The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State and the All Progressives Congress APC have expressed divergent views on the 28th anniversary of the state created along 11 other states, including Edo, on Aug. 27, 1991 by the military regime headed by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
While the PDP is of the view that the oil rich state has fed well saying as Deltans, there is ample reason to celebrate 28 years of existence haven been able to surmount all the obstacles that have tried to destabilize State the state and overcome all the machinations that have attempted to fragment and dislocate us as a State.
The APC on the other hand said criminality and cultism are major problem in the society which confront the state on a daily basis because of lack of proper synergy between the goverment, security agents and the citizens, adding that Delta State PDP led government has not been able to take steps to protect the lives of Deltans despite the huge security votes collected every month, instead they want the federal government to come and secure the State for them.
In a press statement, signed by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Osuoza, PDP hailed Deltans for remaining firm, steadfast and embracing peace and unity in the face of tremendous challenges and travails in the last 28 years, even as the party expressed its sincere gratitude and appreciation to the peoples of the three Senatorial zones of the State, for voting and standing by the Peoples Democratic Party, as the party of their choice, since the return of democracy in 1999.
“We note with special recognition, the firm resolve and steadfast decision of our dear people across the three Senatorial zones of the State, to continually embrace peace and unity, even in the face of some of the most terrible conflicts and confrontations in the last 28 years, which otherwise, would have fragmented and disintegrated a less united people.
“We are proud to say that the conviction of Deltans in the unity and peaceful coexistence of Delta as one indivisible Delta State, though tried and tested periodically by selfish, narrow-minded and anti-development forces, has remained unshakable and continues to triumph against all odds, over the years.
The spokesman said his party, is profoundly grateful to Deltans, for the overwhelming display of unconditional and uncensored support, which they have voluntarily given by the vote of the confidence reposed in the PDP as their party of choice in every election in the State, since 1999.
“We are deeply appreciative of the fact that you, Deltans, have given us the opportunity to ensure the entrenchment of equity, justice and fairness in the power-sharing rotation, which has not only contributed immensely to the attainment and sustenance of the peace and unity which Delta State has continued to enjoy, but most importantly in the satisfactory conclusion of the process, which culminated in the election of our dear Governor, His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, in 2015 and who you also overwhelming reelected for a second term, in fulfillment of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.
“We also join our dear Governor and leader, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to thank the wonderful and peace-loving people of Delta State for their resilience, patience, cooperation and support in the delivery of our mandate as encapsulated in the SMART Agenda and indeed in all administrations that have governed the State in the last 28 years.
“As a responsible, responsive and people-oriented political party, our driving motivation has always been to deliver good governance, quality legacy projects and the best democratic dividends which your mandate and vote of confidence has continued to inspire.”
He said the present PDP administration in the State has consolidated on the impressive landmark achievements recorded by our predecessors, we make bold to state categorically that the mantra of building a stronger Delta, which will define our second term, has already been set in motion.
“We can beat our chest proudly and without equivocation in stating that our dear State has not only remained at the apex of the good governance matrix, we have continued to shine brightly and dominate the national space, as manifested in the plethora of awards garnered by our Governor, from reputable and recognized national and global establishments, for a variety of multi-faceted socio and economic developmental initiatives and achievements, at the end of our first tenure.
The PDP, under the governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has embarked comprehensively and expertly on the construction of storm drainages in the capital territory, which though nearing completion, has already started addressing the seemingly intractable and sometimes devastating flooding whenever it rains in the State capital and this will soon be replicated in the Warri and Effurun axis of the State, especially with the visionary, landmark historic creation of the Warri/Uvwie and Environs Development Agency, to being administered by distinguished Deltans, whose impeccable track records in leadership and administration have been proven beyond any doubts whatsoever.
“The renewal of our mandate through a resounding victory at the last general elections, has not only re-energized our desire to aggressively and comprehensively deliver on our SMART Agenda, it has further afforded us the opportunity to address and upgrade the critical welfare and infrastructural needs of our people in the three Senatorial zones, in fulfillment of our avowed mandate to ensure even and equitable development across the State.
“The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo graciously performed the commissioning of roads projects in Ijaw and Itsekiri coastal communities recently, to underscore and affirm our resolve to build a Stronger Delta for our people in delivering verifiable and enduring projects and accelerated development in the rural and riverine communities in the State.
“His Excellency, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has already resolved, with his reelection for a second term, to vigorously expand the hugely successful job creation initiatives, as defined in the now household acronyms of YAGEP, STEP, PPSP, the Micro Credit Scheme, the Graduate Engagement Scheme and other empowerment and capacity building collaborations with national and international agencies.
“The massive successes achieved in the education, healthcare, and social safety net sectors, with special attention to widows, children and the indigent, in the first tenure, will be replicated even on a larger scale in this second tenure and the giant strides attained in sports which not only ensured the prime position of Delta State in all national sporting events but elevated our dear State to the excellent heights of continental and international recognition in our first tenure, will be robustly embraced and achieved in this second term.
According to the PDP, the last four years of our administration was hallmarked by an amazing story of lifting the State from recession to progression and turning around the fortunes with an unprecedented increase in our internally generated revenue and the regular payment of workers salaries, including local government staff and pensioners, all of which were achieved through the meticulous plugging of leakages and an efficient, effective governance module which enhanced the ease of doing business in all operating sectors and a fantastic administrative synergy between the executive, legislature and judiciary, complementing each other in the overall interest of Deltans.
