The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has announced former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe as Director-General of his campaign.
In a statement, Omo-Agege, who is also the Deputy Senate President, stated that Orubebe is bringing on board a towering wealth of experience into the campaign.
“Orubebe shall, side by side with me, lead critical engagements and drive consultations, and by his renowned robustness, up the ante for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Together with the rest of the team, we shall show PDP the way out of Government House come 29 May 2023″, he said enthusiastically.
The former Minister in the PDP administrations of Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua (now Late) and Dr Goodluck Jonathan resigned from the party last month claiming that “the present situation in the party does not inspire confidence that it is ready to regain power in 2023″. Orubebe was reputed for staging a show during the final stages of the result announcement for the 2015 presidential election in which he accused the then Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega of being partial. APC won that election.
Omo-Agege said that the selection of the Ijaw-born politician was straightforward given his knowledge, capacity and pedigree. “Bringing him on board strengthens the campaign organisation straightaway, and builds a strategic redoubt of crucial stakeholders at the grassroots for the contest ahead”.
According to him, “when news of Elder Godsday Orubebe’s resignation from the PDP filtered in in June, our campaign organisation applauded him for toeing the path of progress and enjoined him to pitch tent with progressives in the APC, and help in the task of taking over Government House come 2023. I am proud to announce that he heeded that call and joined our party, the APC, in his ward at Burutu Local Government Area.
“He will be bringing to our campaign organisation his vast reach at the grassroots, as well as at the state and federal levels, having been a supervisory councillor and chairman of local government, a state party chairman, and a two time minister of the Federal Republic”, Omo-Agege said.
Orubebe was born 6 June 6th at Ogbobagbene in Burutu Local Government Area of the state. He attended University of Lagos, where he earned a B. Sc in Political Science in 1985. He later earned a Master’s degree in International Relations at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.
Orubebe was supervisory councilor and later chairman of Burutu LGA. In July 2007, the then President Yar’adua appointed him Minister of Special Duties. He was later to become Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs when the ministry was created in December 2008.
When he eventually became full fledged Minister of that ministry, one of his key achievements was to drive the construction of the East/West Highway in a rapid fast track. Under his watch, the Ministry constructed 38 out of 42 bridges, and over 900 culverts of the 1,000 designed for the road.
Orubebe was also at the forefront of negotiating peace with Niger Delta militant groups, which had brought crude oil production in Nigeria down to less than 400,000 barrels a day from over 2.5 million barrels, in protest of perceived social, economic and environmental injustice in the region.
Working with then Vice President, and later President Jonathan, he shares the credit of instituting the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, which successfully won the hearts and minds of most Niger Deltans and brought peace to the region.
Orubebe resigned from office in February 2014 to contest for the governorship of Delta State in the build up to the 2015 general elections.