Leaders from the Delta North Senatorial District of Delta State have pledged to engage their counterparts from other zones towards making the emergence of the governor of the state in 2015 from the zone a negotiated exercise as they identified agriculture and a strong industrial base as critical factors for sustainable development of the state.
In a well attended strategic conference in Lagos at the weekend, stakeholders from the academia, political class and royal fathers outlined the road map to the the election of a governor of Delta North extraction in 2015, noting that a large array of competent, educated and experienced leaders are available to take the state to greater heights.
And even though equity dictates that governorship of the state should shift to the zone, concerted efforts, they said, must be made to negotiate a consensual emergence of an Anioma candidate as governor of the state.
At the conference organized by ASDEV 81 Club at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studie, University of Lagos, the leaders also agreed that the process of the emergence of a governor from Delta North must not be acrimonious.
In effect, they endorsed a proposition that whoever emerges as the candidate from the zone should be backed unconditionally by all persons in the running for governorship.
Recalling the virtues of late Dennis Osadebey, pioneer Premier of then Midwest Region, who laid the foundation for the modern Edo and Delta states, the Anioma leaders vowed to give Delta State a leadership that will be fair, progressive and unwavering in weaning the state from dependence on oil revenue under the Delta Beyond Oil initiative of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of the State.
Gov. Uduaghan, who was represented at the occasion by Chike C. Ogeah, Commissioner for Information, had called for support for the national conference proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that the present constitution has stifled competitiveness among the states and stunted the country’s growth.
Speaking at the conference, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly; Dr. Festus Okubor, Chief of Staff to Uduaghan; Chief Clement Ofuani, former Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state and Professor, Victor Izegbu, a professor of urological surgery, said reviving the agricultural sector, building a reliable infrastructural base and a paradigm shift to energizing and empowering the real sector are key to creating employment as well as sustainable development in Delta State.
They also endorsed the proposed national conference as the present federal arrangement has “concentrated too much power at the centre” and denied the country the right ambience for growth.
Professor Epiphany Azinge, Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, who chaired the conference, called on all politicians from Delta North seeking to lead the state in 2015 to be ready to subject their personal ambition to the greater interest of the zone.
Other leaders at the conference are Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and Mrs. Ngozi Ologede who were represented as well as Obi (Prof.) Chike Edozien, Asagba of Asaba.