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'Why i want to run again' -Gov. Uduaghan

Source: huhuonline.com

    After speculations have become rife about his real intention to contest a second term in office and his political plans beyond his first tenure that has been characterized as a faild project, Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has formally thrown his hat  in the ring in readiness for another race for the Government House Asaba in 2011.  

  Uduaghan made the declaration, Thursday morning during a chat with newsmen at his Warri residence where he revealed that his choice of Warri for the official announcement of his ambition to govern the state beyond 2011, was as a result of advice by political stakeholders and the fact that the oil-city has become to him a 'political roots of sort', having made public his first intention for active politics in Warri.

  The oil rich state governor explained that the formal declaration to run for a second term had been put on hold until recently as he had waited patiently for the release of the 2011 electoral guidelines by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and noted that he had already braced himself up for the usual reactions, both positive and negative, that his declaration of intention yesterday would precipitate across the political arena particularly among members of the PDP in Delta State .

  'The PDP authorities finally released the 2011 election guidelines on Wednesday and paved the way for my formal declaration Thursday', Uduaghan disclosed.

  He however expressed confidence that the people of the state, including those allegedly opposed to him, would again support him enthusiastically towards the realization of his second term bid next year.

  He urged his would-be opponents to engage themselves in issue-based campaigns in the spirit of the new political dispensation being championed by President Goodluck Jonathan as well as by himself (Uduaghan) at the state level.

  'I am not unaware that there will be issues of political blackmail, intolerance from some opponents. The politics we are now is not a do-or-die affair. I believe that if anybody have a different approach, let him come out and let us talk about it and if people are convinced, they will decide who to vote for.

  'Accusations which are unsubstantiated but prompted merely by political bitterness should be put firmly behind us; political campaigns at all levels should be based on issues.

  'I also appeal to every contestant that it should not be a do-or-die affair. We should not personalize it; but we should make our debate issue-based.'

  Meanwhile, political interest holders and pundits have declared as absurd, the warning by the governor, to some politicians and their supporters in Delta State and the country to 'reduce political contests to 'do-or-die affair' instead of addressing issues critical to the lives and well-being of the people'. According to them, 'Uduaghan himself does not represent a true image of a leader of an affluent state like Delta but has instead reduced the state to a mere political family estate'.

  Uduaghan, who scored his administration high in addressing the actual needs of the people in the state, especially in ensuring that an atmosphere of peace and security prevails across the state even as economic and social life seem to have been buoyed up in the state due to the restoration of peace and security noted that his government has initiated a litany of development projects, some of which long-term particularly in the area of 'Human Capital Development, Infrastructure Development', saying it was reasonable to ask for more time to enable him nurse to fruition many of these projects he initiated.

  While thanking the people of the state and stakeholders for their support since he decided for the governorship race in 2007 and during his about three-years in office, he advanced several reasons while he should be given another chance by Delta State citizens to be Governor again to include his administration's efforts to reposition Delta State for better economic and socio-cultural performance encapsulated in a tripartite development agenda.

  'It will only be fair for somebody who initiated these projects to see them to maturity. Four years is not enough to plan and execute such projects. We need more than four years and that is why I am offering myself for a second tenure as governor of Delta State .'

  He said he welcomed anyone who believed he could take Delta Sate to a higher pedestal with superior development plans than those he has been unfolding since 2007 through the numerous development initiatives contained in the three-point agenda of his government.

  Excerpts from Gov. Uduaghan's formal declaration for second term in Warri:

  'I called you here this morning to make a formal announcement; but before I make that announcement, I want to thank you for the support you gave to me and my family before the last election during the election and after the election. Most importantly, the great support to my administration in the last three years and two motnhs or so. There is no doubt we had a robost relationship. You said things the way they should be and whenever there are differences, we always settle it amicably. Thank you for the support.

  'Secondly, many of you will recall we started politics from this environment, when I wanted to go into the race. It was at this kind of meeting that I made the announcement, through the Warri Press.

  'The time has come for people to make their intention known and yesterday; my party - PDP - came out with the electoral guidelines for the upcoming election. I don't believe that I should have said anything until the electoral guidelines came out.

  'I was part of the meeting that critically examined the electoral guidelines and I think it is very possible for me to take a shot at the governorship of Delta State . I am formally announcing this morning to run for the governorship race as Governor of Delta State.

  'In doing so I believe and I do know that over three years now as governor of this state, that I have tried to keep very faithfully to my Three-Point Agenda of peace and security, infrastructure development and human capital development. You will all agree with me that between May 29th, 2007 and today, Delta Sate is a more peaceful place. It is more peaceful than as it was before, it is more secure, the waterways are open, people can move around at night especially and businesses close into the night as they used to do before.

