The Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has assured that a federal government led by the party would work with the incoming APC state government to dredge the Escravos bar, and grant ships unencumbered access to Warri, Koko and Burutu ports.
While addressing members and supporters of the APC during the party’s ward-to-ward campaign in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area on Monday, the Deputy Senate President encouraged the Itsekiri to vote for their son in-law, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as President, and himself as governor of Delta State “so that with concerted efforts between Tinubu and I, we would bring the much needed development to this land, starting by making Koko, Burutu and Warri ports work again”.
Omo-Agege, who is also the Deputy Senate President, made a strong case for Joel Onowakpo Thomas, the party’s senatorial candidate for Delta South, as well as other candidates of the APC, whom he described as adherents that would give the party the needed support at various levels of government.
According to a statement by the Director of Communications and Media Strategy for the state APC campaign council, Olorogun Ima Niboro, Omo-Agege demanded that former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan should apologise to the Itsekiri nation over what he described as his “near criminal neglect of his native Warri North Local Government Area both as Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for four years and Governor for a further eight years”.
He accused Uduaghan of conniving with other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, including its senatorial candidate, Michael Diden (well known as Ejele) to hoodwink them into supporting Okowa and party’s gubernatorial candidate, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, “in spite of the obvious sufferings of the Itsekiri people”.
Omo-Agege said: “In 2015 and 2019, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa came to this place asking for your votes and promising to bring prosperity to all Deltans. He failed woefully.
“In connivance with Speaker Oborevwori, Okowa has collected over N3.5 trillion as FAAC (federal revenue allocation) and 13 percent derivation revenues; and another N270 billion as 13 percent refunds. He has borrowed an additional N400 billion. Yet, there is no development project worth N200 million in Koko”.
According to him, almost all projects on ground in the town were influenced by a foremost APC leader, Dr Alex Ideh, when he served as Commissioner under former Governor James Ibori.
“This is Uduaghan’s local government area. He was SSG for four years, and had power to influence development projects. He was governor for eight years, but see his local government. He disappointed his own people, and now he wants to join forces with Okowa to further punish them.
“My late grandfather, the Nana of Koko, was, in the words of the curator of the Nana Museum which I influenced to Koko, the governor of Benin River. By God’s grace, I am going to be governor of Delta State and I am going to be a good governor. I promise that the Koko/Ugbenu Road that was abandoned by Uduaghan and Okowa will be fixed. The Koko Stadium project, which started in 2008 and was abandoned by Okowa and Uduaghan, your son will be completed by me, also your son, as governor.
“I commit that I will put a hospital in Warri North that will take care of the health needs of the people. Given the level of contribution to the state economy, I commit to site a state-owned tetiary institutions each in Ijaw and Itsekiri lands. It is your right. You were denied by Uduaghan and Okowa, but I will restore them to you”.
Omo-Agege admonished the people not to fear Ejele on election day. “I, Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy President of the Senate, will ensure adequate security to protect you as you come out to cast your votes”, he said.
Earlier on, Ideh lamented the level of infrastructure decay of Koko and called for total support for APC candidates during the elections.
Founding leader of the APC in the state, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor charged the Itsekiri to mobilise Deltans to vote Tinubu and Omo-Agege being their in-law and kinsman respectively.
According to him, the Itsekiri nation has never had it so good with the APC presidential candidate, an accomplished politician, as their in-law, and the APC governorship candidate as a grandson of the Nana of Koko.
Meanwhile, Omo-Agege has ascribed the festering Aladja/Ogbe-Ijaw conflict to official wickedness of the Okowa/PDP government. In Ogbe-Ijaw where his campaign also touched down, the governorship candidate said that the Urhobos and Ijaws of the Niger Delta are one and the same people, and that the state government was, by divide and rule, benefiting from an unnecessary conflict.
He pledged to move with dispatch to resolve the issues that sustain what he described as a “quarrel among brothers”, while pleading with all parties to cease further hostilities.
Omo-Agege’s running mate, Rt. Hon. Friday Osanebi told the Ijaw and Itsekiri people at the rallies that the ruling PDP has obviously become the opposition party in the state, given the massive acceptance the people have shown APC.
In a statement titled “We Will Not Abandon You Like They Did”, he said: “You have openly showed us that your hearts, minds and most importantly your votes are with all candidates of the APC and this we appreciate”.