Posted by Emmanuel Onwubiko and Ogom Kifordu | 3 October 2014 | 4,053 times
Information filtering from the desk of the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisaemeka Metuh, has it that after consultative sessions with the leader and President of the Republic, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the highest organs of the PDP has fixed November 29 and December 6, 2014 respectively for the conduct of its governorship and presidential primaries.
The official declaration was made soon after the governors elected on the platform of the party met and took a resolution to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole presidential candidate, implying that the presidential primary scheduled for December 6 would be a mere formality, to comply with the extant provisions of the party’s constitution, to ratify the decision widely endorsed by virtually the entire ruling organs of this political party that prides itself as the largest in black Africa.
The party has also dismissed speculations that the president gave his tacit endorsement for the governors serving out their second tenure to hand pick their successors.
Besides, most of these governors due to quit the stage in their respective states, after their mandatory two terms of eight years each, elapse on May 29, 2015. They have on various occasions stated, in very unmistaken terms, that their successors would emerge through broad-based democratic means, since they have no skeletons in their political cupboards, which may make them desperate to hand pick their puppets to help them conceal their shady deals.
One of such governors is the Delta State Chief Executive, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, who is widely believed by his supporters to actively support transparent and accountable governance as essential elements that promote good governance.
Political pundits have already observed that Delta, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia, Kano, Katsina, Borno and Taraba are major flashpoints, where there are expectations that the interest already shown by many high profile experienced politicians to succeed their outgoing governors means that the November 29, 2014 governorship primary will generate unprecedented interest even as independent observers are already urging the ruling party to allow openness, transparency, free and fair contests to take place as a necessary step to pick their governorship standard bearers.
In Delta State, many political heavy weights and core professionals have openly declared their intention to vie to succeed the governor. As a result, it is known that the primary election of the ruling party in this oil rich state has already generated unprecedented followership from a cross section of people, not just in Nigeria but even internationally. This is understandable given the number of multi-national oil companies doing business in the state.
Among the aspirants, such as Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Prof Sylvester Monye from Delta North, and others such as erstwhile Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Elder Orubebe and a retired state permanent secretary, Mr Obuh, Mrs Ngozi Juliet Olejeme has attracted considerable attention from many quarters. This could be attributed to the fact that she has successfully overcome the conservative traditional apathy to politics associated with women. Besides, given her pedigree and commitment to the well being of her people, she is already out and fully ready to democratically seek the mandate of her party officials and delegates at the primary, to emerge as the governorship standard bearer in next year’s election.
This lady politician who has so far been endorsed by many forward-looking youth-led groups in her state has even secured the global support (even if discreetly), of many influential women leaders. For example, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who recently published a widely-read article, urging nations to give women of quality equal opportunities to bring their enormous wealth of experience to bear in bringing about good governance in their nations and other federating components of such nations.
The French-born Mrs Christine Lagarde, had in the article titled ‘The Economic Power of Women’s Empowerment’ argued persuasively that women of unimpeachable attributes and credentials such as Ngozi Olejeme, when afforded the opportunity to serve their communities will certainly bring about transformational revolutionary changes, even as they would be much more motivated to tackle the ever persistent social and existential problems associated with mass hunger and grinding poverty afflicting over 80 per cent of Nigerians.
Her words: “Think of the iron will behind the great women leaders of yore-women like Himiko, the shaman queen; Empress Suiko, and Masako Hojo, the daunting ‘nun-shogun.’”
The IMF chief who read this inspirational speech at an event in Tokyo Japan, further stated: “Think about the creative genius of women like Murasaki Shikibu, the author of the literary masterpiece, Tale of Genji, Izumo no Okuni, the founder of the hauntingly beautiful art of kabuki; or Raicho Hiratsuka, the inspirational feminist author.
“Think about the pioneers of women’s education like Umeko Tsuda and Yaeko Yamamoto, or the great global leaders like Sadako Ogata.”
Further, she stated: “Think of the graceful and talented figure skating champions like Mao Asada, the effervescent young women behind the global cultural phenomenon of J-pop, and even the bold and iconoclastic style of the Harajuku girls.
“Think of these – and also of the millions of Japanese women today, brimming with talent and potential, just waiting for the dreams into reality. Let us unlock their doors to success and unblock their avenues of opportunity.”
She then made her most poignant point on the need to allow empowered women to empower and bless their nations thus: “So I urge everyone – all women and men of goodwill – to dare the difference and bet on women. I promise you this: you will not be disappointed. For when women shine like the sun, their radiance will be forever undimmed.”
Olejeme has already identified basic areas of interest in which she is ready and willing to implement, if the good people of her political party and by extension her people can give her the opportunity to serve them selflessly.
Among her core areas of interest are youth and women empowerment and employment creation, because of her background as chairman in one of the key agencies of the labour sector. Education, health, security and urban renewal are some of her passions.
Her words: “You see, a huge number of our population live in the urban area. Therefore, we have a new plan for our cities and towns which includes massive investment in infrastructure and enhanced service to restore order, cure decay seen in most of our urban centers. Pursuant to this, we will build new cities and create conducive environment for investors. In the first phase, we shall focus on Asaba Mega City, Warri, Ughelli, Agbor, Sapele, Ogwashi-Uku, and Burutu, among others.”
Olejeme added: “Development and implementation of master plans. This is very important as it will help to ensure that our cities are properly planned. This includes massive urban roads and street rehabilitation, public parks and recreational grounds, water and sewage systems. More so, new face of Delta: recreation centres, schools, parking facilities. Sanitation and environmental beautification shall be given urgent attention.
“Besides, we have plans to make massive investment in oil and gas by being the first state to build a refinery. We seek to answer being called an oil-producing state in the real sense of it, by designing a model of partnership with the private sector that will accrue benefit from oil and gas to our people. In doing this, we will create industrial cluster in Asaba and Warri to encourage manufacturing. It will be provided with incentives that will encourage investors, industrialisation and removal of the bottlenecks in their ability to compete and create more jobs. Industrial layout for 3,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create at least 300,000 jobs (with electricity initially provided by the state government) and ultimately linked to the National Grid. Information Communication Technology (ICT) will be given a huge boost as we intend to establish ICT village where youths will be trained on how to develop software and other ICT services. We will equally initiate a social security system that would cater for the elderly and widows by paying them life-supporting stipends, to enable them live the rest of their lives without suffering.
“Above all, we shall embark on the provision of affordable, mass-housing schemes; facilitation of a liberalised mortgage system and new/satellite town development. Our goal is to deliver 6,000 units of housing annually.”
•Photo shows Delta PDP governorship aspirant Olejeme.
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