By Emma Amaize & Emma Arubi
WARRI— GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan, Thursday, in Warri declared his intention to run for a second term in 2011, saying four years was not enough for him to bring to maturity the various landmark projects his administration initiated in the state.
The governor who announced his intention 24 hours after his party – Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rolled out its electoral guidelines for the forthcoming election on Tuesday said: “What we have done in the last three years is more of planning and initiation of projects, it takes several years for some of these projects to mature and it will just be fair for somebody who initiated these projects to see it to maturity.
“Four years is not enough to plan and execute such projects, we need more than four years and that is why I am offering myself for a second tenure as governor of Delta State.
“In doing so, I am not unaware that there will be the usual blackmail and political intolerance from some opponents but I want to appeal that the politics we are in now is not a do or die affair. I believe that if anyone has a better approach to what I am doing, he should come out and let’s talk about it and let the people decide on who to vote for.
I want to appeal to every contestant to make the debate issue_based so that we can have a peaceful Delta State.”
He said he did not say anything about his second term bid all these while because his party had not come out with its electoral guidelines and now that it had announced it, “I am formally announcing this morning (yesterday) my intention to run for a second term as governor of Delta State”.
The governor added: “In doing so, I believe and I do know that for over three years now as the governor of this state, I have tried to keep very faithfully to my three point agenda of peace and security, infrastructure development and human capital development.
You will all agree with me that between May 29, 2007 and today, Delta State has been a peaceful state. It is a much more peaceful state than what it was as at May 29, 2007.
Delta now more secure
“Ït is much more secure, people move around freer, the waterways are open, people can move around freely, especially in the urban areas, which they didn’t use to do before.
Businesses close late into the night unlike before; you would all agree with me that in the area of peace and security, Delta State is a better place.
“In the area infrastructure, we have gone ahead with our social infrastructure in the health, water, road and education sector. The second aspect of infrastructure is on the area of investment, which is power, transportation, seaport, airport, major highways and of course urbanization and ICT.
We have also designed the Warri Industrial Park and we are in the process of designing the Koko Export Free Zone, which are clusters for investors to come in.”
He noted that in the area of human capital development, his administration had tried as much as possible to improve the lives of the people, adding: “We have tried to improve on the lives of our pregnant women, we have tried to improve on the lives of our unborn children, we have tried to improve on the lives of our under-five children by instituting a free health care so that they would have a better and free access to health services.
“We have also tried to improve on the lives our children by making sure that they have access to education. We have removed every encumbrance in terms of finances such as examination fees and other payments that occur in both primary and secondary schools. So up to secondary school education is virtually free in Delta State.
“We have offered employment to many Deltans, over 14,000 have been employed in the last three years. We also tried to improve on the welfare of our workers.
When I came in, May 2007, there was 15 per cent wage increase, which the state government started paying faithfully and we also have the seven and half per cent pension scheme, which the state government has been paying too.
“We have also tried to attract investors into Delta State and there are lots of investment inquiries and I believe that in the next three to four years, we should be having our fertilizer plants, blending plants in the state because arrangements are far gone in those areas. Opportunities for people to get employed in the private sector are improving everyday.
“You will recall that for three to four years now, there had been no drilling activity by any oil company in this state but as at today, efforts are being made for drilling to go on because conditions in the waterways have improved.
You will also recall that a $5.9 billion Gas to Liquid plant has been constructed in Escravos, Delta State and is almost completed without hitches, and by next year, it will be commissioned. This shows how secure the state can be for investors.”