ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DISTINGUISHED SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE, CFR, DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, AT THE INAUGURATION OF DELTA STATE APC CAMPAIGN COUNCIL, AT ASABA.
OCTOBER 24, 2022.
I welcome you all, our party faithfuls, to this very important ceremony, the inauguration of the All Progressive Congress – APC – Campaign Council for Delta State. What we are doing here today is the beginning of a journey that will take us through all the nooks and crannies of the State.
2. Let me, therefore, congratulate the distinguished members of the Campaign Council and entire team on their well-deserved nomination. Your selection is no doubt in recognition of your record of experience, hard work and contributions to our great party. It is my expectation and that of all our party members that you will diligently handle this responsibility. Let me remind members that the Campaign Council is the main advisory body that will guide all the campaign activities of the party in the State.
3. In the task ahead, all APC members are also campaign coordinators, mobilizers and canvassers for the party at all levels in the State. And this – membership of the Party – is what I refer to as the “entire team”. As faithful party members, we must be committed to the party leadership, because its decision is supreme and every member must be prepared to accept such decisions.
4. The APC is the government-in-waiting in the State. It is only the APC that has the capacity to defeat this monster, the cabal called PDP in Delta State. The movement to form a new government in the State is not about APC members alone, but a task for all Deltans. I, therefore, charge members of the Campaign Council to ensure total victory for the party during the forth-coming general elections. The task for all of you is to make sure APC emerges victorious in all elective offices up to the Presidency.
5. We must take back our dear State from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who with his cohorts, have held our state hostage. After over 7 years of Okowa, one thing we all agree on is that there is a huge gap between the funds Delta State received, generated and borrowed; even recklessly, and what Okowa’s government has done. This has left our state seriously undermined in so many ways that are too numerous to count. Okowa misused and wasted our hard-earned resources. And when the state ran out of funds, he embarked on a reckless borrowing spree, thereby mortgaging our future and those of our unborn children.
6. And now he wants to handover to his stooge, Speaker Sheriff Francis Oborevwori whose House which he heads, approved every kobo that was wasted and stolen to protect himself from accountability. For 5 years of Sheriff’s speakership, the Delta State House of Assembly has been a rubber stamp, giving everything Okowa asks for without effective oversight, thereby undermining the entire idea of the Separation of Powers enshrined in our Constitution as well as weakening our democracy.
7. We all remember what happened to Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya when he dared to ask questions, when he tried to do his job and provide the checks and balances our Constitution demands. He was fired for trying to scrutinize executive actions as the legislature must do. And because power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely, we ended up with an uncontrolled state government that has since turned its back on the people of Delta State.
8. It is common knowledge to all that the present ruling People’s Democratic Party – PDP in Delta has failed woefully in bestowing credible and visionary leadership to drive the yearnings of our people. In all development indices, Delta State under PDP cannot compete with neighbouring States in education, agriculture and quality infrastructure. This is a big shame for a State that had been a pace setter, first with our sister Edo, as Bendel, and even as Delta State since 1991. Delta State is the highest receiver of Federal allocation and 13 per cent derivation, yet, the State is also the second most indebted State in the country. The seemingly chaotic socio-political and economic environment in Delta State requires a leader with the necessary skills and knowledge, to work with a qualified team to address the systemic bottlenecks that have hindered the development of the State.
9. Are we ready for another 4 years of that nonsense, another 4 years of plundering and stealing, another 4 years of drift? All of us here today do not want to see more of the past 5 very terrible years of Okowa-Oborevwori tyranny. We want our state back. The gross misuse and total waste of scarce resources that has cost Delta state so much and this must stop.
10. This is the time to terminate the ill-conceived Okowa dynasty. So I ask you all here and every Deltan, wherever they may be right now, every resident, both indigenes and non-indigenes in Delta North, Delta South and Delta Central to get ready to work, get ready to fight for our dear state and get ready to win on the 11th of March 2023.
11. Together, we will take back the State House Assembly, we will take the Government House, Asaba, we will take back our state and Build A New Delta that we all can be proud of. We will also win the House of Representatives and Senate seats and retain the presidency.
12. The APC administration in the State will establish a strong, resilient, inclusive and prosperous economy that generates opportunity, jobs and wealth, while lifting the poor out of poverty, through the implementation of people-oriented programmes and policies. Our vision is to make the State a model for others. We are going to bring new ideas and innovative policy solutions, under a government that gives the people a sense of belonging. These we have summed up in our ‘EDGE to BAND’ plan.
13. A glimpse into the ‘EDGE to BAND’ plan to rebuild Delta:
Our manifesto seeks to rebuild and reinvigorate the State. We will tackle head on the scary rate of unemployment by prioritizing public investment in agriculture and tech-driven entrepreneurship. We will change the business ecosystem of the State to create an investment-friendly environment that makes access to funds and infrastructure a natural way of life.
Our emphasis will be on human capital development, agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, housing and other labour-intensive interventions, which are core on our agenda for the State. We are going to engage with vigour on all fronts and build a brand-new Delta.
We will deliberately create an enabling environment for industries and manufacturing, establish technology hubs, set up small businesses, loan guarantee schemes, and promote skills acquisition and set up Career Development Centres for Deltans.
We will guarantee the rights of women and youth and invest their unique energies to drive social and economic development in the state. We will initiate a youth development programme that moves them away from the hopelessness of today, connect them to creative endeavours and generate energy for honourable work.
We will also be making aggressive investments in modern infrastructure capable of opening up the total economic energies of our people, we will lift the State out of a mono-economic dependency by launching diversification into tech and business incubation.
14. Ladies and gentlemen, I urge all of you and indeed all party members to familiarize yourself with the EDGE to BAND plan to make your job easier. Your task is to get the message to the grassroots, using the various tools at your disposal to get to every potential voter out there. I encourage you to work in synergy with every group within and outside our party for the single goal of making APC victorious at both the federal and State levels.
15. I urge all aspirants who were not successful in their bid for the party ticket in the primaries to support the party and the Campaign Council. In the coming days, weeks and months we will all pass through sleepless nights to ensure that the APC emerge victorious in all the elections in the State. For me, unity and sense of purpose of party members is vital to victory. If we have a united and focused party, then we are on our way towards victory.
16. The task ahead may appear intimidating but collectively we shall overcome. The movement to liberate the State is a collective one, and not about APC members alone, but all Deltans. I, therefore, call on all Deltans, irrespective of party platform, who love this State to join hands with us to liberate, rebuild and reinvigorate our dear State. This is a responsibility we owe the present old and young generations and generations yet unborn. We must not fail in making Delta State a better place than we met it.
17. Once again, I congratulate all the distinguished men and women selected to serve our party in the Governorship Campaign Council.
18. On this note, it is now my pleasure and privilege to inaugurate the Delta State APC Campaign Council to the glory of God.
13. Thank you and may God bless us all.
HE Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, CFR
Deputy President of the Senate
(The Obarisi of Urhoboland)