Permit me to begin by saying a big thanks to all of you for believing in my dream for a new Burutu, building an egalitarian society ,a place where equal opportunity and wealth will be distributed without discrimination.
We are into this journey for a reason. It’s humbling, but in my heart I know you didn’t just cheer or share my dream, you are supporting me because you believe in what I can do to change things in Burutu LGA. In the face of suffering, you believed there can be a better Burutu. In the face of despair, you believe there can be hope. In the face of a politics that shut you out, which unsettled, and divided us for a long while, you believe we can still change things for the better. In the face of denial, a situation where your representative said he does not know you after you have voted him into power, you believe God can still send a messiah to provide a good leadership. That’s the journey we’re embarking on today.
As most of you know, I am a frontline Niger Delta activist, a journalist, writer and a public advocate. I am a selfless young man, who has passion for Ijaw nation and Burutu inclusive. I have fought many battles ,with victories. Am a freeborn of Burutu ,precisely from Ayakoromo town. Am the current national president of Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI. The only formidable Ijaw pressure group in Niger Delta region. I took the centre stage among other voices advocating against military bombardment of Gbaramatu kingdom, Ayakoromo and other communities in the recent times, and what about the undue intimidation of our Niger Delta hero, GOC, aka Tompolo, what about the oppression of our people in Edo state?. We fought among with others for the final establishment of Nigeria Maritime University ,Kurrutie. What about undue claims of ownership of Ogbe-Ijoh Warri lands by our neighbours , we stood and tackle our brothers to the last point. Burutu LGA was not included in Delta state budget in 2016 and 2017, untill I protested. The few Delta state government projects in Burutu such as Ayakoromo bridge, Burutu, Ogulagha and Sokobulou roads were abandoned. I organized other Burutu youths and we protested to rejuvenate the abandoned Ayakoromo bridge, Burutu, Ogulagha and Sokobulou township roads, and many others too numerous to mention. And I have not betrayed, despite the acute neglect I faced, I still kept my integrity.
Today I am running another selfless race, it is not about me but it has to do with our political freedom. Burutu belongs to all of us, we will not allow it to be mortgaged by a few. We have no home than Burutu, therefore we must make it a better dwelling place. I perceived political hegemony, I perceived poverty, I perceived lack of opportunities and wealth distribution in Burutu. We play politics of acrimony and hatred. How did we get to this point?. It is however not too late, we can get it right, if only we are ready.
I stand before you today to announce my candidacy for Delta state house of Assembly for Burutu North. I am contesting under the Nigerian People’s Congress, NPC. Before now I have contested same office under the umbrella of PDP. I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness – a certain audacity – to this announcement. The election ahead of us, I mean 2019 elections, is beyond party. It has to do with personality. People are tired of voting for a party. And I know that is a good decision. I know I have spent a lot of time learning the ways of Burutu politics. I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Burutu must change. Though the office or position am aspiring for is strictly lawmaking and not executive office but I will exercise my oversight functions such as lobbying to influence meaningful capital projects to my primary constituency through Delta state government ,its parastatals and federal agencies.
The genius of our founders is that they designed a system of government where equal opportunity will be upheld.
Today we are called once more – and it is time for our generation to answer that call. For that is our unyielding faith – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their people can change it.
That’s what Abraham Lincoln understood. He had his doubts. He had his defeats. He had his setbacks. But through his will and his words, he moved a nation and helped free a people. It is because men and women of every race, from every walk of life, continued to march for freedom long after Lincoln was laid to rest, that today we have the chance to face the challenges of this millennium together, as one people.
The current political system in our LGA has been bastardised by our privileged brothers. Our youths have been made to believe that education is no longer valued and that the shortcut to make it in life is by involving in one crime or the other. Our youths do not know what cultism is in time past but today they see cultism and ritual activities as normal life, beause idleness is the order of the day. And survival by the fittest has pushed us to where we are today. A situation where stack illitrates are been celebrated by educated people because of money, as they see that as the only means of survival. It is a pity that stack illiterates who went and buy results or forge results are always been imposed to lead others who suffered to go to school.This is a sign that education has no place in Burutu LGA any longer. They threatens our future, schools where too many children aren’t learning, and families struggling, despite working as hard as they can. We know the challenges. We’ve heard them. We’ve talked about them for years.
What’s stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems is another bottle neck. We’re distracted from our real failures by petty and trivial things.
We’ve been made to believe in one party system by few group of persons. We have been told to hate our brothers in other parties. Instead of ruling people inclusively despite their political, religious, economic and family backgrounds. We run party government, we run family government. Instead of developing everybody randomly, we only develop members of our parties and our friends and families despite the money belongs to all of us. Selective governance and imposition of wrong people in political positions are the bane of underdevelopment in Burutu LGA. We have been made to be comfortable with a life of a beggar.They operated on a philosophy ,where it adduced that the more poorer your followers the more they become loyal. They think they own Burutu LGA , but we’re here today to take it back.It belongs to all of us. The time for that politics is over. It’s time to turn the page. We’ve made some progress already.
But Burutu has a long way to go. And it won’t be easy. That’s why we’ll have to set priorities. We’ll have to make hard choices. And although government will play a crucial role in bringing about the changes we need. We need selfless people to drive the process. Each of us, in our own lives, will have to accept responsibility – for instilling an ethic of achievement in our children, for adapting to a more competitive governance , for strengthening our communities, and sharing some measure of sacrifice. So let us begin. Let us begin this hard work together. Let us transform Burutu to where it will attract investors, tourists and other visitors.
