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Who Is Afraid Of Emmanuel Uduaghan? By Julius Akpovire-Enyeh

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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.

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James Hope College Records Remarkable 100% Scores ( A* – C GRADE) In IGCSE Results

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True to its stance on academic excellence, James Hope College excelled in the just concluded Cambridge IGCSE examinations, recording 100% (based on A* – C grade) in14 registered subjects including English language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, ICT and Additional Mathematics.

James Hope College, is one of the educational initiatives under the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is also supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta State.

For more information, visit www.jameshopecollege.edu.ng

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ASUU Gives Conditions To Suspend Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Thursday gave conditions upon which the prolonged industrial action will be suspended.

“The Academic Staff Union of Universities @ASUUNGR have asked @AsoRock to release N50 billion to demonstrate its commitment to the revitalisation of public universities, in line with previous agreements with the union,” ASUU tweeted.

The union said the N50 billion will form the first share of the N220 billion federal government agreed for the project this year and add to the N20 billion earlier released for the year.

It also disclosed that the union has “submitted its suggestions and awaits a meeting with the government next week.”

The lecturers are demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government, which led to the strike that started November 4, 2018.

Although the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, last Thursday said the government has approved N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears, ASUU said they are still awaiting its payment.

“Government promised to release the shortfall in salaries by January 18th, that’s a day away. Let’s wait and confirm that they’ve released it.”

“The union has submitted its suggestions and awaits a meeting with the government next week,” he added.

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Atiku’s US Trip: So Much Ado About Nothing —– Tunde Ajose

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For good watchers of the Nigerian politics, one thing has come to stay in our political experiment at getting it right in this country and that is the ability for smart politicians to easily sway the electorates with mundane issues.

The campaigns are no longer issue based but media sensationalism.

Latest of such was the sudden appearance of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the United States of America! Then one begins to wonder why the opposition would think such is the needed magic wand to win the election.

And the euphoria may not be unconnected with the report that Atiku was barred from entering the States because of his fraudulent nature but the question is, why would any serious opposition believes such action would immediately translate into winning the Aso Rock.

One would have wondered why Atiku has chosen to travel with the current senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki? Could it be that he actually traveled under the diplomatic immunity of Saraki’s official delegation?

Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, but they can still be expelled.

We need to be circumspect as we move forward as a nation and be more discerning. The current government of Nigeria is focused more than before in ensuring that Nigerians, regardless of the class or status has a befitting country they could fall back to and call a home.

It is quite obvious that while the opposition are playing to the gallery, the presidential campaign organisation of president Mohammad Buhari is busy rolling up its sleeves and getting down to fields where the real electorates are and connecting with them.

This past week especially has been full of activities for the president despite his age. Within a spate of two weeks, Buhari had sat down to two interviews in-between journeying from the length and breadth of the country in getting the message of hope down to the people.

The president does not rely on his privilege as an incumbent, but insisted on talking to his people and ensuring that Nigerians are united as they go to polls come February.

No one is in doubt that his message also resonates well with the citizens as they troop out en masse to welcome and listen to what he has to say. With the multitude of crowd recorded today as he presented the gubernatorial flagbearer of the party to the good people of Delta State and the ovation that greeted it, there is no doubt that Buhari is truly loved.

As we count down to the elections, Nigerians need to bear it in mind that the 2019 election is about building on a new foundation which the present government has been able to achieve in the first four years and giving the solid foundation out to the marauders to destroy along with the better forgotten 16years in power.

If Atiku is in the United States today, there is no way the intelligence agencies of the federal government of Nigeria would not know about it.

Tunde Ajose, a political commentator, writes from Lagos.

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