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Issues In Delta 2015 Election

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Few days to the much anticipated primaries of the ruling national party- the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] there are visible evidence of high wired political campaigns at the levels of major powerful political blocs by the different aspirants to the diverse positions that would be up for grabs in the 2015 polls and especially the office of governor which in Nigeria's political terrain is seen as one of the most influential positions ever.

The position of a state governor comes with a lot of responsibilities and considerable global wide influences given the fact that the bulk of developmental strides that shapes the overall economy of the over 160 million strong nation lies squarely with how well these 36 state governors are able to pilot the affairs of their respective states which under the extant constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are afforded lots of independent and interdependent privileges and federalist powers to determine what programs and projects to embark upon. The position of a state governor to a large extent is a major platform for such a holder to put in place measures to ameliorate the sufferings of the majority of Nigerians who are impoverished and economically weak.

To demonstrate the influence and power exercised by the holders of the prestigious offices of state governors under the current Nigerian democratic experimentation, the various parties that hold sway in the different segments of the Nigerian federating structures are regarded as leaders of their respective political parties. The undercurrents that characterize the events that are taken place ahead of the party governorship primaries show that those gunning for the offices of state governors are seriously engaged in intense lobby.

Delta State is particularly interesting going by the fact that apart from the role it plays as one of the centres of rich crude oil deposits, it is also fascinating because it is the only state whereby a woman of national significance and influence in the person of Mrs Ngozi Juliet Olejeme has indicated interest to govern that state and most analysts are finding it difficult to write her off going by her unprecedented political profile and her closeness to the most powerful segment of the ruling national party and because of the fact that she Ngozi Olejeme is one of the most fiercest loyalist of the PDP to have indicated interest to run for the office of state governor not only in Delta State but in Nigeria as a whole.

Delta state is also a place whereby the Delta North Senatorial zone where Mrs Ngozi Olejeme hails from has never produced the state governor since inception so the social justice pendulum swings favourably and positively towards Olejeme and her other compatriots from her Senatorial zone that have indicated interest to run in the next year's election for the office of the state governor of Delta State.

Fortuitously, the Anioma people of Delta State have endorsed the candidature of Dr. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme and 3 others for the Governorship position of the state come 2015. This endorsement was made recently in Abuja during the visit of a high-level delegation of ‎Anioma sons and daughters led by the Asagba of Asaba, Professor Chike Edozien to President Jonathan.

As variously reported in the popular press, the meeting which held at the State House, Abuja was to express the support of the Anioma people to the second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan. Also the meeting provided a veritable platform for the delegation to seek the support of Mr. President towards getting an Anioma person as the next governor of the State.

Briefing state house correspondents after the closed door meeting, Prof. Chike Edozien confirmed that the agitation for an Anioma person to be elected governor of Delta State is very timely and was very crucial in their discussion with the President. “The issue of an Anioma person becoming the governor was one of the issues we discussed and I hope an Anioma son or daughter will be elected governor of Delta State in 2015”, he said.

Sources close to the Presidency however, informed that the delegation of the Anioma People presented four people as potential governorship candidates. Top on the list is Dr. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme, who is on record as the only woman serving as Chairman of the board of two sensitive Federal Government establishments. Others are Honourable Ndudi Elumelu, Senator Okowa and Victor Ochei.

Dr. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme seems to be riding on the crest of the desire of the people for real change come 2015.She is a successful entrepreneur, an astute Politician and Administrator of repute. A boardroom guru with a wealth of experience, she has a proven record of success in administrative governance and business management. Olejeme has received several recognitions in Nigeria and abroad for her impact in the society but the reward for her excelling contributions for a better society is not just in the plagues that dote around the wall, but it is in seeing the less privileged cared for, seeing equity in wealth distribution. Supporting women build back their economic and social life are some of the projects that fires up her passion. No wonder as governorship candidate in Delta State in 2007 her campaign was configured on ending poverty and improving quality of life for all in the oil rich state.

Her Foundation; 'Ngozi Olejeme Foundation', underscores her passion for social security. It caters for the widows, it empowers women and the under privileged. Also her role in the Country's Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program, SURE-P; a program derived from the partial removal of subsidy for fuel, speaks of her capacity to care for the poor through adopting poverty alleviating policies.

Beyond humanitarian services, Dr. Olejeme has invariably proven to be a great asset in public service both at the state and at the federal levels. In 2009, Olejeme was appointed for a four year term as board chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF). For her transformational leadership at NSITF, she got reappointed for another term of a four year in 2011. She is also chair of Pension Trust PLC, a subsidiary of NSITF, which strictly administers pension matters. She was instrumental to the enhanced services of the NSITF, where she fought for and won the acceptance of Employee Compensation Scheme (ECS) and the passage of the bill into Act. The scheme protects all categories of workers both in private and public sector across Nigeria. The scheme simply makes provision for compensation to employees and their dependents for any injury, disease, disability or death arising in the course of employment.

On the other hand, the incumbent governor; Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has his tent pitched towards the candidature of Mr. Anthony Obu and Charles Emetulu. Nationally, the pendulum is swinging towards the emergence of Ngozi Olejeme as the PDP governorship candidate.

+Emmanuel Onwubiko heads Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and [email protected], HURIWA - Home www.rightsassociationngr.com.

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Articles by Emmanuel Onwubiko