Taking The Right Steps In Ndokwa Leadership

By Mike Akpati
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I received a friendly call the other day informing me that the Deputy Speaker to Delta State House of Assembly Rt. Hon Ochor Chris Ochor was having a kind of village square meeting with some individuals at Umutu in Ukwuani Local Government Area. I did not see it as anything new, after all that is his primary constituency so I decided to have my ears to the ground. I was later to be informed that the meeting was replicated with representatives of all the clans in the LGA viz: Amai, Obiaruku/Umuebu, Umukwata, Akoku Ezionum and Umutu.

Rt. Hon. Ochor C. Ochor is the number four citizen of Delta state. By virtue of his position, he has firsthand information about the goings on in the government especially of Delta state and to a great extent, the federation. He is also in a position to better the lots of his people through his office. It is in the light of this that his tour is of importance to the well meaning people of Ukwuani and Ndokwa local governments.

The DSP in his official capacity is currently on tour of Ndokwa/Ukwani nation. I delved into the reason for the sudden decision to undertake such trips especially during this period of lockdown and movement restriction due to COVID 19 pandemic and found out that the tour was not only important but urgent in nature. On probing further, I discovered that he has been taking physical assessments of projects within Ndokwa nation to confirm the stories that Ndokwa/Ukwani Local Government areas have remained the least developed local governments in Delta state despite the huge earning by both the state and federal government from the area. It became necessary therefore for him to gather data necessary for input into the next state budget so that the local governments can come out better with more infrastructural developments in the coming years of this administration.

It is noteworthy that this area has the highest Oil production index in the state and the Oil facility at Okpai is one of the biggest in the country. The story of our benefits ends there. These local governments together are about the largest voting block for the ruling party the PDP but

until now, political leaders have paid lip service to the needs of the people. It is very disheartening therefore that despite the huge income earned by the various governments, not even electricity is available to the locals.

Years past, the political leaders had had the “carry go” attitude after sweet campaign promises but nothing is ever seen as landmark after every election. That is why to this day, there is no state or federal owned tertiary institute in the area. The state University and Polytechnics have their campuses dotted all over the state but none in Ndokwa/Ukwani land! Not even school of Nursing and Midwifery with the hospital at Kwale which is certainly older than most and which can easily be upgraded to Specialist Hospital or an extension of the Delta State University Teaching Hospital! The projected Federal university at Kwale has been a source of controversy and as I write the case seems rested against Ndokwa people as it has been hijacked! It is foregone conclusion therefore that the only visible means of livelihood of the people has predominantly remained farming and primary/secondary school teaching for some. Yet to show the acute shortage of higher institutions and the desire of the people to acquire required education, indigenous efforts have produced the NOVENA UNIVERSITY, AMAI/KWALE and recently another privately funded School of Business Studies at Obiaruku.

The suffrage of the people due to lack of infrastructure is a tale of woe! There are no roads leading to most productive farming centers especially in Ndokwa East, no storage facilities, riverane transportation is a story for another day.

Chief Ochor Ochor made several efforts years back to be in the state house of Assembly without success. Since the current democratic dispensation, and before his election to the house Hon. Ochor has enjoyed several choice appointments in the state having remained one of the founding members of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and being one of the most reliable hand around. It is against this backdrop that his emergence as the Deputy Speaker of the House is not surprising.

On May 29, 2020, the current leadership of the State House of Assembly will be ONE YEAR old and for every right thinking politician, what should be going on in their mind is what legacy they would want to leave behind.

Every year and about now the budget offices of every ministry, department and agencies are involved in information gathering. The sum total of the government budget is a function of information gathered from the sources close to the power that be. These are all necessities for input into the state budget for implementation in the coming year. Thus any ministry, department or agency without proposal, gets next to zero budget for the year. To achieve this and produce balance in development, house members ought to go back to their constituencies to dig out basic needs of the people and ensure that same in value are considered. Determined to achieve success and move Ndokwa forward, the village meetings of Hon. Ochor Ochor has become of essence.

As aforementioned, Ndokwa/Ukwuani LGAs have not been lucky with the position of Deputy Speaker. The last time I checked Rt. Hon. Chief Friday Osanebi was the last DSP and he tried to empower most of his personal aids and there are records to show. Hon. Dr. Imegwu couldn’t do much before he was impeached. Today we have an Ochor on the throne and he is trying to make some difference and correct the errors of our past by ensuring that indelible marks are imprinted on sand of time. We all need to give him support, advice and encouragement. As the progress made by one is beneficial to all.

By May 29, 2020, the DSP would have served one of the four years term. If this visits and town hall meetings are sustained, in the next three years, it will be forgone conclusion that Ukwuani/Ndokwa will be a cynosure of reasonable developmental strides in the state and the federation.

I am calling on all well meaning Ndokwa/Ukwuani fathers, mothers and stake holders to rally around the DSP to ensure that our local governments receive our fair share of the dividends of democracy through infrastructural development.

On his part I am thankful for the bold steps Hon. Ochor Ochor has taken and pray that this stride is sustained while remaining steadfast so that posterity will put him on the right side of the people.

Let’s keep the flag flying as the struggles continue.

Mike Akpati: 08036757067 (SMS) only [email protected]

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