As aspirants of the different political divide continue to put finishing touches to their electoral campaign, the Labour Party flagbearer of Warri North constituency contesting the Delta state House of Assembly, Oritsebemigho Eyeoyibo has promised to bring his business acumen to bear on the political fortunes of his constituency if elected. In this interview, the politician who doubles as renowned businessman listed some of the inherent challenges confronting Warri north to include but not limited to youth empowerment, education, infrastructural development and health and pledged to tackle them head-on. Excerpts:
How formidable is your party, Labour Party?
Labour Party anywhere in the world is supposedly the foremost party in the advanced world because Labour is formed by Labour Union. In this case in Nigeria, it is Nigerian Labour Congress. It is obvious that it should be about the most powerful party in any political system. Labour entails all facets of our working lives, including the market, schools, public
service, civil services etc. So, Labour in a true situation should be a very formidable force, and in the case of Nigeria, the party is formidable. But of course you know we have the two major parties PDP and APC. I think the next formidable party is Labour Party. Even those parties are part of Labour Party, so I think we should categorise Labour Party as the most formidable party in the country as it is in other parts of the world.
What did you see missing in Warri North with the present administration, that you want to correct if elected into Delta State House of Assembly?
I have been in politics both passively and actively in Warri North Constituency, Delta state and other areas where I have my businesses. As a result, I was called by my people because of the seeming degradation in all facets of lives there; economic, social and political lives of Warri North Constituency and Delta state in general. Warri North basically could be one of the richest local governments in the country. But go to that local government which is the major ten wards, eight and half of those wards are in the creek, others on land. Even on land the state of infrastructure, social and economic lives of the indigenes are in total turmoil and this is the reason why my people sent me. ‘We know you as an activist, people oriented person, come and represent us in State House of Assembly. So I am responding to that call and that is why I’m out to carry the flag of my people to help them from that deplorable condition, considering what is on ground and what should come to them from the state and country at large. That is my interest in the politics of Warri North.
What do you intend doing with Bamboo Plantation and reducing unemployment in Warri North?
In Warri North, fishing is our basic occupation apart from other professional jobs. Apart from fishing , commerce is another viable means of livelihood in my area. What I intend to do firstly is to rehabilitate most of our youths who had gone astray because they were no industries to engage them to work, the fishing community is virtually dead, in our communities most people have moved to the township because most of these communities have been eroded by wave line of the Atlantic ocean. So, one of the manifestos is to make all these wards, communities and towns habitable for the people so that they can come and get acclimatised and get involved with their first love which is fishing considering it is a river-rine area. My first point of attraction is commerce by way of boosting aquaculture, fishing culture of the people of that area, by providing good boats, fishing nets, improved mechanised fishing system comparable to those in the developed world. This will go a long way in improving their economic lives and youth development. Again, we have a major market, the Ogheye market within that jurisdiction, Warri North. The market has existed over the years but today that market is dead because people are not there to carry out buying and selling, there are no infrastructure to boost the activity. I will help if elected to upgrade the market to a level of attraction like Indonesia, Thailand etc. And this will attract our neighbouring communities to carry out buying and selling on the market day.
Another major challenge is that there are no link roads to those communities and I think Abigborodo – Ogheye link bridge will be worked on to link up these rural communities to land. This will be on top of my priority. This will enhance youth development, health, education, infrastructure etc.
Now that Delta state is dominated by PDP, won’t this affect your chances of winning?
Politics has gone beyond personal. It is now politics of people who you know that are qualified and able to be accountable to the people. It is not about PDP, APC and Labour Parties. It’s about individuals, and apart from the individual, Labour Party is not a push over in Delta state and of course you know my principal, Chief Ogboru has always won elections in Delta State. Also if you want to go on public rating, Labour Party as against other parties and other contestants rates number one in Delta state. So we don’t have any fear. We know come April 11, Labour Party will be victorious in Delta state.
Before now, do you have anyone in Delta State House of Assembly from Labour Party?
No. Of course you know Labour Party metamorphosed from a faction of DPP. And after the last election DPP had about 50 per cent of the people in the House till politics came into play and almost all of them decamped to PDP. So Labour Party is an upshot of DPP, a branch. I can confidently say that Labour Party holds way in Delta state House of Assembly, they even have members in House of Reps, Senate but under DPP.
How can you assess Delta state government?
Well, politically, economically and socially I think governor of the state has tried his best by carrying out his good policies and programmes for the people. I believe there is room for improvement. If I must score the governor I will score him above 70 percent. I also think that the leadership of Ogboru Labour Party if given a chance will do better.