The story of the immediate past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan is synonymous to “Joseph” in the Holy Book, the Bible, whom despite persecution, hatred and victimization stood tall because God was with him.
From his days as a commissioner, it has been one battle to the other but Dr. Uduaghan has always triumphed no matter the forces against him.
In saner political climes, the electorate would be out there looking for the brightest and the best of candidates; those with the requisite experience, character, clout and courage as well as the vision to right the wrongs of the past. But here, sad to say, some of us take obscene pleasure at running our heroes down. Must we stand logic on its head all on the altar of political expediency? Should we castrate our conscience on the lure of the lusty lucre?
These were the pertinent questions that come to mind, after reading through several tissues of lies, propaganda, unsubstantiated allegations against the former governor of the “Big Heart” state.
Since the defection of Dr. Uduaghan from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political tension in the Delta PDP has risen over the fear of the unknown as the 2019 general election draws near.
Latest is a letter credited to Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark JP to the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and published in some National Dailies of Monday, October 1, 2018, warning against the imposition of Dr. Uduaghan as sole candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta South senatorial district.
Reading Chief Clark’s letter leaves one astonished as to when has the Niger Delta leader became a member of the APC to be worried and concerned about its affairs? None of the Delta South senatorial aspirants in the party has cried foul; then, why is Chief Clark troubled? Surely, it’s the *‘voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau’.*
It’s important to note that unlike the PDP, all aspirants under the APC are men of purpose with a desire to cause a change in the lives of the people, hence, it’s a united voice. Therefore, the allegation is baseless, false, and neither here or there. The publication credited to the Ijaw leader is completely done in bad faith, and with malicious intentions to deliberately halt the soaring public support, ovation and acceptance that the aspiration of Dr. Uduaghan is enjoying from a preponderant majority of the people in Delta South and to also drag the entire APC leadership into disrepute. The allegation is an attempt to cause disintegration in the Delta APC family.
For the avoidance of any iota of doubt, Dr. Uduaghan has been on the campaign, moving from Itsekiri to Ijaw and Isoko areas in the past few weeks lobbying delegates to vote for him and telling them the reasons why they should give him their mandate; so, where does imposition come from? Since his ambition to contest the Senatorial seat became public, support has poured in from the whole Delta South and beyond.
This is a man whom the PDP government led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, out of envy and vendetta killed key human capital programmes, projects and legacies initiated by him during his tenure as the governor of the state. These include viable initiatives like the Delta Education Marshal popularly known as ‘Edumarshal’, free health care services, scholarship skills, free maternal care, overseas scholarships funding, Free WAEC, NECO and subsidy on public transportation which were embraced by the masses wholeheartedly. EduMarshal was to eradicate ‘street culture’ and pave way for ‘learning culture’. That has been cruelly dumped. EduMarshal that was jettisoned by the PDP-led government is being adopted by a progressive state like Edo and it is doing well there, helping the citizens.
It must be stated, however, that in this seedy season of campaigns of calumny, loaded lies are freely hawked in the political marketplace, to score undeserving points; it has become imperative to put the records straight.
Uduaghan distinguished himself in all the sectors he served. He is arguably one of the most successful politicians the Niger Delta have produced in recent times. His influence and popularity were not earned through a walk in the park, rather by the dint of his determination to make his people happy. His story is a very loaded one, his development efforts also extended to the Niger Delta region even though he was the governor of a state. He was deeply involved in negotiations with Niger Delta agitators and militants alike which let to peace in the region. Of course, where there is peace, there is development.
If one counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his finger of approval. That is the lot of a man who was trusted enough by the former governor of the state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, a big fish in all ramifications, to wear his big shoes as the governor of the state after the former had governed for eight years.
What has, however, baffled a lot of political watchers within the country and beyond, was why an achiever like Dr. Uduaghan went into hibernation after serving out a meritorious gubernatorial period despite pressure from his people when a lot of his under-achieving colleagues found themselves in the chambers of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja. When he addressed pressmen recently, the Itsekiri-born politician answered the question. He had said he took that option in the interest of peace in the state.
What more does Uduaghan need to convince the good people of Delta South that he possesses the sterling leadership qualities to bring change in the zone? Little wonder that during his 60th birthday, Chief Olu Falae, former secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria described Uduaghan as one of the people who have a lot of experience which is basically lacking in Nigeria.
Uduaghan’s mission to the upper chamber is simple and clear: “The people of Delta South has suffered neglect in the last 15 years; therefore, he is on the race to offer his people quality and effective representation that will put smile on their faces and also extend same to the Niger-Delta region by pursuing quality legislation that will lead to the end of the crisis in the zone.” Dr. Uduaghan has the requisite qualities to take development to the zone.
