By Anthony Arugba
As part of his human capital development drive, Delta State Organizing Secretary, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Chief Sunday Onoriode, last Friday, empowered 123 party faithful with N5, 000 each, cutlasses and files to boost their farming activities in the state.
The beneficiaries, who were visibly elated at Oria-Abraka, consists of males, females and youths cuts across the 12 units that makes up Ward 3, Abraka in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state.
Exactly 10 persons (both males and females) were selected based on their commitment and hard work to the growth and development of the party in the ward from the 12 units while three persons were recommended at the request of the President-General of Umiaghwa-Abraka kingdom.
Recall that for easy administration of the various wards in the 25 local government areas of the state, the party, in her wisdom, shared the various wards into units to enable it members win more souls for the party and to ensure that it remains a stronghold in the state.
The event, which took place in Oria-Abraka, had in attendance, the Member representing Ethiope Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, Hon. Barr. Lovette Idisi; the second Deputy President-General, Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, and leaders of the party in the ward, Chief Captain Tony Onoharigho; Senior Political Adviser to the state Governor, Chief Festus Ochonogor; the Leader of PDP in the local government, Chief Bernard Edewor; the local government chairman of the party, Mr. Felix Erhimedafe and other notable personalities.
Speaking at the general ward meeting/farmers’ empowerment programme, Chief Sunday Onoriode, said the move was not because he has enough money, but a way of complementing the efforts of party faithful who he noted have slaved to see to it that party remained a stronghold in the ward.
He thanked them for their unalloyed support for the party by coming out en masse to vote massively for the party during the just concluded local government elections which saw the party clinch all the 25 local government seats in the state.
Onoriode said, inter-alia : ” I remembered vividly during the just concluded local government election in January, all of you came out en masse to cast your votes for our great party despite the hurdles of restriction of vehicular movement and postponement of the election.
” Without a shadow of doubt, you have proved yourselves over and over again that you stand with our great party. Looking at this commitment, I decided to organize this empowerment for you especially now that you are about going into the farming season to help boost your output at the end.
” I know this is not enough, but it is a way of saying ‘thank you’ for standing by our great party. You know, these are hard times for our state and country but we will not allow this to deter us from showing appreciation to you for coming out in the hot weather and queuing in the sun to cast your votes.
” For those of you yet to be empowered, this is not the end of the road. I want you to know that this is the first phase of empowerment and another will take place very soon, so; it is turn by turn because due to the huge financial commitment involved, we cannot empower everybody at the same time, which is why I implore you to be patient and committed.
He charged them to perceive the empowerment as icing on the cake, adding that more good tidings awaited them and the only way to benefit from the dividends of democracy, was to sustain its unalloyed support for the party in the ward and local government.
The PDP scribe said : ” Yes. You have worked for the growth and development of the party without doubt, but you must not relent, you must keep the flag flying because more good tidings is on the way for you all.
” Please, avoid at all cost all divisive tendencies. You must abhor division like a plague because a kingdom divided against itself is headed for ruin. I am happy that such destructive activities is not playing out in this ward and you must keep the unity intact.”
The political adviser to the governor, Chief Festus Ochonogor, commended Onoriode for the empowerment, saying that such move was a major advancement to the growth and development of the party in the ward.
He called on all party faithful to continue to support the Governor Okowa led-administration and the party especially now that 2019 was around the corner to ensure that the second term dream of Okowa came to reality.
Ochonogor urged party faithful to honor the rotational arrangement of the PDP by ensuring that Okowa secured the party’s ticket come, 2019.
He said, inter-alia : ” The party in her wisdom came up with rational arrangement so that Delta North, South and Central can have their own shot at the governorship position. So far, Delta Central has its opportunity in former Governor James Ibori (8years); Delta South-former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan ( 8years) and now Okowa, is currently serving his first tenure and it is only fair for him to complete his 8 years as well.
” I want to appeal to all to guard against anything that will jeopardize this arrangement. South and Central have had their turns, please, let North enjoy same benefit because anything short of this arrangement will be injustice to the North.”
On his part, the Hon. Idisi, thanked the state organizing secretary, Onoriode for carrying out such empowerment despite the economic situation, even as he called on the beneficiaries to justify the empowerment by putting into judicious use what they have been given.
He assured them that the party has their interest at heart and that all that is required of them was for them to sustain their support for the party in the years to come, insisting that as long as they stood by the party, more dividends of democracy would continue to come their way.
Also speaking, the party’s local government chairman, Mr. Felix Erhimedafe, said : ” I am elated today by this uncommon show of commitment by Onoriode. This is a clear indication that the party has committed leaders in the local government. We pray that God will expand your coast in the years come.”
The beneficiaries, who were visibly elated, sang and danced for Onoriode, praying that God would continue to provide for him to enable him do more for party in the ward and the state at large.
While expressing satisfaction over the empowerment, they claimed this was the first time such thing was happening in the history of the ward and that they would continue to make the party proud in subsequent elections, especially the 2019 governorship elections.