By Dipo Olowookere
A formidable group in Delta State known as Inspired Youths is drumming support for ex-governor and Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan to represent the zone in 2019.
The group which spoke through their leader, Joy Omodafe reiterated that their support for the former governor was not unconnected with his landmark achievements during his tenure in the state as governor.
She disclosed that they were prepared to mobilize thousands of their supporters who are mostly youths and women from across Delta South Senatorial District come 2019 elections especially as it has to do with their representation in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
Members of the group whose opinions were sampled agreed that they have not been feeling the impact of democratic dividends for a long time, but in 2019, things would be different as they are looking forward to a quality representation with Dr. Uduaghan at the National Assembly.
Between the two heavyweights who are the major contenders: the immediate past governor of the state, who is of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has been posing a problem to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent senator representing the district, Senator James Manager as he is generally adjudged to have good ideology and developmental programmes.
Pundits are of the opinion that the former governor is most favoured to represent the people of Delta South who are said to be tired of bad representations by previous representatives.
Their argument is hinged on the fact that those who have been in the National Assembly for the past 19 years have failed to make any meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The group also disclosed that one of the reasons they are prepared to follow the former governor is that he is synonymous with excellence, “He is not only a hard worker but a master planner whom observers believe stands a better chance with the growing strength and popularity of the APC in the state.
“This political oracle held forte while Chief James Ibori was away and the fortunes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state did not dwindle nor did they lose the state to the opposition.”
Joy Omodafe who is also the managing director of OJ Blizz, a popular event centre in Warri, equally stated that as governor of Delta state, Dr. Uduaghan created a lot of landmark achievements which still stands today in the Big Heart state.
“One, as Delta State governor, he did a lot for the state in health, education, roads, human capital development, job creation and meeting the needs of youths and the aged.
“There is no one who did not benefit from his programmes and this has endeared him to the people. Dr. Uduaghan commands respect amongst all the ethnic groups in the state, so it will be difficult for his opponent to defeat him,” she said.
Also lending their voices in support of Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial move, some members of the group, whose base spans across the eight local government areas of the senatorial district, said the group has mapped out plans to embark on massive grassroots rally to all the local government areas.
They disclosed that their resolves to campaign for him was based on his antecedents in peace building and achievements in public offices he held in Delta State.
The group cited some of his landmark achievements to include the 7.6km Umeh Road in Isoko, which ended 30 years of abandonment of the agrarian community, the Abigborodo Bridge project in Warri North, Ugbenu Koko Road, the 0-5 years free health care delivery programme across the state and the revolutionary Uduaghan Park, “which brought transportation across Delta State to an easy and comfortable ride with lowest fares”, and these make him eminently qualified to vie for the prominent legislative position in 2019.
The group also noted the construction of “10 International Model Schools” in the three senatorial districts of Delta State, the construction/renovation of hundreds of schools, the introduction of EDUMARSHAL programme to ensure the downtrodden children go to school free of charge as well as the payment of enrollment fees for SSCE candidates as some other reasons that informed their decision to back Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition. She also noted that the ex-governor’s current empowerment programmes and provision of teaching and learning materials to schools in the rural areas are quite commendable.
They summed up that a man who sacrificed his senatorial ambition for the sake of peace in Delta State, particularly inter-ethnic harmony in Delta South in 2015 should be given all the necessary support to represent Delta South in 2019. They also describe the former secretary to Delta State Government as “an intellectual and bridge builder with the requisite national as well as international connections for the job.
Speaking further on the immediate-past governor, the group expressed appreciation to the former governor for heeding to the cry of the people from the region, which has been neglected and grossly marginalized by the Federal Government due to lack of robust and effective representation at the upper house of the National Assembly.
BEDC Promises to Restore Electricity to Delta Community
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) has promised to restore electricity to the Agbarho community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
This was disclosed by the Head of the Community Relations of BEDC, Mr Simple Ugherakpoteri, at a meeting between the company and leaders of the community.
He explained that the prolonged power outage in the community was caused by a heavy downpour that destroyed electric poles.
He stated that BEDC’s men were already working and power will be restored immediately they are through.
Mr Ugherakpoteri also promised to look into the issue of overbilling and estimated bills complained about by the community.
Responding on behalf of the community, President General of Agbarho Urhobo Improvement Union, Mr Monday Igho-Odiphri, described the meeting as fruitful and expressed hope that power will be restored to the community as soon as possible.
He urged BEDC officials to keep to their own part of the agreement and promised to give all necessary assistance, assuring that the BEDC office will not be relocated from the community.
Recently, members of the Delta community took to the streets to protest against the incessant power outage in the area and outrageous estimated bills being imposed on them by the company.
