By Charles Kumolu
Thompson Abideke, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State and leader of Operation Return Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for Second Tenure, in this interview, explains why Deltans should re-elect Okowa.
WHY do you want Okowa re-elected?
I am appealing to the people of the state to vote for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for second term to complete the work he has started. I am of the opinion that all Deltans should go back to the drawing board and vote massively for the man, who has been able to transform the state within the period he became governor.
As a PDP state, Delta cannot afford to lose the state to another political party. In retrospect, the governor, on assumption of duty, intervened swiftly and tackled the bloody activities of herdsmen, who had been killing and maiming our people. Today, that issue has been laid to rest.
Has he been able to resolve the communal crises in some parts of the state?
Of course, the governor has done so well as he has been able to curtail the hitherto communal crises and, I must say that he has nipped the unhealthy situations in the bud.
For example, he is always going to areas where there is a crisis, he doesn’t send anybody or delegation, rather, he prefers going there to solve the problem himself.
In fact, a lot has been done in ensuring that there is peace everywhere. Because of the prevailing peace, development projects are ongoing in all the 25 local government areas of the state. So, we should compensate him by voting for him en masse to bring him back to office.
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My passionate appeal to the good people of the state is to mount a serious campaign in all the local government areas and mobilise both young and old to ensure that money politics is rejected at the polls. In essence, the much talked about continuity should come to play at this period. We should respect the democratic norms and reject money politics that will take us to nowhere. I am happy that Nigerians are learning daily about the politics of brotherliness and non-violence. It is high time we rejected politics of rancour and bitterness. There should be level-playing field, devoid of snatching of ballot boxes, thuggery, and bickering. The people should know that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is a peace-loving man, who is touching the lives of everybody in the 25 local government areas of the state.
Okowa has been described as someone whose administration is youth friendly. What is your take on that?
I must say that many youths across the state have been officially engaged in one job or the other. In the state, pipeline vandalism, killing, and maiming of innocent persons have reduced drastically. I can say with all sense of humility that there is peace in the state. In fact, we need to encourage the man (Okowa) to come back and complete the good work he started in 2015.
On the true state of infrastructure in the state
He executed scores of projects since 2015 and a lot more are still being executed in all the 25 local government areas, LGAs. The Governor has been able to build bridges linking various communities in the riverine areas. These projects are visible and Governor Okowa will do more if given another opportunity. The Governor has given out scholarships to scores of students in higher institutions of learning and he has completed the numerous projects abandoned by ex-governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
On poverty alleviation
He has assisted widows in every local government area of the state. Most of the beneficiaries are helping themselves through the support of the government by engaging in various businesses, including farming, trading and other areas of endeavour.
Besides, he offered free medical treatment to the less privileged in the society and, this is one of the reasons the man should be returned for a second.
Chief Great Ogboru is a highly respected politician, who I respect so much but there is no vacancy in Government House. In fact, he should wait till Governor Okowa completes his second tenure. The fact is that Chief Ogboru cannot defeat Okowa in the race. I was expecting that now the man should be mobilising for 2023 election so that the race will be easy for him. Federal might will not work in Delta because the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government knows that the state is for the PDP.