NDUDI Elumelu, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Health, in this interview, spoke on why he wants to be governor of Delta State in 2015 and calls for power to shift to Delta North Senatorial District should be seen as a collective agenda by other senatorial zones. Excerpts:
BY CHARLES KUMOLU
On why he wants to govern Delta State in 2015
I want to run because I have passion for my people, I believe they deserve the best and I think I can represent them. One can look at what I have been doing in the House of Representatives. Going by the opinion of my constituents I have represented them well for two terms now.
It was based on my good representation in my first term that informed their voting me again for a second term. If we leave the issue of passion for the people, you look at those things that you can do if given the opportunity to be there.
I know there is a system in place at the moment which is, of course, the existing government; I intend to continue from where the government will be stopping; to ensure that whatever project or drive that commenced from the existing government will be continued by our own government.
I will channel whatever I will do based on the manifesto of the party, by ensuring that we bring to bear those things that are enshrined in the party’s manifesto in administering the state.
On agitation for power shift to Delta North and whether is formal agreement on that
I don’t want to talk about the issue of agreement but to talk about understanding.
Understanding is natural and moral that if two senatorial zones have had an opportunity, it is also good to understand that the last one that has not yet had the opportunity should morally be considered, provided that it is not tribal; that it is for the unity of the state and that the intent is not based on bias.
Morally, such scenario should be allowed to play and I support it. What we want is to have peace and continuous unity when the existing government expires and a new one takes over.
We want to continue building on the existing structure that the present government is putting in place and the only way we can do that is to have understanding among the three senatorial zones – Central, South and North senatorial zones.
None can do it alone; they need one another to ensure that they have a unity government.
On the basis of understanding and morality, I agree that what is good for the goose should also be good for the gander. The senatorial zone that has never been represented should be given an opportunity but bearing in mind that it must be a collective drive.
On what he wants to do that the current administration has not been able to do
There are two issues that are playing out and they are being tackled by the present government; one is revenue based on oil and revenue based on non-oil resources.
What you should be asking is how the next government will ensure that loopholes, if any, that are existing are tightened up so that we can maximise revenue generation either from the oil or non oil resources.
My dynamic governor, of course, set the pace by declaring that we should look at Delta beyond oil. If he said that, what it means is that any non oil area that can generate revenue to the state should be harnessed. Of course, our team will ensure we follow from where ever he will stop.
If at last we contest and eventually emerge, we will strengthen our IGR that is non oil based as well as fully capture oil-based revenue and channel them into infrastructure that will make life meaningful to the people where they do not exist and where they exist and yet to be completed ensure they are completed. In effect, there shouldn’t be any abandoned project.
On the avalanche of aspirants in Delta North
There is always a saying, ‘the more the merrier’. The Constitution allows everybody that meets the requirement to contest and you cannot stop anybody.
The fundamental human right makes provision for everybody to air his/her mind. So, if anyone is aspiring and hopes to govern his state, I don’t see anything wrong but it is left for the electorate to decide who will best serve them.
From the senatorial district that I come from, I’m aware that there is a system that is being put in place to look at all the aspirants’ antecedents, ask them questions and be able to come up with a sizeable number that can represent their interest.
In essence, whichever way it goes, the people will round round the person that is chosen.
I’m aware that such arrangement is in place and I have submitted myself to such process. Let me clearly say that ruling the state or having an ambition shouldn’t be a do-or-die affair.
If at the end of the primaries and I do not emerge, I will then support whoever emerges.
What is important is to move the state forward. It is not about selfish interest, ethnic issue or self empowerment. It is about the unity, peace and progress of the state; about the peace loving Deltans given an opportunity to select through voting, a credible governor that can effectively run the state.