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Urhobo Leaders Endorse Dafinone, Say Senatorial Seat Not For Hooligans

By Ovie Ebireri
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Prominent Urhobo leaders on Wednesday identified poor quality of education, poor healthcare delivery, inadequate and inconsistent power supply, low level of employment opportunities, inadequate housing and poor security of life and property as problems affecting the Delta Central senatorial area.

'Our children must be properly equipped to make contributions to the wider society. They have the right to go to school, get meaningful employment, raise their families, buy their own homes and live without fear. We must give them these basic rights, and it is only through good governance and effective representation that we can achieve this' the leaders said.

In a statement issued in Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area by the President of Urhobo Development Forum, Chief Julius Oshevire, the leaders said Chief Ede Dafinone would do everything possible to protect the people's rights through professional representation, sustainable economic development, quality education, job creation, improved healthcare services and poverty alleviation.

'He is a democrat, with a firm belief in the supremacy of the will and the choice of the majority. He is a child of privileged background. He is committed to using his vantage position to improving on the quality of our environment and our fellow human resources.

Emphasizing that Dafinone would bring his professional knowledge and experience to bear on a wide range of public policy issues and topics, the leaders said as a senator, he would focus on the regional impact of legislation and policies, routinely communicating with individuals, business representatives, universities, communities and interest groups in Delta Central.

'As a senator, his expertise in many areas, including agriculture, business and economics, the environment, and the oil and gas industry would be brought to bear'

On criticisms about his eligible for the senatorial position, the leaders described Ede Dafinone as a goal-oriented chartered accountant with over 31 years' experience and core competence in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation and Consulting.

'He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The University of Manchester, a Master's degree in Finance & Investment from The University of Exeter, and an Advanced Management Certificate from The Lagos Business School. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and an Associate Member of The Chartered Taxation Institute of Nigeria. In the last 32 years, he has consulted for The Central Bank of Nigeria, The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, The Niger Delta Development Commission, The Ministry of Finance, and The Ministry of Defence among many others. As the Auditor to multinational and local organisations in various sectors of the economy, he has a clear understanding of banking, oil & gas, trade, insurance, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture. He knows what is required to make businesses work.'

Continuing, the leaders said 'Ceddi Plaza shopping Mall in Abuja is one of the best international shopping centres in the country and a testament to Ede Dafinone'ss knowledge of construction, finance, retailing and real estate. Ede Dafinone was responsible for the design, construction and today, management of what is considered to be a model that many others have since followed.

Back home, Sapele Integrated Industries Limited is a crumb rubber exporting factory with over 1,400 hectares of rubber plantation under development. Courtesy of Ede, Dafinone, the factory is today the only factory in Nigeria approved for export to the Bridgestone tyre company. It is also providing significant training and employment in the area. He has been a director in Highgate Insurance Brokers since 1989 and in NEM Insurance Plc since 1999. In 2007, he was appointed the Chairman of the Board of NEM Insurance and has guided these two industry leaders to successful heights.

Equally, he has been the Treasurer of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation from 1989, a Member of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group from 1999, a Trustee of Okpe Community Leaders of Thought from 2007, and Treasurer of Okpe Community Leaders of Thought from 2010.

From 1992 - 1994, he was a Commissioner with the National Broadcasting Commission. In 2001, he was a Member of the Federal Governments Steering Committee on the determination and Resolution of Cross Debts between public Enterprises. In 2002, he was the Reporting Accountant for the Initial Public offer for Nitel Plc.'

On his involvement in politics, the leaders said 'he was a Founding member of PDP in Delta State. He was active in campaigns in 1998 & 1999 and contested for Delta Central Senate seat in 2006 under the mandate of change and development. He is a popular grassroots mobiliser with representation in the 8 local governments of Delta Central'

'Other core work includes Community projects through the Dafinone Foundation, which is running schools with students to date for: Adult Education, Tailoring, Hairdressing and Catering. Additionally, the Foundation offers interest free loans through micro credit programs to the foundation members'

On the taking of employment to the district and influencing the location of several public and private industries by the renowned accountant, Chief David Dafinone, the leaders said the young chartered accountant would surpass his father's achievements.

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