By Akpokona Omafuaire
Following a session with traditional rulers of Ijaw extraction at the Palace of the Pere of Ogulagha Kingdom in Warri, Delta State last week, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs spoke in an interview with some newsmen. Excerpts:
Why are you here today?
I am here today because of the false and nonsense things that people have been writing in the papers including writing false and stupid things to the EFCC. That is why my traditional rulers in Delta State were worried and they invited me to come and brief them, so I came in here to have a meeting with them and to talk to them about how I have lived as a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria, and also to debunk those false allegations, stupid things that they are talking about.
Everybody in Delta State know that I have built my integrity over the years as a Councillor, and as a Local Government Chairman, as executive second Board member of state primary education board, as an Adviser to the former Governor on Urban and Regional planning, as a state Chairman of the ANPP, Delta State and I have been a Minister for six years. So if Orubebe is that bad, there is no way any President will tolerate him. And so I have come to discuss with them and I am going back to Abuja to continue the good work we are doing to support Mr. President in the transformation Agenda to transform the country.
Can you react to your purported suspension by a faction of the PDP in Burutu local Government Area of the State?
Well, I thought I reacted to that issue when I was asked by the press. I did say that some charlatans who I describe as people that are having political dance met and ascribed to themselves powers that they don’t have to talk about things.
Well, I don’t want to talk about it, well they remain my brothers and sisters but I feel sad that people who are supposed to know what is right and good do not understand the constitution of the PDP and the power they should have and so I don’t think about it, I am moving forward and I will continue to support the PDP in Delta State and I will continue to support the Governor of the state in all its activities to see that we have a better state here in Delta State and I will continue to support the PDP at the national level to see that we get to the level that we are supposed to be.
I have talked about the East-West road a number of times. A road that had no programme, no financial programme, no design, I did it. A road that has 42 bridges spanning from 70 to 850 metres, I came on board as a Minister, I have completed 36 of the 42 bridges, a road that has over 1,000 culverts, today, we have completed over 704 culverts. This (last) week I addressed the press and I did say that by December 2014, this road which has been there since 2006 will be delivered to Nigerians particularly Niger Deltans by December 2014.
What is the outcome of your meeting with your traditional rulers?
Well, it was a nice meeting, a meeting between fathers and their child, we had a very good meeting and I think that when they come out, they will be able to tell something good about the meeting, they are always proud of this their son.
What is your relationship now with Chief Edwin K. Clark?
Chief E.K.Clark is a leader of the Ijaw people, he is a father and will remain so. Our relationship is still cordial. We work together for the interest of the Ijaw people, we work together for the interest of the state, we have a cordial relationship.
What is the way forward to having a genuine reconciliation in PDP in the state?
I don’t think we have any problem in Delta State PDP, Delta PDP remains strong and PDP remains the only party in this state there is no other party in this state, the party is strong, we have a very solid, strong and vibrant state party Chairman. We are working with him to deliver PDP in 2015 again.