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Delta State Governorship Race – 2015, My Honest Opinion – By Elder (Dr.) Chukwuma O. Nwaonicha



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Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa
Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa

– on Occasion of Anioma Congress; January 18, 2014

I’m using this opportunity to thank Obi Prof. Joseph Chike Edozien, CFR, JP, the Asagba or traditional ruler of Asaba, the Anioma Chiefs, Anioma Elders and Member of Anioma Congress for their efforts in promoting Anioma unity and progress; and Delta State at large.

In my honest opinion, Delta State Governorship Race – 2015 will be based on proven personality and integrity issues and not on the fact that Delta State is predominantly a PDP state or through empty boasting by some aspirants or Government appointees that cannot even win the party nomination in their local government.  These aspirants or Government appointees are only trying to make themselves relevant – that is the beauty of democracy.  However, as I observed, 2015 election in Delta State is not for politicians that are rude, arrogant, unscrupulous, mischief makers and liars.

With this in mind, a good and marketable candidate will win the Governorship election in Delta State come 2015, irrespective of the candidate’s party affiliation.  There are many good and marketable candidates from Delta North; the ball is in the court of Anioma people to pick the best candidate among the Anioma aspirants – a seasoned politician because Deltans would vote for a candidate that has courage and competence to properly manage the State’s affairs; a highly placed individual that can promote unity among Delta State ethnic divide.

A good and marketable candidate is like a good product, it’s liked by all.  Therefore, let Anioma people go for the best Governorship candidate from Delta North.  Promoting a bad candidate is like marketing a bad product, no matter the marketing strategy employed, it don’t sell because the product is not good, not appealing and not credible to the public.  I know for sure that PDP cannot afford to lose Delta State to another political party by picking a wrong and non-marketable Governorship candidate at the primary.

What I’m saying is that a bad candidate is like a bad product, it’s always difficult to sell, whether on sale or not, even in a black market or buy one get one free.  Most importantly is to come out with a quality candidate, before Election Day.  This is what everyone or group trying to promote a Governorship candidate from Delta North should have in mind.  Let your candidate be a good and marketable product.  The way forward for Delta North is to pick a winning Governorship candidate.

Anioma people can produce a credible Governor for Delta State come 2015 to build and promote a stronger and united Delta State predicated on justice, equity and fair play.  As an Anioma indigene, a Leader and a PDP Stalwart in Ika South Local Government, my position for Delta State Governorship election 2015 is to produce:

1) A Governor that is responsive to the yelling and suffering of all Deltans.

2)  A Governor that empowers Women and Youths.

3)  A Governor that is visionary, creative and has ideas.

4)  A Governor that listens to the masses and has an open door policy.

5)  Not a Governor that is interested in using the masses to achieve his/her own personal goal and interest or hidden agenda because sheep are happier of themselves, than under the care of wolves.

6)  A Governor that is humble and ready to work with all Deltans.

7)  A Governor that will remedy the lack of economic and social developments in Delta State and take the State to a higher level.

8)  A Governor that will embrace radical implementation of Delta State Public Works Program (DSPWP) that will create employment for millions of Delta State indigenes that is without work.

9)  Finally, a Governor Deltans can describe as Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.  Some of those aspiring for Governorship from Delta North have these attributes.  There are also many good candidates in other senatorial Districts (Delta Central and Delta South).  Nobody has the right to the governorship slot in Delta State as one has to fight for it.  It is not given on a Platter of gold or given due to emotional feelings.  Zoning arrangement should be seriously considered for fairness, justice and equity but where it does not happen due to marginalization, then let the chips fall where they may.

In my opinion, the political system in the State should be in such a manner to command the respect of all Deltans, that is, it should be fair, just and equitable.  Anioma community, I stand to say that united we stand, divided we fall; the basic concept is that unless the people of Anioma are united, it is easy to destroy them.

