MAJORITY of Deltans have come to see the emergence of Olorogun Otega Emerhor as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the most salutary thing to have happened to Delta State since 1999.
Their optimism about Emerhor’s political stance and fortune derives from the stark reality of underdevelopment which successive governments foisted on Delta State and Deltans.
Since the emergence of the current political dispensation one question that has been a constant refrain on the lips of Deltans is ‘’why are we so unfortunate in matters of governance?”.
However, the coming of Emerhor as the flag bearer of the APC is fast altering the frightening scenario. The lament cum question has now been replaced by an incurable optimism regarding the popular, progressive and pragmatic vision Emerhor is bringing to bear on governance as from May 2015 once Deltans entrust him with the mandate to govern the state.
Otega Emerhor is best known as Nigeria’s most successful business turn-around guru and corporate angel who has given life and verve to many hitherto failed enterprises. Thus, when Deltans got wind of his governorship aspiration they heaved a sigh of relief knowing and trusting that a political redeemer was around the corner.
Emerhor is an astute manager of men and his management acumen is what Delta State needs right now to break loose from the vice grip of what has become perennial misrule engendered by those who have had to hijack the people’s electoral mandate. What further boosted the people’s confidence is Emerhor’s choice of political platform, the APC which is unapologetically progressive in words and indeed.
Those with a good sense of history are also aware that of all the states that once belonged to the progressive old Western Region, only Delta and Ondo States are presently out of the ruling fold of the politically progressive APC. The two states are fishes out of water and it has reflected in their arrested development.
When Delta was part of the old Bendel State and the Western Region it enjoyed the monumental infrastructural and educational development which the progressive ideals of Chief Obafemi Awolowo brought to bear on the space under his political control be it during the era of the Action Group (AG) or the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
A critical evaluation of the states under the control of the APC will reveal a trend that can be described as quantum leap in terms of development. The governors of the APC states seem to be in tune with the ideals of politics and governance which revolve round making life better for the people. The monumental achievements in Lagos, Kano, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers, Edo states among others speak volume for the developmental mindset of those in the APC. It is this fold that Otega Emerhor wants to take Delta State into. Most Deltans irrespective of age, religion, gender or ethnic affiliation have resolved their electoral choice for Emerhor come 11th April 2015 when they shall have the opportunity to speak with their ballot.
Emerhor came into the race fully prepared. His is a progressive ideology anchored on people centred development. As a development thinker Emerhor has articulated what he christened ‘’Ten Cardinal Points” to frog leap Delta State on the path of rapid development and bring government closer to the people. Those who know development politics and economics are settled on the fact that Emerhor’s ‘’Ten Cardinal Points” will do for Delta State what the Marshall Plan did foe Europe.
The highlights of the ‘’Ten Cardinal Points” include the provision of empowerment access point to youth, women and small and medium scale enterprises, provision of social benefits to the elderly, creating an enabling environment of peace and security, to get Deltans back to work so that they can earn a decent living, to upgrade and renew critical infrastructure to boost the state’s economy, state wide industrial revolution based on resuscitation of ailing industries and foreign investors led industrial regime.
Obaro Avae a public affairs analyst, wrote from Asaba, Delta State.