For Wilfredo Eya

In Delta, it cannot be denied that the dominant political party in the state is the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). After that, it was not surprising that a lot happened over the course of the party’s primary, including litigation all the way to the Supreme Court. In this interview, PDP Delta State gubernatorial candidate Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, who is also Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, talks about many topics including his rise, ambition and vision.

Why do you want to be governor of the state of Delta?

I must start by telling you about my mission in politics. It’s really about the people. And I’ve come to understand very early in life that the most important means of affecting people for the better is politics. As a child, I saw a lot of deprivation and poverty in the society and my biggest wish was to see how I can help free people from deprivation and deprivation. While attending elementary and secondary school, the role of politics and government in improving people’s lives became central to our social studies, government, and economics lessons and textbooks. They also taught us that the safest and most legitimate way to enter government is through politics. So as a child I carried the burden of taking responsibility for improving people’s lives. That was my motivation. Now joining grassroots politics saw me grow and evolve. I have served as a councilor and have also served different governments as a special assistant, senior special assistant and special adviser. I made sure to put the interest of the people and loyalty to the government above my personal consideration. Then the good people of the Okpe constituency decided they wanted me to represent them in the Delta State House of Assembly. I contested and won the election and became a member of the State House of Assembly. Not long after, my colleagues and fellow legislators elected me as Speaker of the House, and because of that, I became the head of an arm of government in the state of Delta. This marked a turning point in my career and political evolution. He was no longer just a member representing the Okpe constituency, but the Speaker who presided over the state legislature. That act turned me into a Pan-Deltan and changed my consciousness and perception. As speaker of the state House of Assembly, the entire state became my constituency. That position gave me an appreciation of what the Delta State is all about, its development aspirations, its challenges, and the colors and preferences of the people. After the 2019 general election, my colleagues in the House of Assembly expressed a vote of confidence in me by returning me as Speaker for the second time; that gesture opened my eyes to new vistas of possibilities for me and Delta State. My return as Speaker is unprecedented in Delta State history. My colleagues said they would return me as Speaker because I am a Pan-Deltan and I easily build consensus. They also said that I have shown a deep understanding of Delta State’s development challenges and that in order for the state to develop smoothly, I must continue to lead the legislative arm. I took some time to evaluate what my colleagues were saying and I realized that I have unconsciously promoted politics at the service of the people in the House of Assembly and by extension, of the State. I soon began receiving encouragement to elevate the political ideology of my people by running for governor of the state of Delta. I’m not one to run away from a challenge, especially when it involves people. I seriously thought about it. I also prayed. As a political scientist who engages in practical politics, I thought of so many possibilities. I sat down to collate my thoughts arising from my burning desire to use politics to promote the welfare of the people. I also asked myself, after the conference, what’s next? How else do I serve the interests of the people? It was at that moment that I resolved and heard the call to run for Governor of Delta State. So the answer to your question why I want to be Governor is to serve the people of Delta State and improve their welfare and safety. My reason and justification is people-centered. It’s all for the people.

Do you have what it takes to be Governor of Delta State?

Yes, I have more than it takes. Besides the basic points of being a Deltan and age, as well as basic educational qualification, I am further qualified to be the Governor of the State of Delta. I am well educated in the art and science of politics, having studied political science up to the graduate level. I must also point out my experience in politics. I have been a councilor at the local government level. I was a special assistant, a senior special assistant, and a special advisor in very sensitive positions. I then crossed over to the legislature after winning an election. I have been elected Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly twice and am the only one to be so elected and the longest-serving Speaker in Delta State history. So far, I have worked with three governors since 2003, when I was appointed special assistant. I have legislative and executive experience. As Speaker, the entire state is a huge constituency to me, and aside from the incumbent Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, no other politician has the kind of insight that I have about the Delta State in terms of its aspirations and development challenges. . In addition to these, I have also taken political leadership and management courses at some of the best universities in the world. I am well trained in executive and legislative leadership, development studies, ICT, advanced leadership and the New World Order at UK and US universities. I have acquired skills and strategies in creative and critical thinking, development thinking, and modern governance. I have what it takes. My ability is formidable.

