President Muhammadu Buhari has said next Saturday’s election will complete All Progressives Congress’ (APC) takeover of Delta State, going by the party’s scores in the state during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
Buhari spoke at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun, Uvwie council area yesterday when he addressed a congregation of the party’s stakeholders and others including traditional rulers.
Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, also assured the stakeholders that the Federal Government would ensure adequate security during next Saturday’s elections to address concerns about rigging and other electoral anomalies.
Osinbajo said: “What happened last Saturday is a great victory for us, but it is only the beginning because the completion of that victory is going to come by the grace of God on Saturday March 9, 2019 when we vote in our own governor, Great Ogboru, who will, by the grace of God, be a governor from that very day.
“It is very clear to everybody and to the world that Delta State can never be the same again. It’s impossible for Delta State to go back after what happened on Saturday. As the APC chairman said, we all watched to see what will happen in Delta State. Delta State was a focus of all of our attention.
“Just as the chairman has said, we have seen a Delta State where the PDP was unable to record a vote of 1.2 million and we knew they wrote the result. We wanted to see what way they can be curtailed, but you all proved that ‘you can tell a lie for a thousand years, but one day the truth will catch up’ and the truth caught up with them last Saturday. That truth will manifest itself fully this Saturday when we hold the next election. Delta State has proved a very important point that this state is ready for change to the next level.”
“The other reason why it is so important for us to ensure that Delta State become an APC state has been pointed out. The social investment programme that we put in place, it is only APC governor that can implement such programmes faithfully. We believe that once we are able to have an APC governor such programmes will be implemented,” the Vice President said.
Speaking on why the state should not remain in the opposition to the Federal Government, Osinbajo pointed at the various projects for the economic and social development of the oil-rich Niger Delta, especially Delta State.
“I heard talks about Delta Steel Company (DSC), after so many years, the Itakpe-Aladja railway has been completed, 35 years after being on the cards. It’s this same President that completed it. PDP has been in power all these many years, why didn’t they complete it? They (PDP) are the ones who created this mess.
“Even the Warri seaport which we are now dredging has been there for years. They didn’t do it. All of these times that PDP has been in power. Sometimes, it surprises me that with the resources that Delta State has had for so many years; where are the fruit of the resources? Look at the Warri Seaport, it could have been seamlessly done by the state. Here we are, we (APC) are completing the dredging of the channel. Even the East-West road; this is the first government that has put resources for its completion. We are putting large amount of money into the East-West road. We all will benefit from it.
“Delta State should not be an opposition state. Why should Delta be an opposition state? Why? There is no reason for it at all. For all the periods that Delta State has had high resources; what we need was a change from a progressive party. The time has come. This is the moment, let us seize that moment. You have shown courage, it is only the courageous that wins,” he said.
Various speakers had urged Buhari to ensure strict security cover for the state to prevent the rigging of next Saturday’s election, warning that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would repeat its alleged rigging pattern during the governorship and House of Assembly election if there is no proper security to deter such.
The event gathered leaders and stakeholders of the party, including the governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru, the leaders of the party, such as the Minister of State of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and others.