OLOROGUN Taleb Tebite is a former member of the Delta State House of Assembly representing Ughelli South Constituency between 2007 and 2015. In this interview, Tebite speaks on the awards conferred on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa by different media houses and organizations and his intention to return to parliament.
What is your comment on the awards conferred by different media houses and organizations on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over his developmental strides?
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa rightly deserves the awards. The development will spur him to do more because governance is all about the development of the people. Take a walk round the state and you will see that Okowa really wants to improve the life of Deltans. As a politician, I took time to drive round the Big Heart State and found that almost all the riverine communities in the state now have standard roads, all tarred. What Roadwell Contracting Nigeria Limited is doing in the riverine area is something else. Look at Oporoza township roads and Okerenkoko road projects, it’s wonderful. It is what Obakpor Engineering Nigeria Limited is doing on land. All I have to say is ‘thank you governor for a job well done’. Kudos must also be given to the Commissioner for Works and other Commissioners who are doing everything possible, for their boss to succeed.
Do you think Governor Ifeanyi Okowa deserves all the awards he bagged from the media houses and organizations?
He deserves the awards based on what everyone can see on ground. I will never align myself to those who specialize in tarnishing peoples’ names. I can boldly say that Okowa has scored above 90 per cent.
Why is it that you are always commending Okowa?
Whatever it takes me to say things the way they are supposed to be on the pages of newspapers and the electronic media, I will do it because this governor is a performer. If he is not a performer I stand to be challenged. A man who has done all that and still doing, and you are asking me, why I am singing his praise? I can go to any length to sing the praises of him. I do not want to join issues with people who are anti-developmental. This governor means well for his people, and I and the good people of Ughelli South Local Government Area that I represents will forever remain grateful to the administration.
Has the governor also done anything you can celebrate in the area of human capital development?
If there is any government that has employed youths more in Nigeria, it is the Delta government. When he came in as the governor, he initiated the YAGEP and STEP which has engaged over 10, 000 youths in various skills. I can attest to that in my local government area where several persons were engaged. Are we talking about the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, and civil service? The evidence is there and he is doing more.
Can you mention some of the things he has done for Ughelli South Local Government Area?
He has done a lot especially in the areas of infrastructure and education. They are there for everyone to see.
What is your response to the clamour by majority of your constituents that you should go for third term?
It gives me joy when people are saying ‘Olorogun Taleb Tebite, we want you again’. What else do you want me to say rather than to thank God for my modest way of living. I stand for my people and if these same people are saying they want me, what else do I say than yes to their clarion call for me to run for third term. I seek development and progress for my people because we are in a democratic era. And for you to enjoy democracy, you must have to do things on ground for your people. And that is why I say yes! Despite the fact that they said I have done well, I felt there was need to do more.
As a two-time member of Delta State House of Assembly, what can you boast that you did for the people?
Don’t forget that it was during my tenure that former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan completed the Olomu Bridge that is so strategic and economic driven. It links two kingdoms and neighbouring communities. So you can see that in Ughelli South Local Government Area, we have one of the best bridges you can ever think of. And if you look at other areas of the council, you have solar-powered street lights and water projects for people to have access to potable water and the upgrade of 2.5KVA electricity project at Ovwor which was awarded to Obakpor Engineering Company and the company completed it. In the area of education, the Model School at Ososu-Urhie community was completed. The renovation of classroom blocks at Etako Primary School, Okpare and other communities were all completed. There are other projects that I cannot mention here now.
As a former lawmaker in the state, and country, what do you think can be done to curb the present insecurity in the country?
The herdsmen and Boko Haram issues are being handled by the military. I want to leave that for them, but if you must kill to live, you have death waiting for you at your doorsteps.
What is your message to the people of Ughelli South as we approach the 2019 elections?
They should expect more good things from me if I am elected. Remember that dividends of democracy have no end, they should wait for more and better things will surely come to them.