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Senate 2019: Delta South roots for Emmanuel Uduaghan

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Electorates in the Delta South Senatorial District have vowed not to treat the 2019 elections with kid’s gloves, especially as it has to do with their representation in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Majority of those whose opinions were sampled agreed that they have not been feeling the impact of democratic dividends for a long time, but in 2019, things will be different.

To this end, while politicians are making the rounds with marathon consultations and secret meetings, they have already weighed in potential candidates who are aspiring to the position, even as the Independent National Electoral commission has not officially declared it campaign open.

Two heavyweights have emerged in the district: the immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan and the incumbent senator representing Delta South in the Senate, Senator James Manager are said to be consulting leaders of the party and those that matter in determining their chances for the senate seat.

There are other candidates also, most notably being one Chief Michael Ejele, a member of Delta State House of Assembly from Sapele who has already littered the state with his posters for the plump job. However, political pundits have already written him off as his chances are slim. They view his moves as a tactical weapon to negotiate his return to the Delta State House of Assembly and not really the senate seat.

So, the race is between the incumbent, Senator James Manager who has spent 12 years in the National Assembly and is still itching to return there, and the immediate-past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.

As the people clamour for Dr. Uduaghan to represent them, everyone is waiting to see how the party will manage the choice of candidacy between these two political heavyweights and the aftermath of it so that it will not affect the chances of the party in the forthcoming elections.

From all indications, the immediate-past governor is not really a problem to the party because he is known to be a party man who believes so much in the ideology and development of the party while the party’s fear at the moment is  Senator James manager who inversely is not so strong in the belief of abiding to party decision and may decide to defect if eventually he does not win the party’s primaries.

James Manager has a lot of hurdles to clear if truly he desires to return to the national assembly. One of such hurdles is that the people of Delta South are said to be tired of his representation. Their argument is hinged on the fact that he has been in the national assembly for over 12 years and they can’t even feel his impact.

And for Dr. Uduaghan, he is not an upstart in politics. He is synonymous with excellence. He is not only a hard worker but a master planner whom observers believe stands a better chance to face the growing strength of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state. This political oracle held fort while Chief James Ibori was away and the fortunes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state did not dwindle nor did lose the state to the opposition.

As governor of Delta state, Dr. Uduaghan created a lot of landmark achievements which still stands today in the Big Heart state. Though, Dr. Uduaghan has not officially declared his interest for the Senate, sources disclosed that he is already consulting with those that matter. Today, he would have been in senate but for his respect and belief in party supremacy, he shelved the idea in 2015 to enable Senator James Manager have another stint.

If he eventually declares his interest, many factors will work in Dr. Uduaghan’s favour. One, as a governor of Delta, he did a lot for the state in health, education, roads, job creation and meeting the needs of youths and aged in the state. There is no one who did not benefit from his programmes and this has endeared him to the people. Dr. Uduaghan commands respect amongst all the ethnic groups in the state, so it will be difficult for his opponent to defeat him, our source said.

Pundits believe that since he was able to keep the political structure Ibori left behind intact, except for a few ones who left, party members will support him any day because he has proven to be a strong PDP man.

According to our source, “the party itself knows that if Uduaghan is not given the senate ticket for Delta South, it will definitely lose the seat to opposition.

Dr. Uduaghan is highly experience as a politician. Chief Olu Falae, former secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria summed it up during Uduaghan’s 60th birthday celebration, declaring that as a commissioner for Health and later secretary to the state government and later governor, he has garnered experience politically. “He is one of the people who have a lot of experience which is basically lacking in Nigeria. To that extent we have learnt a lot from him; he is very calm and he listens before he talks.”

As the drama keeps unfolding, political analysts are watching to see how the ruling party will handle the choice of its flag bearer in the forthcoming election in the state, with the general fear that if poorly handled, the seat will end up being a plus for opposition in the district.

Also lending their voices in support of Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial move is a socio-political pressure group founded on the philosophy of working against all forms of selfish politicians /politicking in Delta State, the Developmental Advocates of Warri North, DAWN.

In a communiqué issued after an emergency meeting held at Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area, Saturday March 17, 2018, DAWN asserted that the call on Dr. Uduaghan to contest the senatorial seat became necessary after a committee it set up to study potential aspirants for the position recommended the former Delta State Governor, based on his antecedents in peace building and achievements in the public offices he held in Delta State between 2009 and 2015.

The communiqué signed by Inojulagho Amaju, Coordinator and Ayonuwe Clifford, Lead, Grassroots Education, on behalf of DAWN, averred, “we reserve the right to be represented by intellectuals who will revert the respect we are almost losing grip of at the National stage”.

According to the Warri group, the 7.6km Umeh Road in Isoko, which ended 30 years of abandonment of the agrarian community, the Abigborodo Bridge project in Warri North, Ugbenu Koko Road, the 0-5 years free health care delivery programme across the state and the revolutionary Uduaghan Park, “which brought transportation across Delta State to an easy and comfortable ride with lowest fares”, are achievements of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan that makes him eminently qualified to vie for the prominent legislative position in 2019.

