By Shedrack Onitsha,
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, APC governorship aspirant, Prof. Pat Utomi and a host of other chieftains of the party, have harped on the need for chieftains of the party in the state to be united and collapse their personal interest as the only avenue to unseat the PDP led administration in state come 2019.
The charge by the chieftains was given on Saturday at Ibusa, Delta State during the birthday celebration and thanksgiving service of Prof. Utomi.
Other leaders of the party including Minister of Petroleum (State); Dr Ibe Kachukwu, Dr Otive Igbuzor and NDDC Commissioner representing Delta State; Dr Ogaga Ifowodo, also lamented the state of underdevelopment in the state stressing that, “with the resources both in human and capital, Delta state has no business been poor.
In his remark, Governor Obaseki who reminisced about the brotherhood relationship between Edo and Delta states during the era of the defunct Bendel state, urged citizens of both states to hold fast to the virtues and legacies that made the old Bendel state outstanding among its peers, with a charge on leaders of the two states to sustain and build on the heritage of the old region.
He said: “At a time the mid-western, Bendel state was on top in sport and infrastructural development, like what Awolowo did in the western region where he used technocrats to make the region work, we also started experiment in Edo state, with our Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomole and am building on what he started.
“But we must tell ourselves the truth; the current political arrangement where a class of few becomes a leach on the people will not work. Democracy is bottom up; Abuja will not come to install democracy for in Ibusa.
“What we are doing in Edo state is letting the people lead, because any politics that does not empower or put food on the table of our people is a bad politics. We also wish that spirit of first that Bendle state is noted for will also be reactivated in Edo and Delta State.”
On his part, Emerhor in his goodwill address to Utomi, said: “From the remarks of others speaks here what came out clear to me is marrying integrity with competence , if we marry these two things this time in Delta State all the these we are desiring for the state will be achievable.
“So come 2019 we are going to marry integrity with competence. In doing this we have to be smart about it, Obaseki has also assured us that when the times come he will stand by Deltans, and I want to assure you that the leaders of the party will be smart on our choice of candidate in 2019, we will come up with the best hand that can deliver the state for us, we are going to meet the calculation that will enable us win this state, we are not going to fall to sentiment and by the time our governorship candidate is out, PDP will know that we are serious.”
Lamenting the poor economic position of the state, Kachukwu said, “With the resources both in human and capital, Delta state has no business been the poor state that it is now, we must work hard to liberate Delta state, Niger Delta and reactivate the old Bendel spirit so as change this poor narrative.
“When you travel through Delta what you see is poor infrastructure, Delta state is in a very shameful state right now and this must change if we must bequeaths a better legacy for our children.”
Speaking earlier, Dr. Igbuzo said: “We have always had selfish leaders Delta state who puts their personal interest far above the collective good of the people and that is why real development has eluded us since this democratic dispensation.
“What we are seeing in Delta is the spirit of selfishness and looting, a situation where few people lord over other, the thing got worse from Ibori to Uduaghan and even became more badly with Okowa led administration, is like demons has been unleashed on Deltans.
“For us to move forward as a people, we must all be united, look for progressive minded people, people who see politics as service and not those who see it as a means of primitive accumulation of wealth.
“We need to rescue Delta from the claw of wickedness, because for evil to triumph it requires good me to seat down and do nothing, we have more good men in Delta, so we should all come together in this mission to rescue Delta, so that we can join the league of progressive state in the country.”
In his address, the celebrant, said: “As a tradition I have typically come home to Ibusa at the end of the week of my birthday to participate in a Mass of Thanksgiving and then to relax and break bread with the parishioners of St Monica’s Catholic Church.
“This year, as part of my continuing reflection on why Delta State is the domain of poverty in spite of such incredible endowments, human and material, I thought we could find a theme for the reception and invite a few more than the traditional parishioners.
“I have also requested that two remarkable scholars Dr. Tunji Olaopa and Dr. Otive Igbuzor share with us their passion regarding the subject; the spirit of Western region. The region led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo set a pattern of public stewardship worthy of emulation.
“Delta as part of what became the old midwest was a trendsetter there. Some of the outstanding public servants of the first decade of self government in the West would be called Deltans today. So how come Delta is the butt of all jokes.
“The time has come for all to stand up and be counted. Each of us has an accounting time before God and history. May we act in a way that will save us from being found wanting. Delta can rise up again and God will heal our land. This must be a time of reconciliation and healing so that together, we can push to rescue Delta.”
Other dignitaries present at the event include; Engr. Hyacinth Enuha, Mainstream Delta APC Coordinator; Chief Fred Olokor Okpohworo, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochie, Chief Simeon Ohwofa, Chief Ogheneaga Andrew Orugbo, APC Publicity Secretary; Engr. Leonard Obibi, Prince Okareme Maikpobi and Delta North Senatorial Chairman(Ag.); Henry Onianwa.