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Okakuro Sunday Onoriode, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, hails from Umiaghwa-Abraka kingdom, Ethiope East local government area of Delta state. He is presently the Delta State Organizing Secretary of the party. He was one time Ethiope East local government Council Chairman, State Youth Leader, State Assistant Secretary and State Treasurer of the party.
In this interview with the Delta State Organizing Secretary of the party, Okakuro Sunday Onoriode, he bares his mind on variety of issues ranging from the Delta Central Mega Rally held in Sapele, the national convention and the administration of Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa finishing much stronger.
How would you describe the recent Sapele Mega rally as lot of people see it as a show of strength to intimidate other political parties?
Well, what the people saw was a pinch of the members of the Peoples Democratic, Party, PDP, Delta Central. And it was not a show of strength, because nobody that does not know that there is no other political party in Delta apart from the ruling political party PDP, so who do we intimidate?
What you saw was the PDP family who came out in their numbers to receive their own who finally retrace their steps back to the family they have always belong to and other political party members who had no option but to identify with PDP that has held sway in the past 22years.
As a member of the State Working Committee, what would you say of the party so far since Okowa’s administration?
Delta state PDP has done very well within this six years of Okowa’s government and that is because of the strong leadership he has provided for the party and the teaming members across the state.
He has ran a very strong government, and made the party stronger and part of the success of his strength is what we saw at the Sapele township stadium where over 10,000 members of APC and other political parties decamped to PDP.
This success story is coming our way because of the strong leadership we have in the person of Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa and the way and manner the party is being run by the State Chairman, Barr. Kingsley Esiso, shows the PDP family across board is intact at all times and has done well in terms of party management.
There are strong indications that if Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege paraventure emerges as candidate of APC, that power might shift from your party PDP come 2023, what is your take?
That is pure daydreaming, make them spit clean thier mouth. Experience has shown that victories in elections are never gotten or won in the pages of newspapers or social media. I don’t see the choice of Omo Agege or any other candidate from APC as a match to who ever will emerge from my party.
As a political party, you must have collections of people with the same ideology that must come together as a structure to drive the process of the party to winning elections and only one party PDP under the management of Barr. Kingsley Esiso has that mechanism. I don’t see that in any other political parties as we have it in PDP. Our structure cuts across the 25 local government areas and the 270 wards in the state. We don’t believe in one man show but in collective structure.
There have been commendations on the state governor finishing strong, while others are of the view of no physical structures on ground to buttress the praises, how do you reconcile this?
It is satanic for anybody to say that he is not seeing the massive infrastructural developments in the state. H E Sen Dr Okowa has made series of positive records in this country and he is not in the class of leaders that are classified as law breakers. Let use this opportunity to thank my governor, the road master for ruling Delta state very well, our state is the safest today in our country.
Okowa is fast turning the state to a one city state by linking all our towns with good road network, thank you for the giant, brown new state secretariat, thank you sir for engaging our youths in STEP , YAGEP and many other life changing programs that have turned around the life of many youths, civil servants are happy, thank you for the internal roads in all the 25 LGA’s mostly the Marriam Babangida and DLA roads that were termed to be jinxed, thank you for all the technical colleges, thank you for all our primary and secondary schools, thank you sir for our hospitals. Thank you sir for opening up the tourist potential of the state, thank you sir for revamping sports in the state most especially the completion of the Asaba stadium, Ekwueme God will bless you and your family.
With the excellent performance of the Governor so far it will amount to lunacy to say that he is not doing well most especially when it’s coming from leaders that have not been able to resolve all the crises in thier political party that is highly factionalized.
If every governor in Nigeria can work the way Okowa is working now, I believe Nigeria would be a better place and nobody would think of travelling to the western world, frankly speaking I am happy to be part of the Okowa success story and proud to be an Okowa person and a witness to what he has done.
A lot of people see the recent defection of the former PDP state chairman, and the incumbent Senator representing Delta North at the national assembly, Sen. Peter Nwoboshi aligning with the Deputy President of the Senate, Omo-Agege as a big lost to the PDP family, what is your take on this?
The exit of Sen Peter Nwaoboshi from our party calls for celebration, you know in 2015 we lost the presidency because of the likes of Sen. Peter Nwaboshi who may have worked against the interest of the party, and having realized this, we changed our ways of operation, l think our new strategy of all inclusiveness was not suitable with him, hence, he defected to the All Progressive Congress APC.
On this, l must say Nwaboshi’s defection is of no effect to the PDP family in Delta state. Today we do not have the same ideology, so we definitely cannot belong to the same political party. As a political party we have resolved not to run a one man show kind of leadership, where one man will sit down and have the structure of the party in an LGA.
