The national chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, on Wednesday lamented the poor living conditions in the Niger Delta and called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address the challenge.
According to him, the situation in the region was strange, given the volume of wealth it harbors.
He made this known by inaugurating the multi-million dollar Ogheye naira floating market; Odokun High School; 3 km pedestrian road linking Oboghoro with Ogheye-Dimigun, and a pedestrian bridge crossing Jorojoro Stream with Ogheye-Dimigun, all in the Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The PDP national chairman lamented that despite the huge contributions of the Niger Delta to the nation’s economy, the poverty rate in the region has continued to rise.
Ayu said the people of the Niger Delta region deserve better treatment for their sacrifices and contributions to the nation’s economic pillar.
However, he praised Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for what he described as “his outstanding development efforts in the state, especially in building the modern market that would greatly contribute to the growth of commerce in the area.”
The DPP chairman said the Federal Government led by the All Progressives Congress had held the country back for more than 50 years and urged Nigerians to support his party’s mission to rescue and rebuild the nation.
He said: “Thank you Deltans for the support you have given us on our journey thus far to recover and rebuild Nigeria.
“I am happy to return to the state for the second time as National President of our great party to inaugurate projects executed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who by the grace of God will become our next Vice President in a few months.
“I first took note of Okowa’s work as Governor when he built the best Secretary of State in the country and I remember telling him that the nation was taking note of his contributions to the development of its people.
“Some political parties will come to campaign to the people, they make all kinds of promises to trick people into voting for them, but when they come to power they don’t keep their promises and that’s criminal.
“But the PDP that I was a founding member of was formed to work for the people and we are particularly proud of our governors who are raising the party flag high.
“I am happy that there is continuity of government here in Delta and the three governors so far have not let Deltans down,” he said.
Ayu said Okowa’s outstanding works and contributions to the party earned him the vice-presidential candidacy, describing him as a brilliant and eloquent man who has continued to provide greater service to the party and the country.
“Okowa is an eloquent and brilliant statesman and we, the party leaders, decided that Delta State should be rewarded for its contribution to the growth and development of the party.
“Poverty in the Niger Delta must be addressed and must not be left to state governments alone. All stakeholders, including the Federal Government and oil companies, must make concerted efforts for the development of the region.
“You are the second son of the Niger Delta to be lucky enough to rise to such a high office in the region and we hope you will pay special attention to the needs of the people of the Niger Delta when you become Vice. president of the country
“I was here last year to inaugurate a road named after my friend, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue, and the multi-billion naira stormwater drainage projects in Asaba.
“I also inspected the Model Technical College in Asaba which was built almost like a university that you replicated in other parts of the state and I think the people of Delta will not forget you,” he told Okowa.
In his remarks, Okowa paid tribute to his predecessor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who conceived and initiated the construction of the market, which was later abandoned due to financial constraints and a contractor’s default.
“I was part of the initiative when I visited Warri North for the inauguration of projects in the community of Oboghoro and Utonlila and visited the market project and assured that we would take steps to re-award the contract.
“We got a local contractor, an indigenous person from the community to take on the job and we thank God that in two years he was able to deliver and it is important to affirm that our people have the capacity to do great things,” he said. saying.
Okowa urged the party hierarchy to support development in the region, noting that “it costs a lot to run projects in the Niger Delta.”
“When we take over the government of Nigeria on May 29, 2023, I am sure we will understand that the people of the Niger Delta really have a very difficult terrain.
“If it costs a billion to build a project in a few other states, it could cost up to N5 billion to run such projects here,” he said.
In his remarks, the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, praised the governor for ensuring the completion of the old market, adding that its completion would enhance the growth of trade in the area.
He said the area was known for its abundance of oil and gas, but regretted that people have not benefited from the profits from exploiting the resources.
Monarch Warri further said that building the market was commendable as trade remained the best way to reposition Delta beyond oil and gas.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Works (Rural and River Projects), Solomon Golley, had said that the Ogheye Floating Market was built at the mouth of the Benin River, next to the Atlantic Ocean, on a 6,000 m2 reinforced concrete platform supported by more of 160 . of 450 mm diameter piles.
He said the market consisted of a landing dock, 96 open shops, 80 closed shops, security tower, entrance gate, canteen, administration building, bank hall, fish processing unit, warehouse building, toilets and a protective fence. on the platform. .