Deputy Senate President and the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Delta state, Ovie Omo-Agege, has warned political parties aiming to harass APC voters in the 2023 elections to have a rethink or face the full wrath of the law.
This was contained in a statement by the Director and Media Strategy of the Delta APC Campaign Council, Ima Niboro, on Saturday.
Omo-Agege, who led the APC ward to ward campaign trail to Warri South Local Council on Friday, promised voters adequate security, adding that any attempt to scare away APC supporters and voters on election day would be forcefully resisted by all lawful means.
He assured APC voters that “nobody can scare you. Nobody can molest you. There will be adequate security for everyone. And by God’s grace, we shall win.”
Mr Omo-Agege said the era of “local strongmen,” running away with election materials is over. This is the BVAS age, he pointed out, and those planning to chase away APC voters shall be “firmly resisted.”
He promised to reactivate the Warri port, ensure the Warri City Stadium works again, revive the Warri Industrial Park, and attract the various companies that left the oil city back to base.
He also pledged to increase students bursaries, empower women, create job opportunities for the youths and provide adequate security in the state.
In his remarks, Delta APC Chairman, Omeni Sobotie, said Warri under Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is the “Keke capital of Nigeria,” and is looking increasingly deserted.
He therefore charged the people to express their anger by voting out the PDP.
“Vote Okowa out. He is a traitor. Can’t you see that he has no Deltan of repute on his campaign trail? He is on his own,” Mr Sobotie said.
APC political stalwarts in Warri, including Ayiri Emami, Omasan Agbajoh, Mario Onwume, Michael Merogu, Emmanuel Ekpoto Ekpoto, among others, also urged the people to reject Mr Okowa and PDP outright.
Meanwhile, Mr Omo-Agege has said all persons, irrespective of ethnic and religious background, as long they are resident, do business and pay taxes to the Delta state government, are equal stakeholders in the state and therefore will enjoy equal benefits without discrimination.
He gave the assurance in a meeting with Muslim leaders in the state on Saturday, in Warri.
He frowned at the reported discrepancy in school fees paid by indigenous and non-indigenous students in tertiary institutions of state saying if he becomes governor, that policy will be abolished.
“As far as you are in Delta state, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, you will pay equal school fees for your children. You are all Deltans, you reside here and pay taxes so you are equal stakeholders and you must enjoy equal benefits.
“If there is a job opening both children of Christians and Muslims are free to compete and have equal employment opportunities. They will all be considered equally, no discrimination.
“The same principle of fairness will be applied for pilgrimages. As the state government sponsors Christians to Jerusalem for pilgrimage so we will sponsor Muslims for pilgrimage to Mecca.
“I assure you that I will carry you along. There shall be a special adviser from among you who will interface between my government and the muslim community, and also in terms farmers and herders relationship.”
The Deputy Senate President recalled that the Muslim community gave him support in 2015 which saw to his election as senator, and described them as valued stakeholders in the State.
“So long as you own a PVC you have a right to determine how you are governed. You are all here, you reside here, when it is good for us it is good for you and when it is bad for us it is bad for you. You should know how the state is governed, where we are and why we are where we are.
“I am sure you know that in the past seven and a half years we have a government that has been led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Speaker Sheriff Oborevwori. They have received over N3.5 trillion from the federation account and yet you see the state of our roads, retirees have not been paid and some have died; yet we are the richest state in Nigeria. Something is wrong somewhere.
“Since you chose to leave your various states to come and live in Delta and we have accepted you, you have a right to your fair expectations. I am sure the Delta state of your dream is not what you are seeing. That is why I have offered myself to be governor. I have a social contract with all Deltans irrespective of ethnicity and religious leaning, that so long you are resident in Delta state you have right to equal opportunities.
“We will attract companies back to Warri and the old oil city will boom again. Warri, Koko and Burutu ports will be reactivated. As long as your women are resident in Delta, we will guarantee bank loans for their businesses.
“We will engage the ingenuity of 60 per cent of the state’s population who are youths and channel their creativity through tech hubs that would ultimately generate revenue for the state. We will invest and improve on our security architecture to ensure the prevalence of peace for businesses to thrive.
“I commit to you that whenever we decide as a government to make appointments into the Muslim pilgrim board, we will consult you.” Mr Omo-Agege said
Earlier on, the Chief Imam of Oghara, Mohammed Maija, had complained that Muslims in Delta State were marginalised in job opportunities for their graduate children, in government appointments, and in payment of school fees in the state’s tertiary institutions. Over 500 Muslim leaders attended the meeting.
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