Deputy President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, on Sunday, said that the Delta State Government had not been fair to the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the state.
Omo-Agege, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate in Delta, made the observation when he visited the Ijaw nations.
He was hosted by the Ijaw people at the premises of Mr Dan Ekpebide in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
Omo-Agege who was flanked by his running mate, Mr Friday Osanebi, thanked the people for the honour
Addressing the crowd, Omo-Agege said that he was ready to change the current narrative in the state if elected as governor.
The lawmaker, representing Delta Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, said he was pained by the sufferings the Ijaws were subjected to in the state.
“I have always felt the pain of the Ijaw nations because I know their contributions to the economy of this country.
“I believe that government has been unfair to the Ijaw people, given their contribution to the economy of this country.
“I know as a consequence of that contribution, so much is returned to our state by ways of FAC allocation and 13 per cent derivation.
“But if you look around and asked yourself, is there anything on ground and more specifically in the Ijaw nation commensurate with that receipt, the answer is no.
“We are prepared to change the narrative of Delta, we are prepared to judiciously use the resources that will come to the state to the benefit of our people,” he assured.
Omo-Agege said that when voted into power, he would ensure prompt payment of pension and gratuities.
According to him, the era when “people spend the best part of their lives rendering services to the state and after retirement, they will not be paid their pension and gratuity is gone”.
He said that his administration would focus among others, creating employment and empowerment of the people, developing the state, and ensuring peace and security.
Omo-Agege urged the people to support his governorship ambition, adding that they would be carried along.
“We will do better than this government. I seek your partnership in all ramifications as I run this governorship race. I cannot dictate to the Ijaw nation what their entitlement should be but by way of dialogue.
“This is not about APC or PDP, it is about leadership, competence and orientation. Some believed you get there, collect the money and share while others believe it is about baking the cake for the benefit of all.
“When you think differently and act differently, you have a better outcome, this is what I commit to the people of Delta.
“Before we can make a genuine case for oil companies to return, we must address the issues of insecurity in the state. So our cardinal agenda is to provide peace and security,” he said.
Omo-Agege said that with the support from his side, together and sustainable support from the Ijaw leadership, he was confident of winning the governorship election in 2023.
Earlier, the host, Mr Ekpebide thanked Omo-Agege for honouring the call.
“I am delighted to have you in my house. Since 2007, I have not been active in politics but today I am wholeheartedly declaring my support for my brother Omo-Agege and the party he represents.
“My official declaration will be done in Okerenkoko which is my ward headquarters. Where ever you stand, that is where I will stand.
“I am not alone, I am working with my brothers, friends and others in the struggle. Very soon we will roll out and I am very sure we will get to the promised land,” he said.
Ekpebide said that the achievement of Omo-Agege in the Delta Central spoke volumes, expressing hope that the development would transcend to the Ijaw nation when he became the governor.
Also, an APC chieftain in Delta, Mr Michael Johnny, said the Ijaws were ready to work with Omo-Agege in the governorship race.
Johnny also thanked Ekpebide for declaring support for APC.
“The Ijaw APC are ready to work with you and others that are willing to join us to achieve this great opportunity that is coming to us,” Johnny said.
In attendance were representatives from various Ijaw communities in Delta among whom were Dr Chris Ekiyor, former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Delta and others from Edo, Bayelsa and Rivers. NAN