By Lucky Oji
Olorogun Fred Okiemute Majemite is an Urhobo born patriot, founding member of Delta State ruling People’s Democratic Party ( PDP ), former commissioner and strong advocate of Governor Senator Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa’ s SMART Card Agenda.
In this with Sunday Vanguard, he bares his mind Governor Okowa‘s second tenure ambition and other sundry issues affecting Nigeria and Urhobo nation.
You recently embarked on an empowerment programme in your area. What informed your decision to do so?
It was not the first time I was doing it. It was done to let my people know that their support for our great party,the PDP is appreciated and to also let them know that empowerment programme cannot go round the people at the same time and that it is a continuous process. They should therefore be steadfast in their support for the PDP because it is the only party that can meet their yearnings and aspirations. PDP’s umbrella is big enough to cover everybody.
They should also be happy that they have a governor with a listening ear, a governor who means well for Deltans. He is a bottom up man that started from the grassroots and as such knows our problems. His numerous laudable empowerment programmes have positively touched the lives of Deltans. He has done very well.
Though it is not yet Uhuru, hence we are calling on him to come back to complete his good works.
The empowerment programme was carried out to let our people know that we have not forgotten them and to tell them to always support our indefatigable governor and the PDP
Delta Central of which you hail from is currently being represented by a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the Senate. Do you have any fears that this will adversely affect the fortunes of your party in your district come 2019 general elections?
I do not nurse any fear at all. It is nothing to worry about. The developmental strides of our hard-working governor are so numerous to campaign with in Delta Central and indeed Urhobo nation. So I do not have any doubt that come 2019 Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the PDP will sweep the polls in Delta Central and Delta State in general. Let me sound it loud and clear to the opposition through this medium that there is no vacancy in Government House, Asaba in 2019.
How do you see the defection of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to APC ?
(Smiles) It was unfortunate for him to take such action. Before his defection, there were rumours about it . So measures were adequately put in place to cushion the effect of his exit. We do not feel the impact of his defection to APC. However, it is hoped that as a politician who has benefited from our great party, the PDP, as a commissioner, SSG and governor, he will come back. More so, when he is presently in the midst of strange bed fellows.
What is your comment on the outcome of the primaries in PDP and APC?
Well, let me dwell on the primaries of PDP which I belong. You will recall that we lost at the federal level in 2015 because it was obvious that something went wrong. So, the PDP set up a body to look at why we lost. Some of the reasons were improper primaries, imposition of candidates and many people were not allowed to contest.
So this time around, PDP decided that there must be proper primaries. That was why the primaries that were conducted by PDP across the country, especially in Delta State were free, transparent and credible. So the problems they have in APC, we do not have them in PDP. We have put our house in order; we have learnt our lessons. More so, when our dear governor promised that he was going to conduct free, transparent and credible primaries in the state, not many people believed him but he kept to his words. That is why, he is fondly called Ekwueme, ‘the talk na do governor’
Even the primaries he conducted at the PDP National Convention was acknowledged as one of the freest and most credible in the political history of Nigeria by the opposition. I am sure that after his second tenure in 2023, he will act as a consultant on how to conduct free, transparent and credible elections.
As for the primaries in APC, I don’t want to comment on them. I am not a member of APC. However, Nigerians can see that the crisis rocking APC now was caused by improper primaries from the local to national levels which eventually led to the mass defection of APC members to our great party, the PDP.
How do you see the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of your party the PDP?
Well, I am not surprise that he won the presidential ticket of our great party because he is on ground. He has contested for the seat before. He sold his agenda and party delegates bought into it. That was why he had an overwhelming support of all the delegates. We are hopeful that he will win the presidential election next year.
What is your take on the ongoing debate on restructuring of Nigeria?
Well, the only way to move the country forward is for the country to be restructured. If the country is restructured, we will be one big family. Every unit of the federation will have the opportunity to excel and to some extent be independent. The centre does not produce anything. So the idea of depending on Abuja will not be there if the country is restructured. There will not be a situation where some regions are lording themselves over the others. Every unit will then have a sense of belonging in the absence lopsided appointments. There is too much power at the centre. Again, the essence of restructuring of the country is to balance the economy. So, restructuring of the country should be supported by all well meaning Nigerians.
What is your remark on the just concluded Urhobo National Day celebration?
It was a wonderful one. The President General of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU,Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga just told us what he has been doing since he was elected into office one year ago. This year’s theme is about unity. And we are very impressed with him and his executives. Urhobo nation cannot grow in the absence of unity and for us to be united; we must speak with one voice so that we can get whatever we are aspiring for as the fifth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria. There is strength in unity. This year’s topic is very apt. No matter the parties we belong to, at a point, we must speak with one voice to get what we want. United we stand, divided we fall.
The Urhobos should unite in their support for Governor Okowa in 2019 as it is the desire of every patriotic Urhobo person for an Urhobo to be governor of Delta State in 2023. To actualise this dream easily, the Urhobos should champion the support for Governor Okowa so as to get the support of the Anoimas and other ethnic groups in the state in the governorship contest come 2023.
Besides, governor Okowa has also done a lot for the Urhobos to deserve our one hundred percent support in 2019. He has always identified with the Urhobos in our endeavors as could been seen in his immense voluntary contributions towards the renovation of the ultra modern UPU Centre at Uvwiamughe – Agbarho and his physical presence at UPU Day. He ensured that who is who in his administration was at the event.
It is rare for himself and his deputy to attend the same function. This shows the high regard he has for the Urhobo nation. Whereas Urhobos in other political parties who were equally invited for the event, ignored the invitation or even did not send their representatives. So what else do we need from him( Governor Okowa )? One good turn deserves another. The Urhobos should therefore massively support his re-election in 2019.