BEDC is responsible for the retail distribution of electricity in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ondo States with geographical coverage of 55,770 square kilometres.
The company operates from 25 business districts with approximately 350 offices located across the four states with about 13 million people and about 4 million households.
The DisCo is the 4th largest in distribution capacity and 3rd largest in the number of households among the Distribution Companies (Discos) in Nigeria.
Apprehension Over AMCON MD’s Visit to EFCC
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The visit of the Managing Director of Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Ahmed Kuru, to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is already causing apprehension.
Mr Kuru was reportedly grilled by the anti-graft agency on Wednesday after he was invited by the organisation for questioning.
Already, it is being speculated that his ordeal with the EFCC may be connected with the plans by AMCON to name and shame chronic debtors, who took loans from commercial banks but refused to repay as promised.
Yesterday, the AMCON MD was grilled by the agency over allegations bordering on the diversion of assets and the sale of the properties to his associates at ridiculous prices.
According to reports, Mr Kuru allegedly sold properties valued at billions of naira belonging to Atlantic to another despite a court case on the assets.
Atlantic was accused of loan default with Skye Bank and the properties in collateral were seized and allegedly sold below the prevailing market value while the action was instituted in court.
Amid these accusations, the EFCC is yet to comment at the time of filing this report.
AMCON is an agency set up by the federal government to acquire all toxic loans of commercial banks, with the aim of recovering them.
In November 2021, the agency submitted a list containing its top 1,000 obligors owing N4.4 trillion to the National Assembly.
Mr Kuru had said with the support of the parliament and the Judiciary, recovering the total current exposure on all Eligible Bank Asset (EBAs), which stands at N4.4 trillion, may be possible before the sunset period.
He had lamented that more recently, due to the socio-economic downturn, the market values of assets have significantly reduced, lower than the valuation at the point of EBAs purchase, making it extremely difficult to consummate sales transactions.
“To enable AMCON to succeed in its national call to duty, AMCON solicits the continued support of this Distinguished Committee. The Judiciary must be encouraged to respect the provisions of the law that require them to fast-track cases before them, issue certificates of judgement on properties, which the Corporation has no collateral and demand debtors to deposit Judgment sum before proceeding to appeal any judgement,” he had stated.
NSCDC Denies Operating Illegal Oil Bunkering Site
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has debunked the rumour that its marine exhibits yard in Ogbogoro jetty, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, was an illegal oil bunkering site.
This was made known by the Rivers State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Aliyu Bature, who explained that the Ogbogoro jetty has remained its marine exhibits yard for over 10 years.
He added that every marine exhibit like boats, vessels, barges drums, arrested by or handed over to the Corps by sister agencies for oil theft are usually detained at the yard, pending investigation and court prosecution.
This follows claims made by Obio/Akpor LGA Chairman, Mr George Ariolu, that the NSCDC marine exhibits yard in Ogbogoro was being used for illegal bunkering activities.
In the reaction to the allegation, Mr Bature disclosed that the NSCDC Commandant General, Mr Abubakar Audi, in December 2021 visited the said yard, maintaining that it was a known fact that the yard has been the Corps’ marine exhibits yard.
The agency said some of the exhibits, including 220 drums of AGO and eight Cotonou boats in the yard were seized by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to the NSCDC last week, while other vessels were taken by operatives of the Corps.
He disclosed that the agency has got an intelligence report that hoodlums were planning to attack the yard, by setting it ablaze in order to destroy the exhibits, assuring that such plans will be strongly resisted.
“This place is our marine exhibits yard and not an illegal dump. Most of the exhibits here were arrested by the Navy and handed over to us, while some of the arrests too were made by us.
“The commandant general was here in December and he’s aware that this place is our exhibits yard.
“The Commandant General has deployed personnel to ensure the place is secured, Ogbogoro jetty is a no-go area for anybody because destroying this place means destroying the exhibits to prove that these products were all stolen.
“We had it on good authority that hoodlums were planning to attack this place in order to destroy the exhibits and we will not allow that,” the statement said.
The NSCDC also urged members of the public to report any personnel of the organisation who is involved in the business of aiding and abetting oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism, warning that the agency will not hesitate to show such person the way out.
“If any of our personnel is caught, please report the person to us and we will discipline the person accordingly.
“The NSCDC leadership does not in any way condone acts of indiscipline. We are charged to protect critical national assets and if any of our personnel is involved, we will not take it likely.
“That is why those who were in charge of the anti-vandal unit have been disbanded, and are being investigated currently by the committee set up by the Commandant General,” the statement said.
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