He was at a time the Chairman of our great party PDP and he knows the unity the party enjoys from the units, wards to local government and that further confirm my earlier statements that elections are won with structure not on the pages of newspapers.
Sen. Nwoboshi knows there is no structure where he belongs presently, l knew he may be regretting his actions by now and if he decides to return our leader Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa will still receive him back and show mercy if he retraces his steps.
How would you describe Sen. Dr. Okowa for the few years you have worked him?
Governor Okowa, the Ekueme is a great man in all ramifications, a teacher leader, a leader mentor, and a role model to many of us his followers as far as politics is concern.
Everything about him is worth learning, from his family life to his social life is worth learning, hence l always describe him as lineage of potential developer.
He is one governor that I have seen at my age, level of education and social status that is in touch with every areas of the state. If there is crisis in any community today, Okowa know who to call on what is happening and the solution.
He understands the people of the state and that is why there is peace. If you look at the country today, most of the states are boiling and struggling because of insecurity but in Delta, it is not as bad as other states.
As a member of the party from Delta Central, by implication member of DC-23 group, so do you see the group producing a formidable candidate to match the opposition parties?
As a member of my partys state exco i cannot belong to any political pressure or lobby group within my party,
Going to your question, grouping is part of politiking and members of DC-23 are members of my party PDP and since grouping cannot be ruled out, DC-23 is doing their best as a group to come up with a consensus that will strengthen thier chance of producing our partys candidate, from what I gather they are doing very well and if they succeed the greatest beneficiary will be the party
There is this rumor making the round that the DC-23 is working towards the interest of a particular contestant within the aspirants of Urhobo?
I am not aware of that but u should know that rumour is part of politics. The only thing l see is that at the end of the day the its only one person that can be candidate.
What is your take on the administration of the Ethiope East Council Chairman, Rt. Hon. (Pharm) Victor Ofobrukueta as one time chairman of the local government for the past few months?
As a former Council Chairman I want to commend the present Council Chairman. Hon. Victor Ofobrukueta because Ethiope East is a very rural Local Government in terms of Internal Generated Revenue, IGR and because of the size, its allocation is very bad and he is struggling to raise his face up because even as a chairman; the only thing he can do is to struggle to pay salaries.
But with this struggle and initiative of coming up with economic summit, I believed it is a good innovation and he is not doing badly. He is accessible and one of the most popular Chairman in the state if you abreast with his publications on issues that bothers on his local government, so I urged everybody to support him and he is doing very well.
The Ethiope East Council Chairman, Ofobrukueta is not left behind in the scheme of things across the 25 local government because of transparency, he is always read in both local and national dailies and am glad each time l read him in the dailies and l have confidence he will go places.
You just held your national convention, what would you say it potends for your party PDP in terms of the presidency come 2023?
The entire country witnessed our national convention and we all saw the manner it was done, our amiable governor, Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa was the accreditation sub committee chairman and the whole world saw how successful it went without any form of violence or disagreement. This will tell you how prepared the party is waiting for the general election, because it is obvious that the APC has done a lot of damage to the country and now PDP is out on a rescue mission and that we shall accomplish come 2023 by the special grace of God.
Only PDP has the capability of moving this nation from where we are today to the next level. I am happy for ones that the people are having confidence in the party.
Now that we are done with our convention, the next one is 2023 general election where we will come up with a candidate that will make Nigerians proud and Nigerians should know there is still hope in this country.
What we are seeing today, this present APC government have taken us 20 years backward because APC government is liken to a hunter who went to the bush and killed elephant, and have problem of how he can carry the elephant home and how it will be shared.
This is a government at the centre lacks focus and vision.
What is your take on Omo-Agege demanding Okowa to first restore Delta state that he has destroyed before rescuing Nigeria?
Sen Ovie Omo-Agege has no moral justification to make such a statement because
I can categorically show you a lot that have been achieved by Okowa’s administration. Projects that are physically seen on ground, not in the pages of newspapers as we read without seeing the projects on ground as evidence.
Let the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege with his profile, position tell us one project that he has influenced to the state that the president had at one time or the other commissioned or still under construction, there is no where across the state.
So, how could such person who has not doing anything in the state he came from come out to say that my governor should go and rescue Delta he has destroyed before coming to rescue Nigeria, everybody know it is mere fallacy.
Your advice to Delta Central people as we are looking forward to 2023 general elections?
My advice to my people in Delta Central is that we should remain united and do all within our reach to prone the numbers of our aspirants to face the reality of the task ahead and i am confident that with the caliber of persons there we will not miss the track.
I urged my people in Urhobo to make sure we have less people contesting in Delta Central so that we can have a united force because PDP is the only party in the Delta state.