By: Richard. O. Richard
It is a known fact that before now, the administration of Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan of Delta state, South-South Nigeria was the most criticised across the country for inability to providing “Dividends of Democracy” to Deltans, but today the rest has become history as several projects, both completed and ongoing floods every nook and cranny of the state.
To many, it was like a big shocker during this year’s democracy day as the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan in company of the Commissioner in charge of special infrastructures director, Barrister (Mrs) Orezi Esievor and other commissioners reeling out projects upon projects billed for commissioning across the three senatorial districts of the state to climaxed the 2013 democracy day celebration.
Indeed, so many Deltans as well as non-Deltans based in the state could not hide his pleasant feelings and appreciation of the gesture of the dividend that democracy has brought to every nook and cranny of the state, courtesy, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State.
In a bid to ensure that government projects were protected and remained in good condition, Governor Uduaghan directed that anybody who destroys government project should be prosecuted.
The Governor, who commissioned different projects in Asaba and its environs as part of activities to mark 2013 Democracy Day, stressed that it was a crime to destroy projects executed by government.
He stated that anyone caught destroying or disrupting projects being executed by government would be prosecuted henceforth.
The Democracy Day activities commenced on Sunday with an inter-denominational church service at the Flock of Life Bible Church, Effurun and the finals of the first edition of the Governor’s football competition Cup for secondary schools in the state.
“If we see you damaging any of our projects, we will prosecute you,” the Governor stated, adding that those who wants to cut across a road for any reason should consult the Ministry of Works so that where roads are damaged, such would be repaired immediately.
It will be recalled that during the commissioning of a road at Okpanam, while welcoming the Governor and his team to the venue to commissioning on May 29, 2013 being Democracy Day, Ugoani Michael Mbanefo Ugbolu, the Ugoani of Okpanam expressed deep appreciation of the gesture of the dividend that democracy to his people by Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan.
According to Ugbolu “On behalf of myself, the Ugoani-in-council and the entire good people of Okpanam kingdom, I most heartily welcome Your Excellency to this auspicious occasion of the commissioning of the Okpanam Township Ring Road, stretching from the Asaba-Benin Expressway to the Nigerian Post office along Okpanam-Okwutugbo –Asaba Road. This road, no doubt, is very important and dear to the whole people of Okpanam as it enhances commerce, human and vehicular movements, particularly now that many civil servants, businessmen and women, both indigenes and non-indigenes reside in Okpanam.
“I most sincerely thank your Excellency for the wise decision to open the drainage systems bordering the road on both sides. Apart from its flood control mechanism, it would obviously prolong the life span of the road.”
The appreciations and happiness been expressed by Deltans no doubt, represents a fitting acknowledgment of the massive effort by Governor Uduaghan to deliver democracy dividends by putting the people’s money where their heart is. This obvious grateful heart is further testimony of the sincere and dogged disposition of the Uduaghan administration to fulfil his campaign promises encapsulated in his three-point agenda of peace and security, human capital development and infrastructure development.
To mark this year’s Democracy Day, Delta State Government chose to mark it uniquely, by going round to commission projects and inspect on-going ones in Asaba, the state capital as well as Warri and its environs.
Enthused by the number of projects marked out for commissioning, one Master of Ceremony announced that the projects are aimed at adding value to the lives of the people. And while welcoming Governor Uduaghan and other observers to the commissioning of 1.7km dualized and expanded Government House Road, the Commissioner for Works, Hon Funkekeme Solomon said government placed a lot of emphasis on road infrastructure and is striving to give Deltans facilities that are at par with what obtains in other parts of the world.
“In pursuance of this, Government has about 851 projects valued at over N225billion all across the State. This road projects are aimed at improving mobility and access in Asaba, the State capital. Furthermore, they are designed to give the city a face lift, address issues of flooding and reclaim the rights of our teeming population of pedestrians on roads in the city. Today, a total of nine roads covering a length of about 11km are to be commissioned. These roads, which were either rehabilitated, constructed, reconstructed were completed at a cost of N3.75billion.”
According to the commissioner, the 11 projects commissioned that day were besides 20 other road projects at various stages of completion in Asaba and environs.
Commissioning the Government House Road, Governor Uduaghan said “Today is Democracy day. We have packed our programme full; commissioning of a lot of projects, we shall do most of the commissioning that had been slated for today by tomorrow.” explaining that what is happened in Asaba with the commissioning of road projects is in line with the spirit to make Asaba a befitting State capital, being the fastest growing State capital in Nigeria today.
“We have embarked on various projects, including the construction of roads. And what we are doing with the construction of roads is to ensure that the roads have good drainages and walkways. This is to ensure that people do not just walk on our roads without being safety conscious.”
Governor Uduaghan also announced that besides construction and rehabilitation of roads in Asaba, the Asaba International Airport is almost completed; it is already bringing in passengers and taking out passengers. There is the ultra modern new Government House into which he has moved in, and the water project being done inside Asaba.
The Governor made it clear that Delta State is not a one city state, as there as many other cities, communities and villages in the State, all of which are enjoying various dimensions of Government transformation attention. “So, we have tried to spread out our projects around the State , as there are many projects around the State, as there are many other things we are doing outside the State capital,” he pointed out.
Governor Uduaghan was also at the newly re-constructed Asagba Mixed Secondary School, Asaba to commission it where he advised the children to maintain the facilities in the school and keep the school premises clean.
He admonished them not to destroy the school properties adding that any student caught would be punished, and charged them to be loyal and respectful to their teachers and parents in order to be good citizens of the state.
The governor explained that his administration was investing much on infrastructural development especially in schools stating that education was paramount to his government.
Emphasizing further, he said “As a government, I have taken the issue of education very seriously, that is why we are developing infrastructures in the sector. We made school fees free and have increased the number of teachers”.
Addressing a press conference in his office recently, to show case several projects of her boss’s administration in the past five years, Commissioner in charge of the Directorate of special infrastructures, Barrister (Mrs) Orezi Esievor, disclosed that her boss, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has been able to make good his promises to the people of Delta state in terms of infrastructures.
Enumerating some of the achievements of the Uduaghan’s administration to include dedicated hospitals for mother and child spread across the state, modern primary and secondary schools with state of the arts facilities, bridges and roads, new government house, and the transport scheme among others, the commissioner noted that “Governor Uduaghan is opening and integrating rural communities through the construction of various roads across the state. As we talk, construction of the new four state polytechnics approved by the state government in Sapele, Abigborodo, Aboh and Bomadi has commenced.”
Why stressing that the mandate given her office which is under the office of the governor was to supervise special projects across the state, Mrs. Esievor stated that “Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan started 2007 in a very hostile environment coupled with distractions and court cases but today it is all history and he has done a lot by providing dividends of democracy to the people. New government house is 90% completed. The state governor embarked Delta state urban renewal projects with mega bus terminals, bus shelters and 30 bus mega bus terminals have been completed in the phase one of the project.”
Mrs. Esievor further disclosed that over 7000 jobs have been created through the opening and integration of rural communities through the construction of roads, adding that the sum of N7 billion was expended for the execution of the primary and secondary schools across the state.
The commissioner however stated that some of the challenges faced by his directorate was working with some of the communities which were so hostile to contractors as well as extorting money from contractors executing government projects in their community and therefore admonished communities to always protect government projects in their areas from vandals.
I must not end this feature write up without mentioning the latest sing-song of Governor Uduaghan “Finishing STRONG”