*Hopes to celebrate victory with Okowa in Asaba.

By Jon Egie

 

Gov Okowa addressing members of HOSTCOM during the occasion of his endorsement in Oleh

Host communities producing oil and gas in Delta state have all endorsed the re-election of Gov Okowa for a second term in office.

The endorsement was given at a mega Town Hall meeting cum mobilization and sensitization of indigenes of oil and gas producing host communities in Delta state for the March 9, governorship and state house of assembly election held at the IDU House, Oleh; Thursday, March 7.

The oil and gas host communities spread cross five ethnic nationalities of Delta state namely: Isoko, Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo and Ukwuani and lately, Ika nation.

The leadership and delegates from all the host communities were in attendance.

Speaking during the meeting, the state chairman of HOSTCOM, Evang Gabriel Asibeluo expressed gratitude to Chief James Ibori for approving the establishment of DESOPADEC during his tenure as governor of Delta state.

 

HOSTCOM state chairman moving the motion for the endorsement of Gov Okowa’s re-election

He recalled that in 2015, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa visited HOSTCOM to solicit its support for his election as governor of Delta state and the body gave its support which eventually led to his winning the election.

He said since his election as governor, Okowa has granted over 98 per cent of the request of HOSTCOM, a feat which his predecessor could not do and that the best way to reciprocate the governor’s gesture was to repeat the support for his re-election.

“In appreciation of all what you done in all the senatorial districts of Delta state, you deserve a second term.

“Our fathers, the traditional rulers of Isoko, Urhobo, Ijaw, Ukwauani, Ika and the sole traditional ruler of Itsekiri nation have all approved of your second term. All members of HOSTCOM across the state also approve of your second term in office. I assure you that all our members own PVCs and there is no security apparatus that will threaten them to abandon you. They will stand by their votes, defend their votes and make sure that their votes count to ensure that you are re-elected and we know that you will be re-elected.

He took turns to ask the leaders of each ethnic nationality if they had a contrary view to supporting the re-election of Gov Okowa for a second term in office. There was no contrary view as they all gave a voice vote affirming the resolution to support the re-election of Gov Okowa.

A thunderous voice vote was also echoed by the women folk from the oil and gas producing communities just as the youths did not do otherwise.

“These persons are not hired, they know what they are doing and I assure you that we shall enter Asaba for a victory celebration of your re-election.

“I assure you that HOSTCOM shall vote 101 per cent for you” He told Okowa.

Responding, Gov Okowa appreciated the support he got from HOSTCOM in 2015 and their contribution to sustain the peace in the last three and a half years in his tenure in office as governor of Delta state.

He thanked HOSTCOM for recognizing the development projects embarked upon by his administration and assured that what has not been done will be done in his second tenure.

“I want to assure you that in my second tenure, the town hall meetings with the people will continue so as to elicit the needs and demands of people of Delta state for a better service delivery and enrich governance because a government that is not connected to the people is a failed government and I will continue to do that.”

He said the present day DESOPADEC has been able to carry out major projects like twin town in Oboro and the construction of 11 Km road in Oghara among others.

“They can do small projects in the host communities but because of the new directives we have given them, they now pursue mega projects for the benefit of the people and by that, the reason for creating DESOPADEC to impact on the lives of the people is what is being done now.

“Since October 2017, the economy of the state has improved and because DESOPADEC is becoming more focused, I have continued to approve more funds for them and have directed that the HOSTCOM should continue to monitor DESOPADEC projects in their communities and report back directly to me. We will ensure that money for such monitoring is released.

“There is no state in Nigeria that has constructed the number of roads that we have done. I assure you that the road network in Warri, Effurun and Uvwie will be done soon because the financial cost has been provided for in the budget and the contracts awarded.

He attributed the achievements recorded in his first tenure to the cooperation of Deltans especially indigenes of HOSTCOM and thanked them for their support.

“Two days from today, there will be election to chose who will be governor for the next four years…” but before he could continue, the people interjected screaming, “carry go”.

“I want to thank you for the trust you reposed in me and the promise to support my re-election. I want to assure you that I will not fail you and you must be part of the project to make Delta state the envy of Nigeria.

 

Urhobo HOSTCOM Chairman, Agoyo Andrew fielding question from Spy News shortly after the event.

“By the special grace of God, together with HOSTCOM, all Deltans, opinion leaders, women, youth; we shall take Delta state to a higher level and we shall all be proud at the end of my second tenure in 2023. As I leave office on May 29, 2023 I want to leave a legacy behind. I promise to be fair to all parts of the state. I see myself as an indigene of all ethnic groups in Delta state and I appreciate you all”. Okowa concluded.

In an interview, the chairman of Urhobo ethnic nationality of HOSTCOM, Mr Andrew Agoyo said he has given directive to all members of HOSTCOM to mobiles their wives, husbands, children, friends and associates to vote for Gov Okowa. He promised that over 35 per cent of votes from Urhobo land will be secured by Urhobo HOSTCOM for Gov Okowa on Saturday, March 9.