Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2013

Delta Central Senatorial Election: I am the Best Candidate for the Seat- O’tega Omerhor

Chief O'tega Omerhor

All Progressive Congress (APC) Delta Central Senatorial candidate Olorogun O’tega Omerhor is a First Class Degree graduate of Accountancy from University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a trained Chartered Accountant at the renowned Price Waterhouse Coopers who has worked in several banks including Citi Bank, Fidelity Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank. Presently, he is the Vice Chairman/Group CEO of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, Vice Chairman, First Inland Bank Plc, Chairman, Synetics Technologies Ltd and Heroes Group.
In this interview with group of media men in Ekpan, Delta State, O’tega Omerho who is aspiring to occupy the Delta Central Senatorial seat made vacant as a result of the demise of Hon Pius Ewherido speaks on why he is the best candidate for the exalted office, his managerial record, the opportunities he has for the Urhobos, his chances in winning the election, his relationship with Chief Great Ovadje Ogboru and need for INEC to conduct a free and fair election


Sir, there is this believe that APC is a new party in Delta state and may not have the strength of matching other existing party in term of structure in winning the election. What is your stake on this believd?

I thank God that I have been able to sail through the primaries and emerged as the candidate of APC. The APC as a party, I considered as the alternative party to provide good government. It is a party that is coming to play a major role in Delta State. As you know, the major part of the then existing opposition party DPP and most of the progressives in the state, particularly in Delta Central, have aligned into APC in addition to the existing legacy parties – ACN, ANPP and CPC. These constitute a major force of progressives that are working now under the APC.
Under this arrangement that I have become the candidate, it is now very clear that we have the major edge and advantage of winning this senatorial election.

Sir, can you explain on how your acquired managerial experience and record of achievements can be of assistance in pursuing the goals of Urhobo people when you get to the Senate?
I come with strong credentials to this race. I come from a business background, I have been a corporate player, I have managed resources and therefore I feel strongly that you needed this background in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The senate is a place where the management of the resources of the country is actually done because the laws that are made are reflective of resources application and prioritisation.
I go to the senate with a full awareness of the issues that relate to Delta Central that have not been completely addressed at the national level. Some of these issues are common to the rest of the country but some of them are peculiar to Delta Central. The issue of youth unemployment is a major issue in Delta Central and this leads to youth restiveness and crime. The issue of women and poverty is very critical to Delta Central and again it leads to issues of crime and lack of development.
We also have almost invisible presence of federal institutions in Delta Central. Those that are present are moribund. I give you an example of Delta Steel Company that has become very controversial. It is an issue I intend to take on very seriously and see that something is done to resuscitate it and let it provide employments for our youths.
We have various ports in Delta and around Delta central, including the Warri Port, which is a very short distance from Delta central. It provides employment and spread to people in Delta Central. We want to make it more functional. We have the Sapele Port that needs to be rehabilitated. Even the Koko Ports they all surround us.
There are the issue of industry and federal presence in institutions that can provide not just immediate employment, but indirect employment and related employment. Once you have direct employment there are issues of people supplying materials. Industries are very critical and these are the things I must critical look into.

What are your chances in the bye-election?
Of all the candidates you have mentioned, you need to take their pedigrees and know where each of them is coming from. But I can give you my own pedigree. I am known in Delta central as a major promoter of the interests of Delta Central, which is made up of the Urhobos right from when I was a key shareholder in the banking system. I brought my banking interest to the state, I employed multiple numbers of Urhobo indigenes and till today people don’t forget my policy of ensuring that our locals are employed.
Urhobo Progress Union ( UPU), at their 80th Anniversary gave me an award for the support of Urhobo cause. None of the other contestants has that award. I got the award because I put both financial and personal commitment in assisting not just the UPU, but the Urhobo nation in making critical development issues. The UPU appointed me as the Chairman of the UPU special fund put in place to raise fund for the development of Urhobo. They trusted me to be the chairman along with other people of this special fund. I must agree that one of my fellow contestant is a member of that board, but the responsibility to lead it was given to me because of my recognition and my role.
I have contested in primaries of governorship of this state in 2007, so I know the political terrain and I believe I have made friends across the state and central and across party lines who even though I may not contest in their parties, show a lot sympathy to my cause.
I also inherited the formidable political platform that was held by our late Senator and brother, Ewherido of blessed memory. He developed this platform (PDM) and combined it with the half of the DPP he took out of the existing DPP. I can tell you that my political machinery is versatile, well spread and touches everywhere in the eight local government areas.
So, when you put it in perspective, you are taking three legacy parties that have structures in Delta Central, more than half of DPP and my good will and good name to it, sympathy of our departed Senator, who built a structure, I tell you, I am the candidate to beat.

What is your relationship with Chief Great Ogboru of DPP?

I have a very good friendship with Chief Ogboru. We are brothers and we worked together before and there is nothing amiss. But this is politics and he has decided to stick with his half of DPP because he thinks that it is where his interest will be well served. I cannot disagree on his choice, but the APC is where the interest of the Urhobo people will be served best. I have always said it is not about me, but about the future of Urhobo. The Urhobos cannot continue in PDP. The PDP people have always made the argument that the Urhobo people should remain in the mainstream of PDP but we have brought a true mainstream party to Delta Central and the APC is where the Urhobo will find a home because they are total strangers in PDP. They don’t have voice in the PDP. They will find that voice in APC. Whatever the Urhobos want they will get here. DPP is too small and this has been demonstrated time and time again. It is too small. Even when it wins an election it cannot hold on to the victory. We need a bigger platform that can win and has the capacity to retain the victory. That party is APC.

What is your vuew on the preparation of INEC towards the conduction of the election?
We are working very hard to win this election and my expectation from INEC and security forces is that they will provide a level playing field to everyone. We do know that some of the parties contesting this election, particularly the PDP are not working as hard as APC. They seem to think they have structure but you don’t see them anywhere. It worries us that people want to go for election and they are not doing anything. So, we want to put INEC and security forces on notice that we expect a fair and level playing field. Security must be provided to avoid if any of these groups have plans to snatch ballot boxes as it usually occurs. We must put structures in place to stop that. That would allow a popular candidate, who has been campaigning and a party that has been mobilising people to win the election.

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