Ben Dunno, Warri
One group, the South-South Ethnic Nationalities Assembly (SSENA), has endorsed the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) bid for the Atiku-Okowa presidency to rescue Nigerians from eight years of mismanagement by the government led by the Congress of All Progressives (APC).
Announcing its endorsement at a press conference in Warri over the weekend, the group said it came to the decision after taking time to profile all the political parties vying for various political offices in the country and came to the conclusion that only the PDP would do. the interest of the region.
Speaking on the occasion, the National Coordinator of the group made up of various regional groups, community leaders, activists, traditional holders, stakeholders, religious leaders, among others, Chief Favor Izoukumor, said that the PDP administration considered the South-South region in The equation. of Nigerian politics, than the APC-led government.
While he stated that the Atiku-Okowa presidency would ensure the restructuring and control of Nigeria’s resources, which has been the yearning of the South-South people, he noted that these two policies remain highly critical for the region.
According to; “In reaching this decision, we looked at some of the defunct regional political parties, viz. NCNC and NPC, led by Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello respectively, whose programmes, economic and administrative policies favored minorities in Edo and Delta provinces (formerly the Midwest region and later Bendel State) and , by extension, the entire Niger Delta region”.
“We recall that the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, was tasked with creating the Midwest region and subsequently the Midwest state, despite resentment from some members of the political class during that time.
To reinforce his point, Izoukumor said that under the Fourth Republic, the Federal Government under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by President Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military head of state, up to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, provided broad support for the South-South geopolitical zone.
“It was under the regime leadership of these great men (Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan) that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was created, a 13% bypass fund was allocated to oil producing states of the Niger Delta, the President The Amnesty Program, the Ministry of the Niger Delta, the Nigerian Maritime University of Okerenkoko, the Federal University of Petroleum, Effurun-Warri, the Federal University of Otuoke and many others were created.
“These institutions and their policies were oriented towards the development of our region. It is fair to say that the current peace and tranquility in the Niger Delta is a product of the then PDP-led Federal Government.
“With the dazzling performance of the then PDP-led government, Nigeria has regained its rightful place in the community of nations as the leader of the African continent. The Universal Basic Education Program (UBE) was established. PDP caused astronomical growth of the Nigerian economy, with 100% GDP growth from 3% to 6%; reviving the national fertilizer companies on the Kaduna and Onne (rivers), as well as increasing the excess crude oil bill from a paltry $2 billion to $43 billion, while managing to forge a relief deal from the $18 billion in debt to major nations and creditor groups, including the Paris Club.
“Noteworthy is how the PDP brought the South-South region into the Nigerian political equation by making an ethnic minority nationality, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Vice President and later President of Nigeria. It was the highest political office attained by a South-South minority, and he went on to make him the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Under Jonathan’s formidable economic team, Nigeria’s economy was restructured for the first time in a decade, leading to the country’s emergence as the continent’s largest economy, after surpassing South Africa.
Izoukumor, expressed his satisfaction with Atiku’s choice of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, saying that his choice was the best one for the South-South.
“This is now 2023 and the PDP has once again demonstrated its ‘naturalness’ and love for minority groups by electing Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa from Delta State as its vice-presidential candidate.
“Okowa symbolizes a bridge between the South-South and the Southeast. The party’s adoption of him was due to his excellent performance as Governor of Delta State. The giant steps of him are evident through the land and are visible to the blind and audible to the deaf. His historic accomplishments in the Delta State are evident, particularly in the waterfront communities, where his carefully thought-out programs and policies have created wealth for Delta residents.
“The PDP is known for headhunting, and they’ve done it again by picking Okowa in the upcoming election. We currently believe that this is the best for the South-South. There is no major political party apart from the PDP and its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has shown interest in the S/S and the Nigerian people, and with his charisma and willpower to lift Nigeria from the quagmire of hopelessness and rescue it for a bigger and better nation.
“It is pertinent to recall that under the DPP rule (1999-2007), during which Atiku Abubakar served as Vice President and also as Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) (1999-2011), Nigeria recorded the highest economic growth. growth in history. In 2002, Nigeria recorded the highest GDP growth rate at 15.33%.
“The PDP government initiated the fight against corruption by establishing anti-corruption agencies such as the EFCC and the ICPC. Under the PDP, Nigeria witnessed private sector reforms in telecommunications, banking, and pension administration. It was the government led by the PPD that paid the foreign debts inherited by the civilian government.
“Chronicles of the DPP’s achievements in those years cannot be written without His Excellency Atiku Abubakar earning a high mention, both for his tireless efforts as the backbone of reforms and as Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC).
“In addition, Atiku Abubakar’s wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors gives him an edge over all rival candidates in the 2023 election. He has created thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians in his home state. Adamawa and other parts of the country. Atiku has already pledged a whopping $10 billion to small and medium-sized businesses to create jobs that will solve the unemployment crisis we face, if he is elected president.
“H. E Atiku has again promised to reshape Nigeria if he is elected president. We must remember that the critical demands of the people of the Niger Delta during the decades of marginalization have been the restructuring and control of resources, as was the case during the two CONFABs convened by former presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan.
“One of the demands of the people of the Niger Delta presented to the Nigerian government was to restructure Nigeria, so that the people of the Niger Delta would benefit from the natural resources that God has given them. We are aware that of all the candidates and political parties, only the PDP’s Atiku has categorically promised Nigerians restructuring and control of resources. We believe this will bring peace and transform the Nigerian economy as it would encourage all regions to explore their options and available resources for growth and a better life for their citizens.
“For the above reasons, we, the Assembly of South-South Ethnic Nationalities, hereby endorse the Atiku/Okowa PDP 2023 presidential bid to rescue Nigeria.”
Subtitle; Image 1 Sample; The Group’s National Coordinator, Chief Favor Izoukumor, flanked by Chief Alwaye Oweredaba (River State), Dcn. Robert Igene, National Secretary for Publicity (Edo State), Hon. Eno Udongwo, National Deputy Coordinator (Akwa-Ibom State), Ms. Sambo Patricia, State Coordinator (Bayelsa State), Hon. Victor Okokon, National Treasurer (Edo State) Cross-river), at the press conference held in Warri over the weekend.