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Published On: Thu, Jan 29th, 2015

DELSU Don, G.G. Darah Canvasses Support for Jonathan, Demands Dividend of Democracy for Urhobos

Prof Goldini Darah

Prof Goldini Darah

LAGOS JANUARY 29TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A lecturer of Delta State University (DELSU) Abraka, Delta State, Professor Godini Gabriel Darah has expressed satisfaction with the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan appealing to Nigerians to vote enmass for him in February polls.
The Lecturer who was a members of 2015 National Conference (CONFAB) however enjoined Jonathan to provide dividend of democracy for the Urhobos whom he claimed contributed no fewer than 850,000 votes to his victory in 2011 general election.

Dara who made the appeal recently while addressing a rally held by group under the aegis of Urhobo Youths for Jonathan at the Conference Centre, Petroleum Training Institutes, Effurun, Warri, Delta State, said Jonathan deserves to be re-elected because he has excellent records of performance as the first minority politician from the Niger Delta to govern Nigeria who had achieved more than any other regime in Nigeria since independence in 1960.
“The highlights of some sectors tell the story. In roads and highways, over 25,000 km constructed/repaired, including the Effurun-Patani section of the East-West Highway. Railways are recovered; a new standard Abuja-Kaduna line to be completed soon. The Lagos-Calabar railways to be constructed will pass through Urhobo communities of Oghara, Sapele, Effurun, Okuokoko, Agbarho, Ughelli, Evwreni, and Ughwerun
“Second Niger Bridge in progress; Delta is a beneficiary of the project. Agriculture has yielded abundance, with 15 million farmers engaged; food import reduced by 50%, and rice revolution in progress. Federal Cassava Processing Factory sited at Umiaghwa-Abraka kingdom of Urhobo
“In education sector, there are over 12 new Federal Universities with one per State. The first of such record in Africa. Stable supply of petroleum products. He guarantee of free, fair, and credible elections since 2011. Convocation of 2014 National Conference with 600 resolutions, including creation of New Delta and Anioma States; Increase in Derivation revenue from 13% to 20%; multiple policing systems at federal, state, local government, and municipal/community levels to curb crimes and create employment
“The government has submitted the Petroleum Industry Bill to the National Assembly; when passed into law, oil and gas host communities will have 10% participation share in the companies. The Nigerian economy has grown steadily; it is the largest in Africa and the 26th in the world President Jonathan and the PDP Administration are trusted by international investors and world leaders. This is why many foreign investors are coming to Nigeria. The Jonathan Administration has launched an industrial revolution programme and the implementation should benefit Urhobo area,” Dara disclosed.
The DELSU Don who called on all Urhobo people to vote 100% for President Jonathan and the PDP candidates maintained that Urhobo will continue to be in the frontline of the PDP in Delta State and Nigeria because they are densely populated, most urbanised and most industrialised in Delta State and the western Niger Delta.
‘Above all, the Urhobo people are democrats by nature. They are an egalitarian people who do not brook oppression and injustice. The Urhobo people have been the pillars of the PDP from its inception in 1998,” Dara affirmed.
According to him, “The rally being held today is to back the Jonathan/Sambo presidential ticket and other PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections. The Urhobo Youth Leadership Association and other professional groups gathered in this rally pledge to mobilise ONE MILLION URHOBO votes for the Jonathan/Sambo ticket on February 14 elections.
“The PDP Administration in Nigeria is the only one that has the national outlook and ideological commitment to modernise and industrialise Nigeria to create employment, enterprise, peace, security, and justice, he affirmed.

He lamented that in spite of this solid support, the Urhobo were not fairly compensated by the Jonathan led government.
“The Urhobo people of Delta Central Senatorial District demand the following dividends of democracy from the President Jonathan Government.
1. Federal Buy-Back of Delta Steel Company, Ovwian-Aladja, to resume production, recall of retrenched staff, payment of benefits to retired staff, and to boost the economy of the State. Completion of the Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja railway line to start operations
2. Establishment of Gas Industrial Complex near the Utorogu Gas Plant to utilise Urhobo gas deposits and diversify the economy to multiple jobs, business, and prosperity. The National Gas Master Plan should be implemented in Urhobo area; processed gas should be piped to homes like pipe-borne water for domestic and industrial use. This will raise the standard of living and make Urhobo and their neighbours enjoy the privileges of 21st century life
3. Implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference that are fundamental to Urhobo and the Niger Delta (a) creation of New Delta State and Anioma States (b) Increase in Derivation from 13% to 25% (c) State and Local Government/Community Police systems to combat crimes and insurgency
4. Build an International Airport at Osubi to serve as the western Niger Delta economic hub for the oil and gas industries
5. Provide special funding for the full Development of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, the first of its kind in Africa
6. Recovery of the Sapele Port from the Navy to resume operations as a commercial port on the deepest river in Africa, the River Ethiope. The economic fortunes of Sapele and environs will be boosted as it was during the 1960s when Sapele was West Africa’s Timber City
7. Construction of Okwagbe Inland Waterways Port now abandoned by the Federal Ministry of Transport
8. Jonathan’s Agriculture revolution has not benefited Urhobo communities, although there is the Cassava Processing plant at Umiaghwa-Abraka kingdom. For mass employment of youth, graduates, and enterprise owners, President Jonathan should dedicate about N100 Billion investment per year to the cultivation of rice, cassava, plantain, sweet potato, oil palm, raphia palm, fisheries and livestock in Urhobo area.
9. Engage the United Nations to undertake a clean-up of the environment of Urhobo polluted by the oil companies.
10. Appointment of more Urhobo specialists into Ministerial and other strategic establishments at the Federal level,” Dara disclosed.
Dara, however, assured Urhobos that it is only PDP that can achieve the above demands for the Urhobo people, adding that other parties have no programme of agenda for the development and liberation of Urhobo people.
“The Urhobo people will never be enslaved by religious fanatics. We will never surrender our sovereignty to politicians who are enemies of the Niger Delta. We shall not deliver our destiny to politicians who want to colonise Niger Delta and control its oil wealth. We will vote for freedom democracy. We will vote for resource control. We will vote for PDP all the way,” he assured.

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