Emmanuel Uduaghan, immediate past Governor of Delta State and senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta South, has promised the people of Isoko ethnic nationality a better deal if they vote for him in the 2019 general election.
He made the promise on Wednesday during his campaign rally visit to the traditional rulers of Isoko North and South Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state at the palaces of the Ovie of Ozoro kingdom, His Royal Majesty Anthony Ogbogbo, Ibuka 1, and Odiologbo of Oleh kingdom, His Royal Majesty Anthony Ovrawah, Omogha 1.
He noted that that while in the National Assembly, the people of Isoko will not be forgotten because of their importance and contributions to the nation’s economy.
His words: “I am a son of Isoko land. Some people owned the land in trust for the people and God has given them that position and the traditional rulers are in charge of the land. I came first to see our Isoko royal fathers as a mark of respect before flagging off my campaign properly in Isoko land. As a former Governor, I once upheld the traditional institution. Traditional rulers have spiritual powers. Somehow, they are gifted with the act of mediation and peace.
“Let me thank and commend our royal fathers for always playing the role of enthronement of peace in their domains, my administration did a lot for the traditional institutions. We would have been experiencing more violence if not for the intervention of monarchs especially from Isoko who ensured that their domains were peaceful during my time as Governor. I have made it very clear that we must give the traditional institution some constitutional responsibility and that’s what I will push for as a senator.”
Speaking on the underdevelopment of the area, he continied: “Oil has brought our communities some challenges of poverty, damage to our land, degradation and as a governor, I tried my best to manage the state resources. The funds coming to the oil communities must be improved upon by the Federal Government.
“I will push for communities to have at least 5% ownership of companies operating in host communities in Delta South. This will create jobs for our men, women and youth. I am afraid, with my projection we may not get it as expected if the remaining part of the PIB bill is passed. If the bill is passed, I will thank God, but I have my doubts. Our communities are being faced with environmental degradation and I shall push for the laws to better the lives of our people.
“We must empower our people and the beauty of legislature is interaction and a legislator who does not interact with his people and only comes for votes after four years is not worth the votes of the electorate. Whatever requests by Isoko nation to the Federal Government I can assure you that there is somebody that will follow up and myself will surely do that for the Isoko people, because as a former governor, I have the connection, reach and lobby capacity to represent the Isoko people credibly well.”
The former governor however expressed displeasure over the manner the pipeline surveillance contracts were being awarded to non indigenes, adding that the contracts should be a form of empowerment for youth in the area.
“Our youths are only paid peanuts at the end of the day because some persons, who are not even from our region, are the middlemen. When I become senator, the contracts would come straight to our communities so that our youths would be empowered.”
He also promised to push for the legalisation of localised refineries in the Niger Delta region to ensure positive engagement across the value chain.
In their separate responses, the traditional rulers expressed their support for Uduaghan’s candidature, and gave him their blessings.