Not Too Young To Run: 41 Year Old Festus Ofume Emerges Delta State Chairman of YDP
By Miracle Enuji
The Young Democratic Party (YDP) has elected and inaugurated her first executive members of the party in Delta State with 41 Year Old Barrister Festus Ofume emerging as Chairman.
The election and subsequent inauguration of the executives, was held at a State Wide delegate congress of the party in Asaba on Monday, July 31, 2017 which witnessed a large turnout of YDP members within and outside the state.
The newly elected chairman of the party in the state, Barrister Ofume who hails from Alihame in Ika South Local Government Area of the State, in his acceptance speech called on YDP members to rally round him to ensure that he succeeds and also charged them to go back home and fly high the party’s flag so that Deltans would know that a movement has started.
“This is a new era in Delta State, this is the beginning of a new era in Delta State. Everyone of us here have to move YDP forward. We don’t want to grow YDP into an opposition party in Delta state but we want to grow YDP into a ruling party come 2019.
Today we have started a revolution, it is a movement and the movement will not stop. YDP in Delta State has come as a movement, has come to grow and to stay. We are calling on the younger generation to leave where they are now which does not augur well with them, where they occupy the back seat to come to a place where there will occupy the front seat,” Ofume added.
The new chairman stressed that the men, women and youths in YDP have every chance to become a leader stating that there were no limitations or quotas designed for attainment of positions in the party. He further charged the party faithful to gear up for the local government elections cautioning them against selling their voter’s card to desperate politicians.
While assessing the ruling party in the state and the administration of Governor Okowa, Barrister Ofume described the duo as a huge failures as it has not given to Deltans what they actually yearn for. “The ruling party in Delta State has not satisfied you and I and that is why YDP has come to take over so that the lapses which the current government has been unable to fill, we will fill it because we have all it takes. What we have currently has not augured well for you and I. We voted them in and if they are not doing right, we have what it takes to send them out.”
Speaking earlier, the National Chairman of YDP, Barr. (Mrs) Aye Georgina Dakpokpo said Delta State now has a proper opposition and that YDP has come to change the fortunes of Deltans for good.
In her words, “We are determined to change the narrative, we believe it is time for the youth to take over governance in Nigeria. We are determined to make it better for the people of Nigeria. As you can see at the large turnout of our members and it shows that indeed that YDP is here to change the course of the Destiny of Deltans because the people are from here, they understand the pains of the people, they live here, they know what the people are going through and they are constantly in touch with their constituents and above all they know what it takes to run corporate governance in Delta state.”
On the report of YDP being an appendage of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr. Dakpokpo said that there is no such thing as that. “I don’t understand were that came from, YDP is mainly made up of young professionals, we fund the party ourselves, we don’t have any major sponsor otherwise it would have been obvious from what you have seen today. We do our things ourselves, we are not a money party because we believe that to change the course of Nigeria, we must first be a true Nigerian. We don’t approach big sponsors, we believe the money is ours when it is ripe. We don’t go after money, we are more concerned of building an ideology and a future for our children. YDP is not an appendage of any party, we are independent, we are young.”
Speaking further, the National chairman noted that YDP stands for the Young ones and those that are old and have the young ones at heart. “We don’t have a benchmark specifically because by the constitution of Nigeria, anybody above a certain age can contest. So we don’t discriminate in that aspect but because we are young, like calls unto like, we will naturally attract the young people of Nigeria. We consider ourselves, a vanguard for the young people of Nigeria, we have the energy and vibrancy to take Nigeria to the next level.
High Point of the party’s congress was the presentation of the party’s flag and constitution to Barr. Festus Ofume with a charge to propagate the party’s presence in the State and fly the party’s flag into Delta State Government House come 2019.
Barrister Festus Ofume’s emergence as the Party’s Chairman in Delta State, was an outcome of a peaceful agreement reached by other chairmanship candidates to step down their ambitions and allow him assume the position.
A total of 16 executive members of YDP spread across the state were inaugurated at the delegates Congress. They include; Bar. Festus Ofume, State Chairman – Delta North; Prince. Marvin Ekrika. Dep. Chairman – Delta South; Prince Udi Benjamin, Secretary General – Delta Central; Com. Avwata Solomon Organising Secretary – Delta Central and Com. Palmer Friday, Financial Secretary – Delta South;
Others are Com. Victor Biane, Publicity Secretary – Delta North; Barr. Collins Osage, Legal Adviser-Delta North; Mrs. Elo Okoro, Woman Leader – Delta South; Com. Owhodiasa Micheal, Youth Leader – Delta Central; Pastor Israel, Auditor – Delta North; Com. Idolor Henry, Vice Chairman – Delta Central; Mr. Okwey S. Chinedu, Vice Chairman – Delta – North; Com. James Aberare, Vice Chairman – Delta South and Mr. Abraham Ogbudeke, Assist.Finanacial Secretary – Delta South.