  'You will all agree with me that in the area of peace and security, Delta State is a better place. In the area of infrastructure we have gone ahead with our social infrastructures, in the health sector, in education and in the area of providing good roads for people to move around for their daily activities.

  'The second aspect of the infrastructure development for investment is in the area of power, transportation, sea ports, air ports, major highways and of course urbanization and the information and communications technology (ICT).

  "We have also designed the Warri Industrial Park and we are about to design the Koko Export Free Zone for investors to come in.

  'In the area of human capital development, we have tried as much as possible to improve the lives of our people from the day of birth to the day of death.

  "We have tried to improve on the lives of pregnant women and our unborn children by starting a free healthcare scheme; so that people have better access to health system. We have also tried to improve in the lives of our children, making sure that they have access to education.

  "We have removed every encumbrance in terms of financing payment for examination fees and other payments that occur in secondary school education is virtually free in the state. We also were able to provide some books to children. Beyond the secondary school, We have also tried to make sure that bursary and scholarship to intelligent ones and others with First Class to further their education anywhere in the world.

  'We also have a special scholarship for the very intelligent ones in their tertiary institutions and after schooling, we have also tried that our people are better empowered.

  "Our micro-credit programme is on course , we have improved in the funding this year and also our children and youth who are interested in agriculture are trained and we are assuring that we open farm for them either in clusters or as single farmers across the state.

  'We have also gone to make employment in all tiers of governments: in the health sector, education and even in the civil service we have offered employment for various Deltans. Fourteen thousand (14, 000) have been employed in the last three years.

  "We have also tried to improve on the welfare of our workers. When I came on the 29th May, 2007 , there was 50% wage increase and our state government has been paying faithfully and we have also 7.5% pension scheme, which the state government has been doing faithfully to our workers.

  'We have also tried to invite investors to the state. So, there are a lot of investment enquiries today. In the next three to four years, we will be having a fertilizer plant in the state. The opportunity is for people to get employed in the private sector and the opportunity is still improving everyday.

  "For over three to four years now there have been no drilling activities in the oil companies in the state; but as at today efforts have been made for drilling to go on because conditions in the waterways had improved.

  "You will also recall that an Escravos Gas-To-Liquid plant has been constructed and almost completed for commissioning next year. The $5.9 billion project was constructed without hitches and that shows how secured the state can be to investment.

  'Having said that, a lot have to be done in Delta State . We have also done more of planning in the past three years in the administration of our projects. It will take several years of our initiated project to mature.

  'It will only be fair for somebody who initiated these projects to see them to maturity. Four years is not enough to plan and execute such projects. We need more than four years and that is why I am offering myself for a second tenure as governor of Delta State .'

  Gov. Uduaghan condemns attack on Executive Committee Members of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) by hoodlums

  The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has also condemned the attack on the Executive Committee Members of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) by some hoodlums on Wednesday in Ughelli, Ughelli North Local Government Area.

  Governor Uduaghan who made the condemnation at a breakfast meeting with journalist in Warri, warned that the State Government will not fold its hands and allow hoodlums threaten the existing peace in the state.

  He assured members of the Urhobo Progress Union that the State government will do all within its powers at ensuring that the perpetrators of the dastardly act and the sponsors were brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.

  The Governor disclosed that he has mandated the security agencies in the state go after the perpetrators and their sponsors no matter how highly placed in the society, adding that nobody is above the law of the land.

  According to Governor Uduaghan, 'Just last night, I got an information that first, there was a senatorial aspirant who went to Ughelli North Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) Secretariat, to go and see the party members there to tell them about his ambition and some youths went there and tried to disrupt the programme. I heard the programme went on successfully.'

  'But more worrisome was that later in the day, there was an Executive Committee meeting of the UPU that was going on in the house of the former Governor, Chief Felix Ibru. Some hoodlums went there and tried to destroy the house, attacked the Executive Committee Members holding meeting there and the deputy President General of the UPU was injured.'

  Warning that the State Government will not fold its hands and allow hoodlums take over the state, Governor Uduaghan said, 'I want to say that I have given directives to the security agencies that they must fish out those boys and if there is anybody behind them, such persons must also be fished out no matter how highly placed and must be prosecuted. Nobody should take laws into his or her hands in this state.'

  He said, 'State Government is condemning the action and I want to assure every Deltan that government will ensure that there is peace and security in the state because that is our first agenda. So I want to use this medium to condemn the act assure the UPU that the state government will dig deep  into those who did that and fish out the actors and those behind them'.