OLEJEME, EMPOWERED TO EMPOWER DELTA
Information filtering in officially from the desk of the national publicity secretary Chief Olisaemeka Metuh has it that after consultative sessions with the national leader of the ruling national political party and the President of the Republic, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the hierarchical organs of the Peoples Democratic Party has fixed November 29th and December 6th 2014 respectively for the conduct of its governorship and presidential primaries.
The official declaration was made soon after the governors elected on the platform of the party met and took a resolution to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole Presidential candidate implying that the presidential primary scheduled for December 6th would be a mere formality to comply with the extant provisions of the party's constitution to ratify the decision widely endorsed by virtually the entire ruling organs of this political party that prides itself as the largest in black Africa.
The party has also dismissed speculations that the President gave his tacit endorsement for the governors serving out their second tenure to hand pick their successor.
Besides, most of these governors due to quit the stage in their respective States after their mandatory two terms of eight years each would elapse on May 29th 2015 have on various occasions stated in very unmistaken terms that their successors would emerge through broad -based democratic means since they have no skeletons in their political cupboards which they may be desperate to hand pick their puppets to actively help them conceal these shady deals.
Among these governors serving out their two terms, is the Delta State Chief Executive Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is widely believed by his supporters to actively support transparent and accountable governance as essential elements that promote good governance.
Political pundits have already observed that Delta, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia, Kano, Katsina, Borno and Taraba are the major flashpoints whereby there are expectations that the interest already shown by many high profile experienced politicians to succeed their outgoing governors means that the November 29th 2014 governorship primary will generate unprecedented interest even as independent observers are already urging the ruling party to allow openness, transparency, free and fair contests to take place as a necessary step to pick their governorship flag bearers.
In Delta State, many political heavy weights and core professionals have openly declared their intention to vie to succeed the governor and with this reality, it is known that the primary election of the ruling party in this crude oil rich state has already generated unmistakable followership from a cross section of people not just in Nigeria but even internationally going by the fact that there are many multi-national crude oil prospecting firms doing business in Delta state.
Of all the aspirants such as Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Professor Sylvester Monye all from Delta North among others such as erstwhile minister of Niger Delta Affairs Mr. Orubebe and a retired state permanent secretary Mr. Obuh, , only Mrs. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme has attracted considerable attention from many quarters because of the fact that she has successfully overcome the conservative traditional apathy to politics associated with many women and is already out and fully ready to democratically seek the mandate of her party officials and delegates at the primary to emerge as the governorship flag bearer in next year's election.
This lady politician who has so far been endorsed by many forward -looking youth-led groups in her State has even secured the global support [even if discreetly] of many influential women leaders such as the head of the international monetary fund [IMF] who has just published a widely read article urging nations to give women of quality the equal opportunities to bring their enormous wealth of experience to bear in bringing about good governance in their nations and other federating components of such nations.
The French-born Mrs. Christine Lagarde had in the article titled “The economic power of women's empowerment” argued persuasively that women of unimpeachable attributes and credentials such as Ngozi Olejeme when afforded the opportunity to serve their communities will certainly bring about transformational revolutionary changes even as they would be much more motivated to tackle the ever persistent social and existential problems associated with mass hunger and grinding poverty afflicting over 80 percent of Nigerians.
Her words: “Think of the iron will behind the great women leaders of yore-women like Himiko, the shaman queen; Empress Suiko; and Masako Hojo, the daunting “nun-shogun”.
The IMF chief who read this inspirational speech at an event in Tokyo Japan, further stated thus; “Think about the creative genius of women like Murasaki Shikibu, the author of the literary masterpiece, Tale of Genji, Izumo no Okuni, the founder of the hauntingly beautiful art of kabuki; or Raicho Hiratsuka, the inspirational feminist author.”
“Think about the pioneers of women's education like Umeko Tsuda and Yaeko Yamamoto, or the great global leaders like Sadako Ogata.”
Further, she stated that; “Think of the graceful and talented figure skating champions like Mao Asada, the effervescent young women behind the global cultural phenomenon of J-pop, and even the bold and iconoclastic style of the Harajuku girls”
“Think of these – and also of the millions of Japanese women today, brimming with talent and potential, just waiting for the dreams into reality.”
“Let us unlock their doors to success and unblock their avenues of opportunity”
She then made her most poignant point on the need to allow empowered women to empower and bless their nations thus; “So I urge everyone – all women and men of goodwill – to dare the difference and bet on women. I promise you this: you will not be disappointed. For when women shine like the sun, their radiance will be forever undimmed.”
Olejeme has already identified basic areas of interest in which she is ready and willing to implement if the good people of her political party and by extension her people can give her the opportunity to serve them selflessly.
Among her core areas of interest are youth empowerment and employment creation because of her back ground as chairman in one of the key agencies of the labour sector.
Others such as education, health, security and urban renewal are some of her passions.
Her words: “You see, a huge number of our population live in the urban area. Therefore, we have a new plan for our cities and towns which includes massive investment in infrastructure and enhanced service to restore order, cure decay seen in most of our urban centers. Pursuant to this, we will build new cities and create conducive environment for investors. In the first phase, we shall focus on Asaba mega city, Warri, Ughelli, Agbor, Sapele, Ogwashi-ukwu, and Burutu, among others.”
Olejeme spoke further; “Development and implementation of master plans; this is very important as it will help to ensure that our cities are properly planned. This includes massive urban roads and street rehabilitation, public parks and recreational grounds, water and sewage systems. Moreso, new face of Delta (recreation centers, schools, parking facilities), Sanitation and environmental beautification shall be given urgent attention".
Olejeme spoke further; "Besides, we have plan to make massive investment in oil and gas by being the first state to build a refinery. We seek to answer being called an oil-producing state in the real sense of it by designing a model of partnership with the private sector that will accrue benefit from oil and gas to our people. In doing this, we will create industrial cluster in Asaba and Warri to encourage manufacturing. It will be provided with incentives that will encourage investors, industrialization and removal of the bottlenecks in their ability to compete and create more jobs".
"Industrial layout for 3,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create at least 300,000 jobs (with electricity initially provided by the state Government) and ultimately linked to the National grid. Information Communication Technology (ICT) will be given a huge boost as we intend to establish ICT village where youths will be trained on how to develop software and other ICT services. We will equally initiate a social security system that would cater for the elderly and widows by paying them life-supporting stipends to enable them live the rest of their lives without suffering".
"Above all, we shall embark on the provision of affordable mass-housing schemes; facilitation of a liberalized mortgage system and new/satellite town development. Our goal is to deliver 6,000 unit of housing annually", she promised.
Emmanuel Onwubiko & Barrister [Miss] Ogom wrote in from HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; [email protected]; www.huriwa.org.