The group also mentioned the construction of”10 International Model Schools” in the three senatorial districts of Delta State, the construction /renovation of hundreds of schools,the introduction of EDUMARSHAL programme to ensure the downtrodden children go to school free of charge as well as the payment of enrollment fees for SSCE candidates as some other reasons that informed their decision to back Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition.

They averred that a man who sacrificed his senatorial ambition for the sake of peace in Delta State, particularly inter-ethnic harmony in Delta South should be given all the necessary support to represent Delta South in 2019, describing the former Secretary to Delta State Government as “an intellectual and bridge builder with the requisite National as well as International connections for the job.”

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Osun Decides 2018: APC, INEC creating illegal polling units to rig election – PDP

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Addressing a press conference on Friday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, however, said the party would dismantle all the plots of APC.

He said, “We have also alerted Nigerians that the APC in connivance with INEC was creating illegal polling units and delineating illegal wards across the federation.

“It will interest you to know that just as we are preparing for the Osun election, we have been able to burst one of those fictitious electoral wards created for APC to rig election.

“Ila Local Government has 11 electoral wards, but ahead of tomorrow’s (today) election, INEC has created an imaginary 12th ward for Ila and allocated over 4,000 votes for that ward, and that ward is called Iperin.

“What they have done is to create two wards in Iperin, instead of one; allocated votes for both wards including the original ward and the fictitious ward.”

The party spokesperson pointed out that PDP would not accept rigging, saying, “as we promised, we will dismantle every rigging‎ plots of APC ahead of the election.”

He added, “It is strange that an electoral body will connive and collude with a political party with the intention of generating votes that will make them win an election.

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Uduaghan: NOC investiture, a big inspiration

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Former Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has described as a big inspiration his inclusion on the list of prominent personalities to be honoured by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC). Uduaghan was on Wednesday listed as one of the NOC patrons to be honoured for their contributions to the Olympic movement.

Uduaghan, whose tenure as governor in Delta State witnessed massive results in the sports sector, was listed alongside former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Oba S. A Elegushi, Gbong Gwon Jos, Da Jacob Buba Gyang, Sir Mark Wabara, Dr. Zainab Bagudu, Major-General Adamu Dyeri (rtd), M. A. Abubakar and Alhaji Bashari Mohammed Gumel by the NOC for its investiture ceremony for patrons on October 23 in Lagos.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Uduaghan, who is aspiring for Delta South Senatorial ticket under the APC in the 2019 elections, said his inclusion on the list was an indication that the NOC took proper records, and also appreciated the work he did for sports while he was governor of Delta State.

“There is always a reward for anything you do in life, good or bad. While I was Governor of Delta State, some people accused me of paying so much attention to the sports sector. But I refused to back down because sports is one of the avenues to prepare the youths for future challenges. I was an athlete in my youthful days, and I enjoyed every bit of the sector as governor because Team Delta actually got the results we wanted. I will continue to play my role by giving Nigerian youths the motivation they need to excel in national and international competitions,” Uduaghan stated.

As patrons of the Olympic Movement, the honourees will become iconic international sports personalities, carrying the emblem of Nigeria globally.

One bold step Uduaghan took shortly after he assumed office as governor of Delta State in 2007 was the creation of Delta Sports Commission, which gave sports activities a professional and institutional leverage.

Team Delta was able to continue its dominance in the National Sports Festival, winning at KADA 2009, second at Garden City 2011 and champions at Eko 2012.

Uduaghan’s administration also saw Delta winning the National Channel’s Kids Cup in Lagos in 2013, while Warri Wolves qualified for the finals of the 2014 Federation Cup, the first time in thirty years by any male club from the state. His passion for sports led to the revival of secondary school football competition by staging the biggest Governor’s Cup competition ever among public schools in 2013 and 2014.

His cash motivation for athletes gave the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Ese Brume and Divine Oduduru the backing they needed to excel at various competitions.

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Coalition thumbs up FMBN over workers -friendly policy

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A group, The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), has commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for its policy aimed at assisting Nigerians to own houses.
The commendation was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by its President, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele, and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Inuwa Sule.

According to the group, the commendation was “in recognition of the transformational development and giant strides of the FMBN, in its appraisal of the bank’s efforts in carrying out its regulatory roles and functions as enshrined in the Act establishing the bank and in making homeownership affordable, available and less cumbersome to the nation’s workers thereby driving the growth of the economy and its allied sectors.”

It added that the bank, under the leadership of Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, had raised the hope of Nigerians who desired to own houses.

“The World Bank estimated that Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 17 million units and the FMBN has designed the NHF to mobilise funds to provide the citizens with affordable residential houses through accredited PMBs with the lowest rate possible.

The introduction of the zero equity on loans to workers is a novel initiative commenced by the bank for the implementation of a new approved condition for accessing loans from the National Housing Fund (NHF).

“We commend the paradigm shift from the old to the new and applaud the gigantic development strides in the welfare of staff, development of critical infrastructure as well as maintenance culture of infrastructure adopted by the Dangiwa-led management in keeping abreast of the mortgage industry globally,” the statement read in part.
Continuing, it read: “COCMEGG passes a vote of confidence on the hierarchy of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), under Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, for its forthrightness, vision and strategies in ensuring that the average workers, middle income earners and the common man in the streets have a home to lay their heads.”

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