What about the controversy over his educational qualifications?

It is unfortunate that what was supposed to be a minor error arising from names being used and names not being used in the course of education was misrepresented to cause harm in an attempt to get rid of me. Let the truth be told. Many people who have three or more names have used them differently at one time or another. This was my case. The names that my detractors pointed out are all mine. There is no doubt about them. The schools that I attended at different times have the records and can verify that the names refer to the same person that is me. I have never claimed that the schools I attended no longer exist. I can direct you to my schools from primary, secondary to university. I am well educated. I may not have gone to school in quick succession due to my background, but I did have the benefit of Western education up until my graduate degree, which is the Master of Science in Political Science that I earned from Delta State University, Abraka. My schoolmates and many of my teachers at different stages of my education are alive. I affirm that my educational qualifications are sound and genuine.

What do you think are Delta State’s challenges or problems?

The Delta State’s challenges are essentially the same as those of Nigeria and other Third World societies. The challenges that are also the problems include poverty, unemployment, inadequate electricity, inadequate ICT, infrastructure deficit, inadequate health care, poor education, low industrialization and low agricultural productivity, and insecurity. There are also problems associated with population growth and reduced resources. There are other social ills like armed robbery, cybercrime, youth riots and others that disrupt life from time to time, but once the main ones I mentioned are addressed and overcome, then we will have a stable and prosperous society.

Can you briefly talk about your manifesto and tie it back to your vision for Delta State?

Insurance. My manifesto is anchored in the aspirations of the people of the Delta State and is the product of months of brainstorming during which I was recommended to read the action program of the societies or nations leaving the Third World. They advised me because their conditions were similar to ours in Nigeria. So we thought that looking at what they did, comparing it and locating it in our context would help us. I focused a lot on Malaysia, Singapore, India, Botswana, and Rwanda. It was a meticulous job because I read many books about its history, its struggle and its economy. As a trained political scientist, I knew some of this stuff, but now I had to read it very seriously in order to apply it to our situation. My team insisted that I must read and show an understanding of the state of things in those countries and how they evolved before we do anything about the manifesto. I discovered that his idea of ​​development had to do with the welfare and safety of his people. I was happy to find that out because I’m actually in politics for the general interest and the good of the people. So, at the end of the day, we decided that my manifesto should be about MORE, which we coined from the standpoints the manifesto is based on, which are Meaningful Development, Opportunity for All, Realistic Reforms, and Enhancing Peace and Security. security. Each of these stages deals with the welfare and safety of the people of the Delta State. I have mentioned some of the mission statements when asked about my vision for Delta State. But rest assured, the manifesto is unique in that it blends the local with the global in articulating a development agenda for the Delta State. The manifesto acknowledges our challenges. It looks at what has been accomplished, and then strategically outlines how to build on what has been accomplished to lead Delta State and its people into the Fourth Industrial Revolution powered by ICT and the knowledge economy. So we reach out to the world from the Delta State and very soon we will be able to tell our own story of From Third World to First. It is very possible and the signs are there. We also have to deliberately carry out many public service reforms. We must refocus our public service to be purpose driven and results oriented or else we will achieve nothing. Public service drives government and development. Let me say that my manifesto is really the manifesto of the people.

Evaluate the PDP in the Delta State since 1998 when it was formed.

The PDP is the dominant political party in the state of Delta. It has grown very strong and is getting stronger every day. I think it is only in the state of Delta that most of the founding fathers of the PDP are still alive and with the party. The founding fathers saw the tomorrow that is now today and groomed younger people who have become active leaders today. We have had the occasional disagreement which is normal, but the PDP in Delta State is still one big family. Its influence is felt in every home, every unit, every neighborhood, and in every area of ​​local government in the state of Delta. The party has ruled Delta State since 1999 and will continue to do so. The people of Delta state have come to embrace the party, especially in view of the mess that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has wreaked on Nigeria and Delta state since 2015.