By Olise Onwusando
The question on the lips of political watchers and voters alike is the identity of the politician that would luckily earn the mandate of the electorate as the next governor of Delta State on March 11, 2023. What makes the question so germane is that Delta State needs an unusual individual distinct from the run-of- the-mill career politicians to drive the course of governance from May 29, 2023.
As of today, seven notable Deltans are standard bearers of their political parties in the guber race. They are Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi of the Social Democratic Party(SDP), Chief Great Ogboru of the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA), Dr. Goodnews Agbi of the New Nigeria People’s Party(NNPP), Mr. Ken Pela of the Labour Party(LP) and Mr. Sunny Ofehe of Young Progressive Party(YPP).
Amongst these personalities however, Dr. Goodnews Agbi of the NNPP is the most suitable and therefore deserves to be voted by the majority of Deltans in the crucial election for reasons being thrown up by the peculiarity of this year’s transitional polls. With age on his side, robust educational background, exposure, absence of baggage and a pan-Deltan vision, Dr. Agbi represents a breath of fresh air in a state so pitiably hamstrung by the rotational mis-governance by three successive governors produced by the currently wobbly People’s Democratic Party(PDP) for nearly 24 years.
One of the selling points of Agbi’s candidacy lies with his character, capacity and competence which are the vital factors influencing voters’ consideration of candidates in the 2023 elections. His self- description as ‘the Peter Obi of Delta State’ in the course of ongoing campaign trail is not out of place given the parallels between Obi’s phenomenal presidential contest and his quest for Delta State’s guber seat in this electoral season. The point of confluence is their recourse to fringe parties in pursuit of their ambitions unfazed by the criticisms of lack of existing structures.
His pedigree as an activist and truth crusader of sort both in the recent past and at the present time also stands him in good stead. It may sound somewhat boastful but none of his co-contestants possesses his rich resume as an engineer, doctorate degree holder, university teacher, humanist and, above all, an advocate of equity and social justice in a pluralistic polity such as Delta State.
Agreed that he does not have the huge resource base at the disposal of the candidates of the behemoth parties like the PDP and the APC, but he has a surfeit of ideas which he has conceived to revolutionize the state’s political economy and position it to deliver inclusive growth marked by integrated development.
A careful interrogation of his manifesto as captured in the D.E.A.L Agenda shows Agbi’s indepth knowledge of issues and problems as well as the wide-ranging solutions he has proffered and broadly categorised into short, middle and long-term. With these intended programmes covering the core sectors of security, infrastructure, healthcare delivery, education, human capital development and empowerment, robust agricultural pursuit, his vision to build a modern state as itemized in his action plan is not in doubt.
Deltans should not look at his origin in Oyede community in Isoko North Local Government Area as a negation of power rotation agreement as we are in search of a governor who can effectively run the affairs of our state in a just, equitable and transparent manner, unmindful of the senatorial district he hails from. The fact that the extant zoning principle amongst the three senatorial districts has not generated the expected delivery of a governance model devoid of parochial and mediocre performance makes his presence inevitable at this time.
He is the ideal candidate who is gifted not only with physical strength but also profound mental capacity to tackle the multifarious challenges keeping Delta State at the nadir of arrested development in the past 32 years of existence. A vote for Agbi is a choice of fairness as well as enthronement of inclusivity which is indispensable in boosting the bonds of brotherhood in a multi-ethnic state like Delta.
***ONWUSANDO, writer and public affairs commentators, is based in Asaba, Delta State.