Ahead of the 2019 National Assembly elections in February, traditional rulers of Isoko ethnic nationality in Delta State have expressed their desire to have the immediate-past governor of the state and All Progressives Congress 2019 Delta South senatorial candidate, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan represent the district at the upper legislative chamber for a change in status quo, and for the sake of progress in the area.
Speaking for traditional rulers of Isoko South in Oleh on Wednesday, His Royal Majesty, Anthony Ovrawah, Omogha 1, the Odio-Ologbo of Oleh, said Uduaghan had the blessings and support of the royal fathers for the senate seat.
“I have opened the door of the senate to Dr. EEU because he is an illustrious son of Isoko nation and we have confidence in him. We know him. Isoko nation benefited immensely during your tenure. You are one of us.
“I recall when you were governor, you paid me an unexpected visit. I was almost at the point of death. I didn’t complain to you or anyone close to you of any ailment but as a true medical doctor, you detected I was sick. You insisted that your personal ambulance take me to Oghara Teaching Hospital where I was treated free of charge.
“Before your visit, my people and I had resolved to throw our support behind you and the Itsekiris. The position [senatorial seat] belongs to three children. One child should not monopolize it. It is mother’s breast, only one child cannot suck it.
“Uduaghan has the blessings and support of Isoko nation for the senatorial seat. You’re our candidate for the senate. We picked you not because of APC but for who you are.”
“This is your time; we saw what you did as a state governor. Go to the senate and do more. Your name is already in the senate. Isoko is sending you,” the monarch declared.
The former governor also met with traditional rulers from Isoko North at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Anthony Ogbogbo, Ebuka 1, Ovie of Ozoro kingdom, in continuation of his consultation with traditional rulers in Delta South for his senatorial ambition.
Speaking at Ozoro, HRM Ebuka 1, Ovie of Ozoro kingdom, who spoke on behalf of the traditional rulers, said monarchs in the state would not forget in a hurry Uduaghan’s support for the traditional institution.
The monarchs noted that Uduaghan as a governor accorded the traditional institution its due respect and as well, raised the status of royal fathers to an enviable position in the country.
“The other kings from all the other kingdoms in Isoko North are here to see the man who elevated their status. You did well for us. You fought for traditional rulers and the sanctity of our culture. You won our hearts with your issue-based speech. It is rare.
“We (traditional rulers) in Delta State will not forget you in a hurry. You did well as a governor. You won our hearts with your issue-based speech. We pray God to grant your aspiration with a resounding victory,” the Ozoro king said.
Uduaghan, while speaking during the visit to the two palaces, said he was in Isoko land to solicit the support of Isoko Nation for his senatorial race in the next month’s National Assembly election in Delta South.
He noted that as a secretary to the state government (SSG) and later governor of Delta State, he is well abreast with the role traditional rulers play in ensuring peace in the state.
The former governor also told the monarchs that if elected as senator, he would sponsor bills and law that will give constitutional backing to the traditional institution in the country as well as ensure that their pains are addressed by the federal government.
“As an SSG and secretary to the State Security Council and later as a governor of the state, I know the enormous role traditional rulers play in helping to ensure peace and security.
“Kings have spiritual powers. Somehow, they are gifted with the act of mediation and peace.
“We would have been experiencing more violence if not for the intervention of monarchs especially from Isoko who ensured that their domains were peaceful during my time as governor.
“One of the reasons I am seeking your support to go to the senate is that I believe that our traditional institution should have legal backing in their role in ensuring peace in the country.
“If elected as senator I will also push for the recognition of monarchs in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which would give them a constitutional role to their people.
“I also believe that as people from oil producing communities, we should have a major stake in the ownership of the oil and gas companies in our communities. Through this, our communities will benefit more from the oil and gas that is derived from our area.”
“I will also push for the cleaning of impacted communities. Based on my experience as a governor, there is so much we can do to create jobs for unemployed youths in the region.
“I will push for communities to have at least 5 per cent ownership of companies operating in host communities in Delta South. This will create jobs for men, women and youths.
“I will also push for communities to be in charge of security of government and companies’ properties in their domain.
“Pipeline surveillance contract should be a form of empowerment to our youths but they are only paid peanuts at the end of the day because some persons who are not even from our region are the middlemen. When I become senator, the contract would come straight to our communities so that our youths would be empowered.
“The destruction of localized refineries otherwise known by the government as illegal refineries further causes more harm as much as our boys “cooking” crude oil in the creeks. When I become senator, I will push for the legalization of these localized “refineries”. This will ensure positive engagement across the value chain,” Uduaghan concluded.