The party noted that there is no gainsaying the fact that our greatest achievement has been the sustained peace in the State, which was achieved with the highly commendable and considerable support and efforts of our revered traditional rulers and institutions as well as the ceaseless prayers and exhortation of our religious leaders and the unparalleled cooperation of our courageous youths, our wonderful women and the collective endorsement and acceptance of our peacebuilding agenda by all Deltans, who demonstrated their preference for peace and unbroken belief in the unity and harmony of one united Delta, with their votes.
“As Deltans, we have ample reason to celebrate our 28 years of existence. We have surmounted all the obstacles that have tried to destabilize us and overcome all the machinations that have attempted to fragment and dislocate us as a State. Our leadership over the years has been exemplary and even envied as we have continued to soar from strength to strength.
“Our pledge to Deltans, as we celebrate 28 years of statehood is that we will always uphold and operate with the best principles of equity, fairness, equality in the development and distribution of our resources and the friendship and communality, which have contributed immensely to entrenching the ambiance of peace, progress, and development in the State.”
Barr. Ogheneluemu Sylvester Imonina, Publicity Secretary, APC, Delta State while congratulating all Deltans on the 28th year anniversary of the creation of Delta State said the need to congratulate Deltans was borne out of the successful existence of the State despite the diverse nature for these past 28th years.
He added that It is an obvious fact that Delta State is presently lagging behind in areas of genuine human capital and infrastrutural developments due to bad leadership and assured that there is a silver lining in dark sky which will usher in a better governance of the State in no distant time.
“After the creation of the State in 1991, Deltans were full of hope for a better State. Unfortunately, the Military Administrators and Governors that ruled the State did not do much to better the lot of Deltans, probably because they were not accountable to the citizens, rather, their loyalty was to their Appointors at the federal level.
He said in 1999, democratic goverment came into being in Nigeria and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took over the reigns of power in Delta State, with promises of a better Delta State but however, due to lack of true and genuine commitment by the PDP led goverment to develope Delta State, the State is one of the least developed States in Nigeria.
According to APC: “In most of the surrounding States and other States in Nigeria, development in the area of roads construction have moved from their major cities and State Capitals to the rural areas. That means work on the major roads in their State Capitals and big cities have long been completed.
Unfortunately, because of PDP led goverment insincerity in Delta State, major roads in the State capital and major cities are still in a state of disrepair. The roads have become a nightmare for motorists. The few roads construction projects embarked upon are of low quality and shoddy jobs which will not stand the test of time. The drainages in Asaba and other major cities in the State are not left out in shoddy construction year in year out.”
“Most roads in the rural areas are more or less death traps, because of non-construction and or lack of rehabilitation of the existing roads. While some sections of federal roads within the State are nightmaric because of bureaucracy in governance and huge area of coverage by the federal goverment in road construction, most State goverments repair federal roads within their States and the cost of repairs brought before the federal goverment for reimbursement.
This practice was adopted by some of our neighbouring States and it worked for them. A typical example is the failed section before the boundary of Edo and Delta State, the Adeje axis and others. A journey from Warri to Benin that normally takes from 40 minutes to one hour, now takes about 3 hours or more.”
The APC regretted that PDP led goverment in Delta State in their normal deceit, recently came on air, arrogantly and shamelessly told Deltans that they would not subscribe to the repairs of federal roads in Delta State, forgetting the fact that it is Deltans who ply those roads on a daily basis.
“The economy is also in shambles in Delta State due to the fact that the PDP led government, after purportedly winning elections with the aid of their political thugs, were unable to engage them in gainful employment thereafter.
As a result of that, most of them have resorted to criminality and what is popularly called “deve” in Warri and its environs. The unhealthy attitudes of these political thugs, turned “area boys” made so many companies to relocate from Delta State to neighbouring States of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers and other States. Presently, most investors are afraid of investing in Delta State for fear of the unknown.
“The government on its part has not been able to key into the federal government’s agricultural initiatives to enhance food production and open up job opportunities for our youth in the establishment of factories.
The State has many moribund industries which need to be revived to serve the needs of the people and create opportunities but the PDP led government’s neck is too stiff to turn that way and change the narrative of Deltans.
The party noted that the only hope of survival by most youth in Delta State apart from collecting “deve” is riding of tricycle, popularly known as Keke, and mini-buses popularly referred to as Tuketuke, saying government hospitals are in a sorry state with insufficient manpower to run them and lack of drugs.
“The health sector is also riddled with various malpratices due to lack of proper supervision of the workers. There are series of reports of these health workers who treat the patients shabily, extort monies from patients making government owned hospitals undesirable by the people.
“In the education sector, so many public primary and secondary schools are nothing to write home about. Most teachers are not trained and Where there are opportunities for some of the teachers to attend training or seminars, PDP in collaboration with some staff at the Post Primary Education Board arranged with non-teachers to attend those seminars, with the agreement for returns (kickbacks). This practice made so many teachers to express misgivings about their jobs.
APC pointed out that there is no gainsaying the fact that there is still a very long walk to good governance and development in the State, which will call for proper celebration of the creation of the State.
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