By Emma Amaize
GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has vowed not to allow anybody to push him away from President Goodluck Jonathan and warnedÂ politicians trying to build a wall around the President and telling him false stories about others in order to seek political favour to cease doing so.
Dr. Uduaghan who spoke weekend in Warri while addressing an enlarged meeting of the executives of the Delta State Elders Council, led by Chief Gabriel Sefia stated:Â â€œI have refused to be pushed away.Â Mr President needs the Governor of Delta State and the Governor of Delta State needs Mr President.Â I have easy access to Mr President because Mr President recognises that I am the Governor of a critical state in Nigeria.â€
Noting that the success of Dr. Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s Presidency â€œis a collective responsibility, particularly for us, the people of the Niger Deltaâ€, he said, â€œand let me appeal that no person or group of persons should try to build a wall around the Presidency and from that wall, start despatching stories that are not true,Â as well as blackmailing people. If you push everybody away, it may not be to our benefit because the Presidency can not succeed in isolation.â€
According to him, â€œas an indigene of the Niger Delta region, states of the South- South geo-political zone have a moral responsibility to support the administration of President Jonathan.â€
Governor Uduaghan asserted that contrary to rumours being peddled about, the state administration has a cordial relationship with President Jonathan as far back as when he was Vice President and the state, through his active participationÂ and National Assembly members from the state , were involved in the emergence of the then Vice President as Acting President and later President.
He said he was unperturbed by the actions of those painting negative pictures about how the President emerged and cautioned Deltans against bringing the state and the Niger Delta region to disrepute in the eyes of other Nigerians.
The governor said all those who truly love Mr. President should collectively work for his success, as well as the betterment of the region.
On the 2010 Governorshp elections, Uduaghan commended those that have indicated interest, saying that everybody had the right to aspire to contest for any office.
He, however, said such rights should be exercised within the ambit of the law in a manner that wouldÂ not cause violence or breach of peace in the state , as the government would not hesitate to deal with people that foment trouble in accordance with provisions of the law.
Earlier, the chairman of the Delta Elders Council, Chief Sefia said that the council was committed to ensuring that the Governor was re-elected for a second tenure come 2010.
Dignitaries and prominent politicians from the three senatorial districts of the state, including former deputy governor,Â Evang. Simeon Ebonka, Senator Fred Brume, Prof Sam Oyonvbaire, Dr Pius Sinebe, Senator Francis Nwajei,Â Prof B.I.C. Ijomah,Â Prof Abednego Ekoko andÂ Senator Stella OmuÂ attended the meeting.