By Simon Adewale &Chancel Sunday
Godwin O. Ogobiri is the President of the Southern Zone Young Stars Association, SZYSA, in Delta State. In this interview, the youth leader, popularly called DJ, speaks on the aspiration of the pioneer president of the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Dr Felix Tuodolo, to represent Patani/Bomadi Constituency in the House of Representatives in 2019 on the platform of the PDP.
What is SZYSA all about?
SZYSA is a youth political movement formed in 2012 for the purpose of fighting for political dividends in riverine communities. We carry out campaigns and media appraisal of the issues bedevilling our terrain to draw government attention.
What informed your organization’s decision to support Tuodolo’s aspiration to represent Patani/Bomadi Federal Constituency?
We are aware of who Dr Felix Tuodolo is and what he stands for. He stands for the well-being of the Niger Delta. Tuodolo does not need any introduction in this country.
Members of SZYSA certainly know what Tuodolo’s representation means, not only for Patani/Bomadi Federal Constituency, but Niger Delta as a whole. That’s why we decided to root support for his aspiration.
What do you think Patani/Bomadi constituents stand to achieve in Tuodolo’s representation at the National Assembly in 2019?
We will achieve a lot when Tuodolo is elected to the National Assembly. Niger Deltans, not only his constituents, will feel the benefit of Tuodolo’s presence at the National Assembly because he is a detribalized leader and that shows in his antecedents. For example, underdevelopment in the Niger Delta, environmental degradation/pollution, unemployment, resource control, the oil industry, youth empowerment among others are issues we believe he is going there to agitate for. We believe that Tuodolo is going there to make input regarding laws that will better the Niger Delta and her people. Patani/Bomadi really needs change. For example, Bomadi has no electricity and we believe that good representation can fix such an issue.
What are the strategies in place to actualize the Tuodolo project in 2019?
SZYSA has made arrangements with some political and youth pressure groups to carry out massive campaigns in the creeks to sensitize the people on the importance of the Tuodolo 2019 project. The Tuodolo project is a project for the Niger Delta. It is a project for the future of the Niger Delta youth and we have to use all available machinery to actualize it in 2019.
But the incumbent lawmaker, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, has also indicated interest to contest in 2019. What do you think about this?
It is no news that Mutu has been there since 1999, which suggests that the constituents have been so benevolent to him to have allowed him to stay that long. Now, the appointed time has come for a change because the calibre of person we have been waiting for this long has finally come. Dr Felix Tuodolo is the people’s choice and I urge Mutu to also show appreciation to the constituents by giving way honourably.
To be in an elective office for twenty years is no joke and Mutu must have to show appreciation to his constituents for their benevolence.
So, what is your advice to the constituents in respect of the Tuodolo project in 2019?
What I want to tell my fellow constituents is that the Tuodolo 2019 Project is the people’s project and we must deliver it. I urge all delegates to do the needful by giving him the party mandate because he possesses the requisite qualities to represent the constituency at the national level. I also urge all eligible voters in the constituency to go and register, and get their PVCs because that is the weapon to effect the change.