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Deploying Competence To The Service Of The Urhobo Nation

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My dear compatriots, brothers and sisters, not long ago Senator Pius Ewerido passed on to glory and created a vacuum in his family that will be impossible to fill. We still mourn his passing and all he stood for. That fine and erudite gentle man and friend also left a political vacuum that our Constitution requires to be filled to continue the quest for engineering a better future for our nation. As difficult as the circumstances are, we must heed the constitution and continue to move our nation forward in a manner that out heroes past amongst whom now stand Right Honorable Pius Ewerido will be proud of.

2. Our nation faces very serious choices, choices that cannot be put off any longer if we are to get the Nigerian Project right. For too long, Nigeria has depended on crude oil as our main source of foreign exchange. We unwisely ignored every other sector particularly agriculture with its massive potential to generate employment for our people.

This has exposed our economy to foreseeable shocks and robbed us of a source of massive employment opportunities for our teeming youth. Because I have been massively involved in communal conflicts resolutions in the state, I want to make it abundantly clear that unemployment is presently our greatest security risk.

3. At this time, there is a pressing need to return to basics and redesign our economy to be truly multifaceted such that we can better manage economic shocks that will inevitably arise.

I say this because with the discovery of massive reserves of shale oil around the world particularly in the United States, the discovery of crude oil in increasing number of countries and the increasing deployment of a growing array of renewable sources of energy like wind, solar and so on the demand for our crude oil will very soon begin to decline. It is projected that by 2020 the United States of America, our largest customer will meet its energy demand from local sources. This changing dynamics in global crude oil market will inevitably result in falling oil prices and revenue.

4. Fortunately, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and our dear state governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan are working to recreate national and state economies respectively that will thrive without crude oil. I commend our governor for his Delta Beyond Oil vision which has made our state better prepared for the challenges of the future. However this transformation requires new approaches and ways of doing things. Mr President recently said that in the drive to diversify our economic base, the emphasis will be to create enduring institutions as against the old system of building powerful individuals at the expense of institutions. This necessary transformation in our economy cannot be achieved without enabling laws to institutionalise what we want to achieve as a nation.

5. Having said these, who do we want to represent us in the hallowed chambers of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take up the seat the death of our compatriot Senator Pius Ewerido made vacant to help redirect the focus of our nation? Voters in Delta Central must decide whether they want a senator who share the vision of our president and governor to diversify our economy for sustainable economic growth for the good of our people or a senator that will obstruct this noble cause for the sake of opposition.

6. Are we not tired of what is happening to the urhobo nation today and are we not sick and tired of what is not happening to make life better for the people of our state and country?

I, Obarisi (Barr) Ovie Omo-Agege offer myself as a candidate for election to the Senate on the platform of the most visible, most consistently accepted political party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party, as a partner with our governor and president in this onerous task of transforming our economy and society.

7. I do so because I fully understand the challenges our nation faces and I appreciate more than other candidates that Nigeria's future depends on doing things differently and not business as usual. I will take to the Senate the undimmed passion of service to our people and our nation. I will take to the Senate earned experience and invaluable contacts built over the years which is not available to my opponents. I will take to the Senate the great need to place the Urhobo nation on the pedestal it deserves that will become visible at the national stage. I will attract federal presence as well as local and foreign investment to our senatorial district to create the needed jobs for our men, women and youths who desperately need employment to earn a decent living. I will champion working with other members of the National Assembly, Federal and our state governments as a well oiled team, working to make Nigeria a nation that is finally harnessing its limitless

potential to shame all those who have predicted Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015.

8. If elected, while working with others in the National Assembly to finalize and sign into law the Petroleum Industry Bill to the benefit of Nigeria, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to champion and provoke enacting robust laws that will institutionalize youth empowerment that will guarantee jobs, enabling environment for private sector purpose driven economic diversification and growth, environmental protection that will demand and enforce the strictest corporate and national responsibilities, enhanced women's rights in recognition of their silent roles as the solid rock of families and other laws that will add value to the lives of Nigerians of all nationalities.

9. If elected my oversight functions will benefit greatly from my experience as a former Delta State Commissioner of Special Duties where I exhibited proven ability to manage and supervise the completion of projects to the highest standards. My role as the former Chief Liaison Officer to PDP national headquarters and the Presidency gives me a unique understanding of how things are done in Abuja and enabled me to develop a network of contacts and friendship across Nigeria. As Secretary to the State Government, I strengthened the office of project monitoring that still stands six years after I left office to ensure full execution of government projects.

10. At the risk of sounding immodest, none of my opponents can boast of the experience, contacts and friendships I built over the years that will be brought fully to bear in the service of the Urhobo nation in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I pledge to restore a steady, reliable and strong Urhobo voice at the senate and national politics. The Urhobo nation deserve more than what the opposition have offered for its support in the last three elections and we must use the opportunity of this election to reclaim our leadership role. We cannot continue to be in isolation because that is what the opposition has offered so far which is at odds with our interest.

11. This is not my campaign, it is our campaign. So, I need the support of all of you present here today, members of my constituency and well meaning Nigerians. I need the support and vote of my constituents. I will cherish your prayers, moral and material support and volunteering to work as part of my campaign team. Go forth and spread the word that I, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege has pledged before man and God to represent the Urhobo nation in the best possible manner in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So help me God.

Your Candidate
Obarisi (Barr.) Ovie Omo-Ageg

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Prof. Alex O. Atawa Akpodiete, Esq. and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Prof. Alex O. Atawa Akpodiete, Esq.