I implore you, let us be the generation that reshapes our values to compete in the digital age. Let’s set high standards for our schools and give them the resources they need to succeed. Let’s recruit a new army of teachers, and give them better pay and more support in exchange for more accountability. Let’s make college more affordable, and let’s invest in scientific research.
Let’s be the generation that ends poverty in Burutu, every single person willing to work should be able to get job training that leads to a job, and earn a living wage that can pay his bills, and afford child care so their kids have a safe place to go when they work. Let’s do this. Let’s be the generation that finally tackles our health care crisis. We can control costs by focusing on prevention, by providing better treatment to the chronically ill. Let’s be the generation that provides standard health care in Burutu by the end of the next 8years. Let’s be the generation that finally frees Burutu from the tyranny of oil. Over dependence of oil has limit us from seeking knowledge and skills. Let’s be the generation that makes future generations proud of what we will do here. Politics doesn’t have to divide us on this anymore – we can work together to keep Burutu safe.
I know there are those who don’t believe we can do all these things. I understand the skepticism. After all, every four years, candidates from all parties make similar promises, and I expect this year will be no different. All of us running for Delta state house of Assembly, DTHA, and other elective positions will travel around the LGA offering our plans and making grand speeches; all of us will trumpet those qualities we believe make us uniquely qualified to lead the country. But too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.
That is why this campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us – it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice – to push us forward when we’re doing right, and to let us know when we’re not. This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of true democracy , restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing the few obstacles which can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.
There is a saying that divided, we are bound to fail, but united we can succeed.
As believers , I tell you that a different future in Burutu is possible. I tell you that there is power in words. I tell you that there is power in conviction. That beneath all the differences of race and region, faith and station, we are one people. I tell you that there is power in hope.
As Lincoln organized the forces arrayed against slavery, he was heard to say: “Of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought to battle through.” That is our purpose here today. That’s why I’m in this race.
Not just to hold an office, but to join forces with you to transform Burutu. I want to win this battle – for justice and opportunity. I want to win this battle – for better schools, and better jobs, and health care for all. I want us to take up the unfinished business of perfecting a change, and building a better Burutu. And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I’m ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you.
Together, starting from today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom in the lives of Burutu people.
Thanks and Godbless.
MY PROGRAMS /BLUEPRINT
1. I will prioritize empowerment of Burutu youths and women through skill acquisition programs such as,welding, tailoring, computer, fishery, farming ,carpentry, hair dressing, soap making etc.
2. I will Promote small and medium businesses in Burutu north by providing free loans under the initiative of market money programme
3. I will empower Burutu North activists and other activists in the struggle.
4. I will provide fishing materials, such as hook, net, canoe, tricycle, small city busses etc, for constituents of Burutu North.
5. I will influence piling and land reclamations contracts in Burutu North to forestall annual flooding in flood affected communities.
6. I will influence general infrastructure, roads, pavement, solar lights and school buildings construction and repairs etc.
7. Dredging of Odimodi cannal will be a concern.
8. Construction of Egodo/AGBODOBIRI/Ogbeingbene roads will be my concern.
9. Commencement of Gbekebo community piling job will be my concern.
10. Completion of Ayakoromo bridge will be my concern
11. Shore Protection of Ogulagha community, will be a priority.
12. Reviving Kiagbodo and Burutu hospitals will be taken serious.
13.I will influence building/staffing of a standard hospital in Burutu North.
14. Reviving health centres in Burutu North will be my concern.
14. Provision of good water in Burutu North will be my concern.
16. Provision of solar lights
17. Provision of security.
18. I will help to provide solution to transport problem in some of our communities been trapped.
19. I will influence massive deployment of teachers in primary and secondary schools in Burutu North.
20. I will influence provision of desk, renovation and learning aids for primary and secondary schools in Burutu North.
21. I will prioritize completion of the abandoned permanent site building of Burutu school of Marine technology.
22. I will provide scholarship for NDA, and Nigeria police academy students.
23. I will also provide scholarship for students reading pure mathematics ,medical ,mechanical, petroleum and gas engineering in Burutu North in the university.
24. I will work with the LGA to start payment of student bursary in Burutu LGA.
25.I will care for old people in Burutu north.
26. I will support those who want to join Nigeria army,navy, airforce, and police recruitment in Burutu North.
27. I will provide fund for student end of year conventions in Burutu North.
28. I will provide quarterly impress to civil society bodies or groups in Burutu North
29. I will carry along varous political parties in Burutu north.
30. When am called upon by youth bodies in Burutu north for support I will avail my self.
31. When am called upon by any community of Burutu North for assistance I will stand by them.
32. I will promote community annual festivals/carnivals
33.When am call upon to support the traditional institutions of Burutu North I will avail myself.
34. I will avail myself to support when am call upon by the body of Christ.
35. I will empower and equip vigilantes to collaborate with other security agents to police our waterways in Burutu North.
36.I will promote football games.
37. I will promote Traditional dance.
38.I will rejuvenate the dying traditional wrestling in Burutu LGA and others.
39. I will make laws for compulsory rehabilitation of flooding communities in Delta state.
40. I will provide constituency office
41. I will hold quarterly constituency briefing or meetings.
As God will have it ,we pray to keep on our campaign promises and make them emphatically realistic.