Preparing For A More United Nigeria

…As We Take A Peep At Some Of Uduaghan’s Actions In 2014 (1)
By FIDELIS EGUGBO
TODAY is the second Sunday of the year, 2015. This is a year that many have predicted that a lot of things will happen in Nigeria. To some experts, Nigeria will seize to exist as a country this year. But, Nigerian leaders will emerge from next month through the ballot box and most of the politicians instead of engaging themselves in actions that can unite the country are also guilty of using inflammatory statements that are not expected of them based on the position they are holding. Some persons are seeing the election as either they win or they will engage in actions that will not be of interest to Nigeria.
Nigeria has survived for one hundred years and within the period, it has survived a civil war, it has also survived years of looting by military leaders and of course, some persons will not be comfortable with the fact that the country is making progressive, especially, within the years of leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Today, we are looking at some of the events that took place at Government House, Asaba, in 2014. On January 1, 2014, the Delta State Governor received members of Ovwor-Olomu Community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state and on January 9, 2014, he had his first media parley with journalists.
During that exhaustive media chat, Governor Uduaghan made it clear that he is a life member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“Nothing will make me leave PDP, I am ready to pitch tent with the party till the end. I will remain in PDP come what may. Delta State is a PDP state where almost all its elected officials are members of the party and the few ones remaining in other political parties are just waiting for a date from the state Chairman of our party to cross over to PDP. I cannot leave the party, even in 2007 when my name was removed from the ward register and I was contesting, I remained in the party and faced the challenges. Let me assure you that PDP is a grassroots based party and our strategy in Delta State is to ensure that we interface with the grassroot in all we do. All government officials in the state know that they must attend their ward’s monthly meetings or be sanctioned. This is to ensure that we relate with our base in the wards,” Governor Uduaghan said during the media chat.
On January 13, 2014, Governor Uduaghan joined other medical experts at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH) for the first kidney transplant performed in the hospital.
Dr Uduaghan at the occasion said, “This is a happy day for me as we are able to provide this service, I know we were well prepared for this surgery and we also have a good post surgery team. The hospital is overflowing with patients, so we are planning to expand bed facilities by putting up a three hundred bed ward for this hospital,”
The issue of gay marriage was dominant in discussions last year and the Delta State Governor, Dr Uduaghan, was in Ireland in January, 2014 where he bagged the International Leadership Award. As an African, a proud Deltan, he used the opportunity to speak against gay marriage.
According to him, “I am sure no one here in this country would accept a condition in which an adult can sleep with a 10 year old girl. If that situation is not acceptable, we in Nigeria view gay marriage as such. In Nigeria, marriage between two people is usually between a man and a woman and not just between them but between their families too. Whenever a couple come together, they are not coming together by themselves, it almost involves their different families and if it is known that in that family there are married gays, the danger is that the taboo emanating from that might even affect others who are straight and that is not right.”
Also in January, 2014, Governor Uduaghan for the first time drove a car to his community, Abigborodo. His administration took a giant step by constructing two bridges of 20 and 150 meters on the 11.5 km road.
“The good thing is that at least one can drive through this bridge. For the very first time, especially for those of you who have been following me to the village when we have elections, we always go by boat. So this is the very first time we are going to the village by road. For me, it is historical and very encouraging and I am so sentimental about it. A car has not been to Abigborodo before but with this bridge that is now a thing of the past and we are very happy,” Governor Uduaghan said.
In February, there was change in the mantle of leadership of the Delta State Civil Service as Sir Paul Evuarherhe took over from Sir Okey Ofili as Head of Service.
During a thank you visit by Ofili to Governor Uduaghan, the Governor urged leaders to mentor the younger generation by engaging in actions that are worthy of emulation.
Also in February, 2014, Governor Uduaghan described the death of Pa John Ojidoh as a great loss to Delta State and sports family.
In that same month, Dr Uduaghan led the elders and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to pledge their loyalty and support for the national leadership of the party and the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. The Governor, who was accompanied to the PDP national secretariat in Abuja by a array of leaders and elders from the state, including elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin K Clark, affirmed the unity and strength of PDP in the state.
As Nigerians are preparing for the Presidential elections on February 14, 2015, eminent Deltans will not forget in haste the fact that on that same day in 2014, they celebrated their Valentine in a unique way in Government House, Asaba, at an event tagged, “An Evening with the First Family.”
It is worthy to also recall that in February, 2015, Governor Uduaghan was conferred with the “2013 Man of the Year Award” by the Sun Newspapers at an impressive ceremony held in Lagos.
Delta State was also thrown into a state of mourning that same month as the Special Adviser to the Governor in charge of Abuja office and wife of the First Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. (Mrs) Ngozi Ebonka, passed on to the greater beyond at the age of 48. Dr Uduaghan at the funeral service held at Agbor, said, “Life is transient…there is the good, the bad and the ugly and we are here for the very ugly.”
On March 17, 2014, Governor Uduaghan signed N451 billion appropriation bill into law in the presence of former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei.
Dr. Uduaghan stated while signing the 2014 Appropriation Bill that 161.74 billion naira or 36% of the total budget was for recurrent expenditure, while 289.2 billion naira or 64% was for capital expenditure.
On March 19, 2014 Governor Uduaghan was at the University of Benin to commission a block of hostel built by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). At that ceremony he warned students to shun secret cults, stating, “I have not seen any student belonging to cult that made a First Class in the University.”