        However, among those indicating interest in the Governorship race, only one Aspirant rightfully stands out among other Aspirants in Delta State; that is Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.  Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is more on ground than any other Aspirant in any party in Delta State.  He is selfless, more compassionate and more reasonable in terms of leadership and management skills.  The Senator is a seasoned and a grassroots politician; he is focused, experienced and has a very good track record.  However, anyone (Aspirant) can try his/her luck but it doesn’t work that way because we are in a Democratic setting and Democracy is being refined by the day in the Nation.  This is my personal opinion.  Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and I know that my personal opinion/instinct has never failed me.  Majority of Deltans at home and abroad agreed with my opinion.

The qualities and attributes that make Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa a good and marketable candidate in Delta State election come 2015 are:

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The Senator has a policy of empowering the Poor, Women and Youths.

He is God fearing, visionary, creative and has ideas.

He listens to the masses and has an open door policy.

He is humble and ready to work with all Deltans and does not believe in parochial leadership.  Above all, he has the best political structure in Delta State.  He is a man of the people, for the people and by the people and this is what Democracy is all about.  These qualities, attributes and other relevant leadership skills surpass that of any other Governorship Candidate in Delta State irrespective of his/her political affiliation.  The three criteria globally used to measure preference for a leader are competence, integrity and acceptability.  Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa got them all and today the Senator is acceptable to the generality of Deltans.  

I therefore request that every Anioma indigene and Deltans should Register to Vote because this time around your vote will count.  Please communicate this massage to members of your family and friends at home and abroad.

Fellow Deltans, I come to you with a simple request: I need your support for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to put in place his vision to make Delta State a better place for us to live and a better place for Deltans and Nigerians in general.

In the last several months, I have held various discussions with fellow Deltans both at home and in Diaspora and, as well as progressive-minded Deltans about Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s readiness to contest for the Delta State Governorship in the coming general election, 2015.  My findings were astonishing as everyone is in the Senator’s support.  A public opinion polls that I conducted point to the Senator’s candidacy as the best in PDP for Delta State.  Fellow Deltans, the Senator is your man and he has the best political structure among other candidates in the State.  He is the best candidate out there and he will carry all Deltans along.

Between now and the beginning of the primary elections, the Senator shall present his vision for Delta State to Deltans.  He will ask Deltans to hear his views, judge his competence and weigh his success in chosen endeavors.  At the same time, he will continue to seek the advice of Deltans on issues that are of utmost importance to them and I strongly believe he will listen to your views and your needs.

The years I spent in academia and political world have taught me a great deal of lessons on human and material resources management.  Therefore, I see Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as an individual that will create wealth for Deltans by engaging in policies that would create jobs for our graduates, develop our industrial base and more importantly, position ourselves to be competitive in today global market economy.  His candidacy, I strongly believe is about lifting Deltans out of poverty into prosperity.  He is a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration.

I believe that every citizen no matter their societal status has the God endowed right to demand from their government the creation of those conditions that will support their basic necessities of life.  The basic necessities of life are the things a human being cannot do or live without the lack of which can lead to death.  Some of the basic necessities of life are; food, light, shelter, water, safety and security needs and clothing among others.  Safety and Security needs including personal security, financial security, health and well-being, safety net against accidents/illness.  These are the primary factors that enhance humanity.  Some of these basic necessities of life are not there in Delta State for all Deltans.  This is why Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is stepping in as he is the only candidate among others with the road map to take Delta State to the Promised Land – by placing the economic and social developments of Delta State on a top priority and on a solid footing.  As observed, Deltans security (social and economic) is the Senator’s concern and priority.

I make a pledge to Aniomas and Deltans today that this fine gentleman will serve all Deltans with all his strength, with dignity and humility, and to the best of his ability.  I believe in God for guidance for him to successfully carry out this mission.

I pray PDP thinks wise and big by nominating Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (if he does declare his interest for the Governorship race to PDP) as its flag bearer in Delta State for the Governorship election come 2015.

