February Polls: Nobody Can Stop President Jonathan From Visiting Any Part Of Country – Uduaghan
BEVERLY HILLS, January 30, (THEWILL) – Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State on Friday said that nobody can stop President Goodluck Jonathan from vising any part of the country.
The governor who spoke at a breakfast meeting with journalists in Warri, the commercial nerve centre of the state, stated this against backdrop of insinuation that an Ijaw warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), had threatened the President from visiting the state to perform the $16billion gas city project.
Uduaghan, who said that he has been vindicated following President Jonathan's recent explanation at the palace of the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, that he was never threatened from performing the flag-off of the project.
The governor who said the President wields so much power that he can't succumb to threats, said President Jonathan had shown commitment towards the project, disclosing that during the President's recent visit to the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse II, he had explained that he had to postpone the exercise owing to intelligence report, saying his action was in the overall interest of the nation and the state.
“The President said it was not because of threat that made him not to perform the exercise as scheduled but he said intelligence report about what will happen after the groundbreaking made him to shift the ceremony and that the project is on course and nobody can threaten the President.”
“The President wields so much power and nobody can stop him from visiting any part of the country. The President emphasised it during his visit to Olu's palace and I'm happy he said it himself. When I said that, people took me on but I have been vindicated,” Uduaghan said.
Uduaghan, who also spoke about the forthcoming general elections, warned politicians against desperation and any action that could lead to breakdown of law and order in the country.
He observed that there were ominous signs that were capable of causing violence during the elections but stated that no position was worth dying for.
“There is no election where there is no tension because election is about struggling for power but we should caution ourselves about what to say or do in the interest of our nation.
“There has been a lot of fears about election violence. Why should people be desperate? There is no position that is so important that we should resort to loss of life,” he said.
According to him, “If there is so much desperation, it will create problems. No position is worth the loss of lives. Eight years is short, but four years is shorter.
“In every election, you either win or lose. If I had gone for the Senate, I would either win or lose, and I believe I would have won.”
He urged politicians to be patient and peaceful before and after the elections saying; ”we should know the extent we go to sometimes in seeking power,” saying, “it is unfortunate that this campaigns are having regional or religious coloration.”
According to him, “It is unfortunate that the current campaign is somehow regional or have some ethnic colouration. Sometimes also with religious colouration. The combination of ethnicity and religion, if not properly managed, could be very dangerous.”
He however expressed the commitment of President Jonathan in conducting a peaceful elections in the country, saying President Jonathan and the relevant security agencies were on top of the situation and have put necessary measures in place to manage the situation from snowballing into crisis situation.
Uduaghan, who reiterated that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would record overwhelming victory in Delta State, disclosed that only two gubernatorial aspirants out of more than 15 persons who contested for primaries of the PDP, left the party to contest senatorial seat.
“We had about 18 aspirants that contested for PDP governorship primaries, two have moved to other parties, I can assure you that PDP will still come out and win the elections despite the two that left the party,” the governor said, while asserting that the Delta State PDP was least amongst the states riddled with political crisis.
He also reiterated his full support for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, adding; “the state has been peaceful politically, we are going round campaigning, you should also know that is not me the people want to hear during the campaigns, it is the person who wants to take over, they want to hear about his programmes.”
While speaking on why he decided to pull out of the Delta South Senatorial District race at the dying minute, Uduaghan said; “there were several build up leading to the primary. If I had contested the Senate, by now there would have curfew in the streets of Warri.”
Going down memory lane, he said; “I've been in the state virtually since I was born. I've been part of the civilian administration since 1999 and reasonably I know some of the things responsible for the crisis in the state. I believe some of you (the Press) know what is happening in the creeks.”
According to him; “Properties were lost and till today, we are still trying to rebuild some of the things destroyed. We are still in the process of rebuilding. Some of the causes of the crisis we had, especially in 2003, was as a result of politics.”
“In 2003 when we were having primaries at the stadium, some people left the stadium and started shooting guns in town here. Some persons died in the process.”
“It did not end there. At the main elections, villages were burnt in the creeks. Children were thrown into fire because certain persons did not accept the nomination of some other persons.”
“Even in Koko, the headquarters of Warri South, houses were burnt in 2003. Go and check for yourself.
When I looked at the elections, there is heavy build-up, most especially Delta South Senatorial elections and I asked myself, what am I going to do in the Senate if the process leading to that election would lead to another crisis in Warri.”
“I am sure you will have more to report as journalists but you will also not feel comfortable if there is no freedom in the city. We are enjoying some freedom and there is no curfew. I have the strong belief that if I had gone for the PDP senate primary, by now. there would have been curfew in Warri.”
“I don't want to leave office in a crisis situation. That is the reason I had to drop my senatorial ambition. I believe we don't have to go to the extent we go sometimes to seek power. We don't have to go to the extent of causing war or chaos.”