Founder of Faith Ambassadors of Christ Church Int’l and National Coordinator of Delta Connect Global (DCG), Pastor Vincent Udume Odogbor, in this interview, speaks on how to resolve the crisis in Delta State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) among other issues.
How do you think the rift in Delta PDP can be resolved amicably!
The rift in Delta PDP is artificial, and mainly interest driven. Once the interest across board is well harmonised, normalcy will automatically return. So, I think it is important for the leaders of the party to put ego aside, call their followers to sheath their swords and be ready to engage at the negotiating table. Conflict of interests is an integral part of the electoral process.
What sector in the state do you believe needs the next governor’s special attention to make Delta more viable?
The state, more than anything else, needs visible economic revival, stable power supply and adequate security. The next governor should focus on partnering stakeholders in the education sector to introduce the 21st century learning curriculum as well as paying more attention on developing the macro and micro agro economy, especially in the area of food and raw materials processing.
The incoming governor should site manufacturing companies close to farm produce to decentralize development activities across the state. This will have a positive impact on the economic fortunes of the state. I will also emphasize the need for wide consultations with stakeholders and investors to revamp the seaports in Delta.
There are job and revenue losses arising from the non-functional ports across the state. When the seaports begin to operate at full capacity, they will boost the fortunes of the state, as well as engage thousands of youths productively.
Do you believe that Deltans stand to benefit more by associating with the Atiku/Okowa presidential ticket?
As a pastor and advocate for justice, I believe in equity above any form of personal interest and would call on Deltans to stand on the side of equity. The Atiku/Okowa candidacy is anti-South. It makes no national sense to retain power in the North after President Buhari finishes his eight years term.
This is not just about Deltans or Atiku/Okowa being on the ballot. Their aspiration is not bad, but I think it’s ill timed and insensitive to the plight of the people of the South who should be producing the President in 2023. Power rotation is the only way a Nigerian from minority ethnic groups can have the opportunity to be President of this country someday. It is simple arithmetic to know that power should naturally move to the South.
This is not about what Deltans stand to benfit. The right thing should be encouraged and seen as done. When every Nigerian has a sense of belonging, it will promote peace and unity.
One of the major causes of agitation and youth restiveness in some parts of the country, especially in the eastern part of the country and the Niger Delta etc, is the lack of inclusiveness in the power rotation equation. In my personal opinion, I think other regions should support the South to produce the President in 2023 for equity, justice and fairnes to be upheld.
What are your worries for the 2023 elections if there are any?
I wouldn’t say I have any worries, because everyone expects INEC to do the right thing and avoid any form of compromise. Nigerians are looking up to them. The build-up to the 2023 elections is entirely different from previous elections. Awareness is high, and we about to experience an all time high participation of the youth population. I believe everyone is keeping a close watch as things unfold. However, from feelers, 2023 is going to be very interesting considering the level of consciousness and youth involvement.
What do you think is required from the incoming governor to sustain the relative peace in Delta?
The next governor must have the fear of God and a good heart with a human face to deal with the socio -economic and security problems of the state. Among those running for governorship, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori Francis stands out, and possesses the needed leadership acumen to sustain the relative peace in the state.
This he has demonstrated as Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, being the longest serving Speaker who was re-elected on the premise of satisfactory leadership. He is equipped, more connected to the people and understands the terrain; because he is a product of the grassroots, I think he understands the Delta terrain economically, politically and socially better, and that is very key in building a formidable security architecture across the state.
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