By Edeki Igafe
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in Delta, has promised to tackle the perceived underdevelopment and marginalisation of riverine communities as the state governor in 2023.
Omo-Agege made the promise on Thursday during the his party’s historic
ward-to-ward campaign visit to the riverine communities of Gbokoda and Opuama in Warri North Local Government area of the state.
“I made the historic visit to the riverine communities to personally ascertain the challenges people of the area are facing with a view to find ways to tackle them,” he said.
Omo-Agege, also the Deputy President of the Senate, decried the absence of social amenities and development in Itsekiri and Egbema communities in Warri North Local Government, promising proactive action to address the challenges.
The senator said that in spite of the homogeneous contribution of Warri North to the state resources, there was nothing on the ground to justify their contributions.
Representing Delta Central Senatorial District, he said that Warri North was too critical to the state to be left undeveloped.
Omo-Agege said that his administration would also address the absence of hospitals to cater for the healthcare needs of residents of the riverine communities.
He appealed to the Itsekiri and Ijaw people to vote for him as Governor and Bola Tinubu as the President as well as other APC candidates in the elections.
The candidate assured the people that his administration would put an end to the marginalisation and underdevelopment of the riverine communities in the state.
“This is an oil-bearing community and an oil-bearing local government area. The bulk of the money we receive as a state from the 13 per cent derivation comes from the oil produced here.
“If not for Tuoyo Omtsuli’s contributions, you will not know that this is an oil-bearing local government.
“The Itsekiri people are marginalised.
“While coming on this two-hour boat ride, many questions are running through my mind. First, why is there poverty when Warri North contributes so much to our revenue development here?
“If you look at the entire Itsekiri and Ijaw nations, there is no tertiary institution in Itsekiri and Ijaw lands,” he said.
According to him, we have suffered enough. I am also a stakeholder in Itsekiri Nation. So, when I say we, I speak also as a stakeholder.
“I am angry and I want the Itsekiri people to be angry too. You have a chance now to remedy the marginalisation. We now have a choice, and our choice is easy.
“Asiwaju is your in-law. When Tinubu becomes President, you have produced a president. When Asiwaju becomes president by your votes, we are going to collaborate to reactivate Koko, Warri and Burutu ports.
“I know the challenges you face. I will work with Yinka and other Itsekiri leaders to address them,” Omo-Agege said.
Addressing the people, Ayiri Emami, an APC leader in Delta, said that all wards in Gbokoda are for APC.
“The president that is coming is our in-law. He’s the husband of our sister. We must ensure that we vote for Tinubu. For the three of us (Tuoyo, Prince Yemi Emiko and Ayiri) to be here means Itsekiri is here.
“In the forthcoming elections, don’t be deceived by money. Vote for Tinubu, Ovie Omo-Agege and other APC candidates. Omo-Agege as a governor will perform and develop our communities,” he said.
The APC Chairman in Delta, Mr Omin Sobotie, said that the level of underdevelopment in Gbokoda and Egbema communities deserved urgent attention.
Sobotie said that only an APC-led government could address the situation.
Also, Mr Tuoyo Omatsuli, a former Executive Director, Project of Niger Delta Development Commission and an APC chieftain in Delta, said that Itsekiris would vote for Tinubu and Omo-Agege because they know what the duo could do.
Among those on the campaign train were: former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Director-General of Delta APC Campaign Council, Elder Godsday Orubebe; Michael Johnny and among others.