His traducers have come up with various vacuous allegations against his person, none of which they have been able to prove. The million-naira question, therefore, is: Who is afraid of Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan?
- Akpovire-Enyeh wrote from Warri, Delta State.
Minimum Wage: Organised Labour To Demand 2 Years Arrears Payment
The Organised Labour on Wednesday said it would demand for two years arrears payment of the proposed new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers from the federal and state governments.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, President Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said this when Mrs Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, Public Service International (PSI), visited him in his office in Abuja.
Wabba said that the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari in transmitting the executive bill to the National Assembly was worrisome.
“Workers in the country have made a tremendous sacrifice and I think going forward, we are going to demand for arrears of those two years we have lost.
“Because I think with all fairness and justice, as they are going out to campaign we will also go out to campaign for our minimum wage.
“I also want to inform you that we have passed the first hurdle and it took us almost a year to be at the tripartite negotiation table for a figure, and we have agreed on a figure of N30, 000.
“That figure has been transmitted to the Mr President who set up the committee and we have also told them to forward an executive bill immediately to the National Assembly.
“We are not unaware of the new tactics by the state governors to try to arm-twist what has already been done,’’ he said.
Wabba explained that six state governors were part of the negotiation process, with each representing their geopolitical zones.
He told Pavanelli how public hearings were held in the zones, where the state governors were invited to make their inputs.
“So, mutually on the negotiation table, we have looked at all other factors, especially factors that were provided in convention 131 and 95 of the International Labour Organisation on the minimum wage in which five factors were considered.
“The issue of the purchasing power parity, inflation, ability to pay, all those factors were considered and that is how our demand of N66, 500 was then agreed mutually on N30, 000.
“So, workers have made enough sacrifices as we have lost already two years,’’ he said.
Speaking earlier, the PSI General Secretary which covers over 170 countries said she was in Nigeria to show support for trade union movement in Nigeria.
She said workers in the public service were faced with a lot of challenges especially in Nigeria.
“Working for months, providing services to people without being paid is something that is unacceptable and this unfortunately what is happening here.
“In a country which is rich of resources that can have wealth distribute but it is oppressed by the greater international capital that wants to grab the resources and forget the people who create wealth for the country.
“This is very wrong and unacceptable, we must ensure good governance, social justice for the Nigerian workers, we will support you anytime you call on us,’’ she said.
She also noted that PSI was in Nigeria to fashion out ways of assisting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Oba Elegushi, St. Ives, Asisat Oshoala, Odumbaku, Others Nominated For 2018 Lagos Times Achievers Award
Popular Lagos monarch Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Super Falcon star, Asisat Oshoala, wave-making women radio host, Toun Okewale-Sonaiya and prominent businessman, grassroots politician and respected cleric, Dr. James Omolaja Odumbaku lead a stellar cast of eminent dignitaries and corporate bodies nominated for recognition at the 2018 Lagos Times Achievers Awards.
They are joined by leading politicians, businessmen, captains of industries and organizations shortlisted for this high-octane event that honours those that have contributed to the development of Lagos State in different categories.
From business to politics and fashion, cultural achievements to corporate social responsibility, the 2018 Lagos Times Achievers Awards will see the state’s best and brightest compete in an atmosphere of conviviality for different awards in recognition of their contributions to maintaining Lagos’ unmatched status as the country’s center of political, economic, social, cultural and sporting excellence.
The Lagos Times Excellence Awards is an initiative of the Lagos Times magazine borne out of a desire to recognize and garland the few upstanding individuals and corporate heroes who have and continue to expend energy and resources in uplifting the state and its communities.
In furtherance of the desire to ensure only the most deserving are considered for the awards, the organizers mandated the judges to comb the length and breadth of the metropolis for uplifting stories of uncommon people doing uncommon things for the good of the state.
Hence a stellar and meritorious list of Lagos personalities was drawn up, all united by their outstanding achievements in the past year.
The 2018 Lagos Times Achievers Awards will take place in the first week of December. Other prominent names on the honour list include Mr. Hundeyin Adedeji, CEO, Club Phantom, Olawale Olaleye, political editior,Thisday newspaper, Bukola Olopade, Micheal Afolaranmi of 12 Basket Foods, Mike Dada, the CEO of AFRIMA, Dr. Tunde Okewale’s St. Ives’ Hospital, Ms. Kehinde Oyelade of MK Fashions and other prominent names.
It is expected that this year’s installment will not only deservedly recognize the meritorious but also serve as a source of encouragement for those in positions of influence, privilege, and responsibilities to redouble their efforts towards taking our beloved state to the next level.
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