… says agitation for resource control criminal
By Emmanuel Elebeke
A stalwart of All Progressive Congress (APC) and gubernatorial aspirant of the party in Delta State, Dr. Iyke Odikpo, says reactivation of defunct Forest Guards would help federal government curtail the excesses of the rampaging herdsmen attacks across the country.
Dr. Odikpo make the remarks on Wednesday during a chat with newsmen in Abuja.
He said the ongoing attacks in some states in the country can no longer be allowed to continue and called on federal government to reactivate the defunct Forest Guards across the country as an immediate and quick fix solution to the menace.
‘‘For me, one thing we have forgotten is the Forest Guards. Their duty is to guide the forest. I think that somebody should remind federal government to reactivate Forest Guides. They should reactivate it so that we will have people whose duty is to wake up in the morning, after their morning parade, go into the forest.
‘‘Herdsmen, whether they are foreigners, criminals or politically contrived militia will be taken care of by the forest police. We have left the forest open for too long, we should reactivate that,’’ he said.
Odikpo, who was a onetime senatorial aspirant in the state, said if elected governor of Delta state, he would bring his 33 years medical experience to bear by introducing a Mass Health Insurance Scheme that would target the common people in the state.
He also vowed to liberate the state from the grip of a cabal if elected as governor, insisting that Delta state must be liberated from the bondage of the cabals whom he said have subjected the state to misrule holding the state to ransom since 1999.
‘‘There is need for people to have free health across board through a mass insurance scheme where people will contribute monthly. You cannot isolate it from the level of Nigeria. The health cannot get to the peak, when the police are at the bottom.
‘‘I must introduce mass insurance scheme. That is the only way. Those that are healthy will pay for those that are sick. I am sure my Governor is doing something like that but do not know how he is doing it. I have been in the private sector so I know what is in the system, what we can do and what we cannot do.
“What is basically wrong with Delta State is doing things same old way. Delta state has been ruled by the same set of people since 1999. To get Delta out of that chain, you need someone with Ngige kind of mentality from 1999. If we don’t break the chain at the centre, we may continue to recycle the same people,’’ he said.
On the agitation for restructuring and resource control, Dr. Odikpo said the only way the agitation for restructuring would be achieved in Nigeria is only when the resources are equitably distributed and put into good use, saying that those agitating for resource control are not sincere.
‘‘There are different meanings to restructuring. Some people talked about taking power back to the regions, some say making things equitable. Restructuring to me is if things are working normally, Nigeria has enough money to give every citizen free health care, education and transportation.
‘‘Those in Dubai, it is the same resources we have they have. They pay $1 million into account of a citizen and he will go to school from it if he wants.
‘‘The agitation for resource control is a criminal agitation. When they get what they want they keep quiet. The agitation for me has a different view. Come to think about it, the 13% they give our governors, they use it to enrich themselves and cronies. In all these agitation, it is neither here nor there. For me, we need a government that is sincere, honest and accountable to the people,’’ he explained.
On what he would do to create jobs, he promised to turn Delta into a tourism attraction centre and to revamp the cargo airport to the delight of the Anambra business communities.
He equally assured of his determination to turn all the riverine areas in the state into investment destinations by construction of rail line across the coastal lines in the state.