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From the discussions I had with the Senator, I notice that the Senator’s social and economic manifestos (intentions, motives or views of Delta State priorities) are in line with Delta State social and economic developments’ agenda.  The Senator believes in policy continuity, a strategic development plan.  All these fall within the range of Delta State 3-point agenda of Peace and Security, Human Capital Development and Infrastructure Development.  In addition, the Senator has already prepared to encourage and promote the mechanism for smoothening the process of registering concerns by foreign investors through the Delta State One Stop Shop for Investors (DSOSSI).  In Delta State, DSOSSI is an investment facilitation mechanism where relevant government agencies are brought to one location, coordinated and streamlined to provide prompt, efficient and transparent services to investors.  This process, I believe is to reduce frustrations that local and foreign investors undergo.  I commend Delta State Government for this initiative and at the same time I thank the Senator for making this issue confronting Delta State one of his top priorities (if he does declare his interest for the Governorship race to PDP).  As noted, this issue (frustrating the investors) is one of the factors retarding the Social and Economic Development of the State and the Nation at large.

From every indication, I believe the Senator is planning to develop Delta State economy without Oil and Gas – pushing Delta State forward socially and economically beyond Oil and Gas.  That is, to run Delta State almost 100 per cent non‑oil economy by intensifying internally generated revenue and perhaps cutting cost of governance.  It should be noted that Oil and Gas are finite assets and exhaustible resources that cannot be permanently relied on to continually sustain the State’s social and economic developments.

As noted, local and foreign investment options abound everywhere in Delta State to create employment for the youths: in commercial agriculture, manufacturing, culture and tourism, education, healthcare, petrochemical and fertilizer industries, road construction, housing, electricity, information and communication technology (ICT), insurance, banking, raw materials and mining among others.  The lack of sustainable industrial and technology developments in the State is a serious matter that requires stronger commitments in the form of practical approach to priority issues (infrastructural developments) from the Local Governments to the State Government.  As noted, your degree of commitment determines your degree of success!  Therefore, I believe that in all human endeavors, the different between success and failure is time, determination and genuine commitments, and the Senator is committed in perusing these developmental goals.

As we know, the cornerstone for sustainable development Delta State is through a practical approach in infrastructural development: development in education to create efficient human resources: the greatest resources of any nation, development in energy as energy is one of the prime factors for industrial and technology developments, development in transportation, development of our roads as our roads are dead traps, waterways, housing, development in health as our healthcare system is in shambles, development in information technology – one of the fastest growing technology is poorly operated due to network problems, water supply as the masses are suffering from diarrhea related diseases due to bad water, development in agriculture as our food is about 80% carbohydrate, which could lead to diabetic related diseases (there is need to diversify our food production and work towards mechanized farming), promotion of effective Research and Development (R&D) and effective use of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), among others.  The Senator is aware that all these activities will promote economic development, job creation and safe society.  Therefore, I strongly believe the Senator is going for knowledge economy through sustainable development of our infrastructure as it’s the economy that is going to create the jobs.  Therefore, the benefits of a close relationship with Delta State cannot be overemphasized.  Please support Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to realize this lofty goal and join us in this journey with all your supports.

Finally, my generation of leaders must rise and rebuild the future of Delta State, and we must do it on a new plan that involves patriotic Deltans.  When we are principled, our policies and goals must not fail.  The Senator is a man of principle.  According to John Quincy Adams, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”  Salvaging Delta State is a task that must be done.  Therefore, fellow Aniomas and Deltans; give the Senator your strong mandate, you’re on the right path and he will deliver the goods to you.

I can see a bright light at the end of the tunnel for Deltans if the Senator is given the chance.  I wish the Senator well in his political endeavor.

Thank you, God Bless Anioma and God Bless Delta State.

Elder (Dr.) Chukwuma O. Nwaonicha.

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