By Austin Ogwuda
GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State is now creating a pattern of creating drama during important state occasions. When he took the oath of office after last January’s gubernatorial re-run elections, Dr. Uduaghan made a dramatic arrival into the inauguration ground by driving himself into the Cenotaph, venue of the swearing in ceremony amidst cheers from the crowd.
Though he did not drive himself for his third inauguration on Sunday May 29, 2011 as he began a second term after a truncated first term he, however, made a dramatic walk-round after making an earlier arrival at the inauguration ground.
As he walked around he elicited cheers from the hundreds of people that had turned out to take front seats at the Asaba Cenotaph on that day. While he and the crowd enjoyed themselves, it was, however, a different story for his security details who had a hectic time controlling the enthusiastic crowd.
Among the dignitaries present were Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, Delta PDP Chairman, former civilian governor of the State, Senator Felix Ibru, two former deputy governors of the State, Chief Benjamin Elue, and Simeon Ebonka, the Olu of Warri, the Orodje of Okpe and Dein of Agbor among others.
Governor Uduaghan arrived for the inauguration at about 7.40 a.m. His early arrival stoked memories of the second inauguration last January. That ceremony commenced at about 4.30 p.m. about six hours after President Goodluck Jonathan gave the presidential assent to the new constitution which in effect made Governor Uduaghan not to benefit from the extended stay that many of his other colleagues who won re-election have won to their tenures.
Following his walk around, the Governor proceeded straight to his seat where he sat beside his wife, Roli. After the oath taking administered by the State Chief Judge, Justice Abiodum Smith the governor returned to his seat but not before a warm embrace and kiss from his wife.
Uduaghan who has a way of spicing his speeches with teasing jokes was in his elements as he delivered his inaugural speech.
While enumerating the projects already executed by his administration in the past four years he cited the television viewing centres located in some major towns in the state noting as he spoke “that the provision has afforded our youths the opportunity to watch their matches, Barca fans una do o!” he said ostensibly referring to the UEFA champions league final at London’s Wembley which was won by the Catalan giants the evening before.
As he was about ending his speech, Uduaghan took turns to thank different persons and groups that contributed to his re-election or were present at the inauguration. As he came to the turn of his one time foe and gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, he said “to my dear brother Chief Barrister, Ovie Omo-Agege and welcome back to the family (PDP).
Another point of interest was when Reverend Dr. Solomon Ademola Shola was delivering his short sermon during the inter-denominational church service that preceded the swearing in. He instantly received standing ovation when he charged the governor “to get rid of those who are not adding value to your administration and damn the consequence. I urge you to remain focused in adding value to the people and may God be with you”. The clapping from the audience drowned part of his sermon due to the deafening noise.