Chief Ken Iwelumo, the Alibo of Onicha Ugbo Kingdom, has outlined why a vote for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Rt.Hon.Sheriff Oborevwori, is a vote for the continued growth and prosperity of Asaba.
According to Iwelumo, the upcoming gubernatorial election in Delta state, is a make or break situation for Anioma and Asaba in particular.
He stated that, the forthcoming gubernatorial election is not about PDP, All Progressives Congress (APC), or Labour Party (LP). Rather, it is about the survival and sustainability of Asaba as capital of Delta state in real terms and the economic, social and developmental well-being of Anioma people.
In Iwelumo’s words, “In the first 16 years of this political dispensation, Asaba was largely neglected. A glorified village. Politicians and Civil Servants would come into town on Tuesdays and leave on Thursdays leaving Asaba an underdeveloped ghost town.
“The first two Governors held court mostly in Warri visiting Asaba only when absolutely necessary. Development by the State Government was largely channelled towards Warri.
“The first overhead bridge in any town in Delta State was in Warri. ShopRite opened it’s first Delta State store in Warri. Warri Airport was built before Asaba Airport albeit with the help of Shell Petroleum Development Co. Warri had a better road infrastructure than Asaba. The Government House in Warri used to be larger than it’s counterpart in Asaba. This is to mention a few examples.
“With the coming of the Okowa Administration, Asaba has grown, prospered and assumed it’s rightful position as the official and real Capital of Delta State. Asaba grew exponentially over the last 8 years in part from the favourable attention of Delta State Government and in part from the huge influx of new residents.
“All the gains witnessed in the last 8 years would be lost if we the Anioma people do not sheath our swords, bury our personal differences, unite, speak with one clear voice and select a new Governor who is open minded and cosmopolitan in outlook enough to continue to favour Asaba.
“It is Delta Central’s turn to produce the next Governor. Amongst the many contenders in the race are three main front runners. Oborevwori Sheriff of PDP, Ovie Omo-Agege of APC and Ken Pela of LP. Not surprisingly, all three are to some degree Urhobo centric in their leanings and outlook. Anioma is in a tricky situation.
“Vote the right candidate who has Anioma’s interest at heart and Asaba will continue to grow and flourish. Vote the wrong candidate and Asaba and Delta North will be in decline for at least the next 8 years.
“Ken Pela of LP is backed by some conservative Urhobo Elder Statesmen. These conservative Godfathers may not be inclined to allow him give Asaba the attention it deserves. Ovie Omo-Agege of APC is a blue blood, die cast Urhobo Nationalist. Under his watch the priorities of Delta State Government would definitely shift to Delta Central.
“Of the three candidates, Oborevwori Sheriff of PDP is the most liberal and with some influence from his political godfather may not quickly abandon Asaba. He probably would allow Asaba to continue to flourish both as a State Capital and as a center of excellence in commerce, services, entertainment and tourism.
“Unfortunately, he has the Achilles heel of bearing the full brunt of the ongoing rebellion against his Godfather and the pent up youth frustration and resentment with the status quo.
“We the Anioma people have to put aside our personal grudges against the outgoing Administration, our personal interests, our different political views and embrace Oborevwori Sheriff as the next Governor.
“Not with the perception that he is Okowa’s hand picked stooge but as someone more inclined than the other contenders to be sympathetic to Delta North. We should not throw away the baby with the bath water.
“The interest of Asaba and the Anioma Nation should be paramount to all of us irrespective of our political inclinations and should come ahead of our individual interests.
“Delta North is the main battle ground that will decide the next Delta State Governor. Let us vote for the sustained growth and development of Asaba and it’s position as the defacto Capital of Delta State.”
He further beckoned on the people to put aside political differences and vote for Sheriff Oborevwori, come Saturday, 18 March, 2023.
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