By Ochuko Akuopha

UGHELLI – DEPUTY Senate President and gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said that if elected in the 2023 general election, his administration would not be interested in probing the outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administion as long as 13% derivation refund is properly accounted for.

Addressing APC supporters and party faithful during the Ward-to-Ward campaign at Abari, Koloware, Agoloma and Uduophori, Patani Local Government Area, Omo-Agege noted that his focus on assumption of office would be to hit the ground running “because there is so much work to be done.”

He emphasised that the level of underdevelopment and rot in infrastructure in the State were in dire need of urgent attention,

Saying that he was saddened by the level of underdevelopment in Patani Local Government Area, he stressed that the current PDP-led government have not given Patani people and other riverine communities in the state their due share despite their contributions to the economy of the country.

Reiterating that Delta is the richest state in the Niger Delta region, he lamented that the huge resources that have accrued to the state in the past years were not judiciously and fairly used to the benefit of all Deltans.

“Today I am putting myself forward with my team to rescue Delta from its current drift, and redirect it to the path of progress and development.

“I am not interested in probing Okowa, as long as he returns our money”, adding that the “eye is placed in the front for a purpose, hence it was not placed at the back, as a governor I will not be looking backwards.

“I have decided to lead this challenge and get rid of the Okowa-led administration and set Delta State in a proper course of development. And for us to achieve this, we’ve decided and have consulted with the best brains we could put together to come up with an agenda and a manifesto which we have christened the E.D.G.E Agenda.

“In that E.D.G.E Agenda, we are looking at what heals our people, and what heals the people of this kingdom. For the most part, they’ve gone to school, graduated over six, seven and eight years and haven’t gotten jobs.

“So, we are determined to create an enabling environment where companies that were here before but for one or two reasons or the other, they’ve decided to relocate. We are on the course to attract them back to the state so that they can create employment and empowerment opportunities for our people.

“Now how do we do that? First, we must address the security concerns because most companies left because of the issues of insecurity. So, we’ve also decided as part of that manifesto to push for enduring peace and security for the state.

“How do we intend to do that? First, we will invest in our security architecture. There are a lot of states that have done that also. It’s expensive, but when you do a cost-benefit analysis of what you are investing you will know that it’s worth it. About four to five states in the country have invested in purchasing security devices. Devices that you could use to track people that are into kidnapping, banditry and killer herdsmen.

“It’s not about my comfort and happiness. It’s about the comfort and happiness of all Deltans. For the past seven and half years, because of who we are in this committee of state in this country, we are one of the richest states. First in Niger Delta and of course in Nigeria. As a consequence of that, we have so many resources that come to this state.

“Take a look round the state and round Patani because I don’t want to take you on a voyage of excursion. Looking around Patani local government area, I can’t see any trace of what is about N4 trillion that has come to this state.

“Our people are suffering amid plenty. I don’t want to run down states, but there are certain states whose monthly allocations sometimes aren’t up to Ughelli North or Uwvie local government areas of Delta state, but they are still doing well. But you come here and you don’t see anything.

“Now people are asking questions ‘why is that the case”? We don’t want to probe or pursue anybody, but we are only saying that there has not been any proper judicious and equitable allocation of the resources that have come to this state in the past 7 years.

“Our opponents do not see anything wrong with that rather they want to continue on the same path, and that is why they have come up with the M.O.R.E Agenda. The M.O.R.E Agenda as we understand it is More Loans, More Deprivations. Here in Patani’s local government area, almost all of the projects supposedly from the state government have not been approved.

“They want to continue with more of that. They’ve had our fathers, our mothers, our brothers and sisters who have given the best parts of their years in service of this state and they have retired. All that they expect is their entitlement to pension funds have given the best part of their years and have made contributions, therefore it’s not a grant nor is it a gift.

“They made contributions to the government with the expectation that upon retirement they will be entitled to their gratuities and pensions as when due. But today they are not even getting that. Every day you see them. Some have retired over six, seven and eight years crying. Some of them have died. Some are being maltreated by the current government.

“When Okowa came on board, school fees in DELSU were N27,000 per session, but today he increased it to almost N400,000. These same people, these same parent that are not getting any increment in their salaries are the people whose children are attending.”


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