BY KELViN OSEMENE
THE journey of a thousand miles the sages say begins with a first step.
Similarly, the birth of Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan on October 22,1954, into the family of chief Edmund Uduaghan of Abigborodo in the present warri North local government Area of Delta state and Mrs Cecilia Uduaghan of Ubiaja in Esan south-East local government area of Edo state heralded the making, moulding and shaping of a trail blazer, medical expert, political tactician, leader and administrator per- excellence.
The preparatory stage towards giving eloquent expression to attaining the leadership goals saw the young Emmanuel Uduaghan navigating successfully through the oceans of knowledge beginning with the primary education at the Baptist primary school,Federal government college,Warri and the prestigious University of Benin where he bagged a bachelors degree in Medicine and surgery(MBBS) and later capped this with a Diploma in Anaesthesia from the same university.
Armed with these very impressive academic and professional qualifications , the man who later bestrode the political calculus of Delta state and indeed, nigeria like a colossus, embraced the medical profession with a passion but occasionally still had time to display his manifestation for leadership.
For instance, Dr Uduaghan who had stint at many Health centers including Benoni Hospital Benin city, Shell clinic, ogunu, West end Hospital Warri,Delta steel company Aladja medical centre as well as establishing his own hospital the Abode clinic, warri was at various times 1st secretary, Nigeria medical Association(NMA)Warri, 1st secretary,Delta state NMA(warri zone) member, executive council,Bendel state and secretary,Association of private medical andDental practioners,warri zone.
To widen the horizon of his leadership manifestation and with the burning desire to positively affect the society at large,Dr Uduaghan took a foray into politics particularly at the grass root level and at various times served as a founding member of the All Nigerian Congress Association,Warri south local government area of Delta state foundation member and executive member of the Grassroots’ Democratic movement,(GDM) founding member of the peoples Democratic Party(PDP) among others
When dint of hard work and burning zeal to serve the society at higher level saw Dr Uduaghan after serving as the commissioner for health and secretary to the state government,( SSG)clinching the mantle of leadership in the state following a gubernatorial poll in 2007,the governor made no pretences as to his determination to evolve policies that would definitely leave his footprints on the sands of times.
Dr Uduaghan from the inception as governor of the state strongly felt the need to have a clean break with the mono-cultural economy manifesting on over dependence on oil and the palpable neglect of other sectors particularly agriculture.
This, he adumbrated thus ‘our dream as an administration is to have a state that is economically viable in such a way that it doesn’t have to depend on oil’.
It was therefore no surprise that governor Uduaghan floated the three-point agenda hinged on peace and security, human capital and infrastructural development as the blue-print for the realization of the dream.
In the province of peace and security, the Uduaghan administration up with the Joint patrol team and water ways security outfit which in no distant time, brought peace and safety to the hitherto volatile parts of the city particularly warri city and the riverine areas.
The police and other security agencies were also giving necessary support from the Uduaghan administration which further served as boost to security and safety in the entire state.
Human capital development version of the mission and vision of the Uduaghan administration saw the floating of the award winning micro credit scheme, bursary awards to different categories of deltans, employment opportunities for youths, free medical and maternal care and free secondary school enrolment for students in public schools in the state.
The giant strides in the educational sector also witnessed robust equipment and maintenance of world class facilities as exemplified in massive renovation of schools and the world class medical facilities at Delta state University teaching Hospital Oghara and other tertiary institutions in the state.
The massive road construction and rehabilitations particularly the Ughelli-Asaba dual carriage way, the Asaba International Air-port, the beautification and lighting up of Asaba the state capital all eloquent testimonies of the government’s efforts at not only boosting the infrastructural profile of the various parts of the state but to shore up commerce, economy and further empower the people.
Agriculture has also continued to receive adequate attention with the government providing loans and other facilities to farmers to strengthen the sector.
Similarly the Uduaghan administration having found sports as a strong instrument of unity as well as vehicle for bringing laurels has evolved measures to ensure that the state maintains its leading position in sports.
The need to explore tourism sector saw the floating of the delta leisure’s resort which when fully operational can make delta the haven of tourism and investments. With these and more the Uduaghan administration no doubt has left its feet on the sands of time.
BY KELViN OSEMENE