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Date Published: 10/13/09

Oguma Interview

2011: Uduaghan is unstoppable - Oguma


The year 2011 is some two years away. To anyone, two years for now is a long period. It is however not so for politicians in Delta State where Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan hold sway. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and National Treasurer, Urhobo Consultative Forum (UCF) Olorogun John Oguma believes that some of the negative campaigns against Governor Uduaghan are meant to strengthen the character and integrity of his second term bid. He spoke at an interactive session with the press in Warri.

What do you make of those opposed to his second term bid?

This is an attempt to introduce ethnic feelings into the race and to encourage those who do not have better credentials to lead the people. We need leaders of a higher breed and quality. The question is not where the governor comes from but who is best suited to project social democracy to the bulk of our people. I have faith in the leadership of Governor Uduaghan. He has clear vision of the society he wants, the Delta of his dream. He thinks far ahead of those around him. I share his vision of a prosperous Delta State. He is a humanist and a leader determined to leave his footprints in the sands of time by impacting positively on the lives of the people of the state, irrespective of their social status. He is the best for now and we have resolved to present him again to Deltans in 2011. This is unshakeable and irrevocable. Those opposed to his second term bid do not have the political clout to abort this objective.

The PDP led government is under attack in Delta. Why is this so given the acclaimed performance of Governor Uduaghan?

I do not see any problem with us in Delta State and I say this given the antecedent of Governor Uduaghan, our governor. We have all seen that his performance in the state is unequalled in its history and this is to the knowledge of the electorate. They know what he has done. These are what the people would use to justify the re-election of Governor Uduaghan. His Excellency is on the right track of performance. He is not deterred by all the criticism because he is a visionary who is focused and would not allow such things to interrupt the smooth delivery of dividends of democracy in Delta State.

How do you rate the Governor Uduaghan led PDP administration?

He is a reference point to many and this has to do with his perceived great degree of performance and transparency. He has always projected himself as a visionary leader who is desirous of putting his people on the fast lane of development and progress. Particularly on education and health, the governor’s vision has been applauded. There are so many development projects going on in the state. When we talk in terms of assessment, it has to do with development. Projects are everywhere. There is a good road network all over the state. At least you can see smiles on the faces of the people. When we talk of empowerment, look at the way the governor is empowering the youth by giving them jobs and creating the environment for economic growth. The people are confidence in his ability to govern well and continue to serve the interest of the generality of the populace in the state. He would work harder to consolidate on what God has enabled him to do in education, health, agriculture and provision of portable drinking water as well as the basic and essential infrastructural facilities for the economic development of the state.

How does the governor cope with the management of the state?

I’ve said this thing and because of this, I run into trouble with some of my friends. What Nigeria requires today is upright leadership that is accountable, transparent and responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. The governor is managing the available resources properly, balancing things in such a way that every sector’s needs are addressed. There is proper resource management and meticulous planning by cutting wasteful expenditure and curbing unnecessary spending. Through a careful management of resources, things will be much better. This is the method the governor is using to govern the people.

There is so much talk about plans by some big wigs to quit the party? What is your reaction to this?

PDP is the largest political party in Africa and Nigeria is most populated country in Africa. Delta PDP is not factionalised. What we have is a united PDP. To the best of my knowledge, it is well in the party. It is not unusual to have personality clashes in a party with so many accomplished people. This is no threat to Governor Uduaghan’s second term bid. Anyone who wants to leave our party is welcome, even though it is against our wish that anyone should. But anyone who wants to join us is most welcome. We are ready to take the high and the mighty, the small and the poor.

Do you think it is proper to have so much money in politics and what do you think are the effects?


When you sponsor people, you might not expect returns in terms of cash, but you may expect returns in terms of gratitude. Money in politics is not everything. By the time you give people good leadership, you are happy. There is a sense of fulfilment that comes from what you set out to do for the people. When money is deployed for the sake of acquiring power, it must be to serve the purpose of delivering service to the people and not to secure a means to steal public funds.

How do you intend to empower the women?

I intend to empower the women in several ways. We have categories of women in the state. We have women who have farmlands. I intend to help them get farm seedlings and fertilizers to enable them have a fruitful farming. Those ones that are doing petty trading, I will make available some resources for them to enable them do more of this trading. The ones that are too young, who dropped out of school, I intend to have skill acquisition centres for these people so that they can learn a trade that will help them to be job creators and all that.

What general words and advice do you have for Deltans?

They should continue to pray for the governor and members of his cabinet so that God will continue to guide them to do the right thing. They should live in peace with one another and behind their differences.

What would you want Uduaghan to be remembered for after 2015?

He would be remembered, not just after leaving office, but also forever and ever for having been the voice of the voiceless, the voice of the rural people, the abandoned and the poor. By the grace of God, no mediocre would come to Delta State and mess us up.

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