit, empowering the youths and vulnerable groups through an institutionalised welfare scheme and, above all, effectively utilising Delta State’s huge wealth to cater to the needs of the larger majority unlike the current scenario that services the greed of a few persons in government.
The choice before Deltans is Agbi versus others but most of his co-contestants do not possess the innate qualities Agbi is endowed with, besides his managerial prowess garnered from his duality of his career trajectory as a practicing engineer and teacher that’s saddled with moulding the minds of undergraduates to serve our dear state in particular and our country in general.
The decision on Saturday is no doubt a make or mar decision. We either seek to go forward or choose to be tied to our present pitiable circumstances. It’s worth reminding our people that voting for Agbi will leap Delta to a greater future of boundless opportunity and progress beyond the wildest imagination of our compatriots. Any other choice will be bound in misery not only at the present time but also for an unknown future that’s buried in the womb of time.
Deltans be guided please!
ONWUSANDO, a writer and public affairs commentator, is based in Asaba.