By Jérôme-Mario Chijioke Utomi
It is no longer news that the Speaker of the Delta State Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, has emerged as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in the state.
It is also relevant to the current discourse to point out that Oborevwori, who is also the National Deputy Speaker of the Conference of Presiding Officers of the State Legislative Assemblies of Nigeria, showed uncommon resilience to clinch the ticket and celebrates currently his landslide victory with a call to the Deltans to ensure they all have their Permanent Voter Cards (CVP) before the 2023 general election.
Predictably, his victory drew reactions from stakeholders and the general public. The boundaries between the two spheres/reactions have shifted over the past few days.
While some have welcomed his emergence, others are particularly not against it but are of the view that looking at the reinvigorated working relationship that currently exists between Oborevwori and Vice President, Christopher Ochor Ochor, both should be encouraged. /allowed to present themselves on a common ticket. as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively.
Along with the age-old belief that a winning team doesn’t have to be changed, this argument rests on the transparent and mutual relationship evidently demonstrated over the past three years and enjoyed by the duo working as President and Vice-President.
Instead of letting this relationship by these public office holders turned brothers go with the political winds, the joint Oborevwori/Ochor ticket should be encouraged and profitably exploited for the greater benefit of the PDP, the state and for the most great good of the Deltans, they concluded. .
Indeed, the above argument, in the opinion of this article, may not be wrong considering that the coexistence and healthy relationship of Oborevwori/Ochor, which many see not only as a departure from the old order in the state, but as a major change. responsible factor and actor in the lasting peace now enjoyed by the State Legislative Assembly and its members and, by extension, paves the way for a rancor-free relationship between the State Executive and the Legislature.
Around the same time, many have raised the peripheral question of whether Ochor is truly equipped with the capacity to occupy and operate at the Deputy Governor level of Delta State? Does he truly understand the meaning and requirement of being deputy governor of a complex state like Delta or is he aware that it requires intensive efforts to keep the people of the state together? Is he willing to mix and interact with people of different types and classes in the state to benefit from their experience?
Does Ochor have the right temperament, positive mindset, flexible attitude and entrepreneurial spirit to work hard focusing on governance matters? Is he aware that as deputy state governor, he must have in-depth knowledge and solid experience before assuming such a sensitive position? Is he ready to acquire the adequate knowledge and experience with patience before May 29, 2023? Is it capped with patience, humility, tolerance and responsiveness to get through this important phase of learning and experience? Are they cost and labor conscious? Is he aware that he is required to understand and follow public leadership rules, regulations, and other restrictions, and then conduct governance activities whenever his principal is not around?
Undoubtedly, these are not just important questions, but objective concerns.
However, while this article is too short to establish whether Ochor understands or even better acknowledges the fact that it takes protracted effort to govern the people well, it is spaced out enough to point out fundamental factors that may not only work in favor of ‘Ochor so chosen but more than anything else makes him the best man for the job.
Aside from the realization that Ochor, a current House Member representing Ukwuani Constituency in the Delta State Assembly, will never be a liability to the Governor or the State as he is a teacher certified and graduated in agriculture from Delta State University, with different experiences in public service, there are indeed more sincere and applied reasons why he should be considered the best man for the job.
The first is his experience, which sets him apart and sets him apart from the group of politicians who seek the post. Evidence abounds that in the early years of the 4th Republic, he held various positions among which were Special Assistant to the Governor for Youth Affairs and Special Adviser to the Governor for Youth Affairs.
At the same time, as a brief member of the Delta State Assembly between 2007 and 2008, he sponsored a bill aimed at protecting public assets, while drawing government attention to his constituency, particularly in the areas of health and road construction. . As a commissioner for special duties between 2008 and 2010, his performance was not only outstanding, but remarkably blatant.
The consideration of fairness and equity is the second essential reason why Ochor should be considered for the position. There is no doubt that the Ndokwa, from the available records, have been active in socio-economic and political affairs since the times of the West and Mid-West Regions, Bendel State and now of Delta State. Given this spiraling fact, fairness and justice should be the defining approach of this political season/election period.
If the above argument is considered and considered favorably, Ochor, without fear of being contradicted, remains one of the most visible and relevant politicians in the region with an impeccable experience and track record to benefit from a such arrangement.
Away from supporting other ethnic groups to produce state governors at different times and places, the Ijaw ethnic nationality, the Vice President has represented his people well and therefore should be rewarded with higher office because it’s a well-known adage that the reward for good work is more work.
This performance claim is evidence-based and speaks for itself.
He facilitated the construction and equipment of the Umutu Magistrate Court to ensure that people do not have to travel far to seek justice from the court, among other economic contributions to the lives of the people of Ukwuani, such as construction of drainage to control erosion at the source mouth of the Ethiopia River.
Between 2012 and 2014, he served as Transitional Chairman of the Ukwuani Local Government Regional Council. His tenure as President of the Council marked his conviction that security is the foundation on which development can be achieved through peace.
Upon taking office, Ochor inherited an area plagued with rampant kidnappings, intra- and inter-community divisions, bigotry, youth unrest and ritualistic killings. Day and night life was a nightmare. The local government area security report was debilitating. He tackled these hydra-headed monsters through various security-based strategies. With his facilitation, the State Commissioner of Police set up the Anti-Kidnapping Crack Squad led by ASP Lucas. He changed the suspicious relationship between his office and law enforcement on the one hand, and the public on the other.
Operational vehicles, accommodation and social arrangements were put in place, which stimulated effective intelligence gathering and community policing of the area.
Ochor is a leader who appreciates Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to prevent the breakdown of law and order and he has used it effectively to achieve peace between LGA communities and interstate border communities. Delta and Edo.
In 2015, he was appointed Executive Director of the Directorate of Social Services Development on the Board of the Delta State Petroleum Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).
As Executive Director, Social Services Development, a branch responsible for meeting the social, community and cultural needs of residents of oil-producing communities in Delta State, he created a system of checks and balances for the commission and ensured that programs that will have a direct impact on people are implemented, so that Management was able to plan and ensure that a qualified training manual was produced, which became a point of reference for state skills training programs.
He initiated the survey of school facilities in different schools in the DESOPADEC mandate area, which raised awareness that many schools are in dire need of learning facilities, including buildings, which caused the renovations and furnishing of identified schools.
In 2019 he took another photo to represent the people of Ukwuani in the State House of Assembly and won.
As a member of the Delta State House of Assembly, he had, in the discharge of his primary duty as a legislature, supported that effective bills be passed for the good of the state.
In this, he had supported the passage of the Governor and Deputy Pension Entitlement Amendment Bill of 2019, Delta State Corporate Social Bill 2019, co-sponsored the bill HIV/AIDS Against Discrimination Bill, 2020, a bill to eliminate violence in the private and public sectors. life and other bills that had been passed for the good of the state.
Another bill sponsored by him passed and signed into law is the State Assembly Fund Administration Bill 2021, which was for full autonomy for the state House of Assembly.
He had, in relation to the executive, attracted effective development of the area, such as youth empowerment, construction of roads, schools and markets.
Ochor, as a promise he made to his people, has more than 120 people in his pay in all neighborhoods and beyond his constituency. He had given various people start-up funds for businesses and equipment, including 23 girls whom he had publicly endowed with various business equipment and cash tools to get off the ground, and 156 market women through various cash for stimulate their professions.
He has been recognized at various levels by different organizations including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the most successful local government chairman in financial management in Delta State, the best chairman for the use of SURE-P fund to train, and empower youth, among others, including media, students and safety awards.
This piece thinks these are the likes of Ochor that Delta as a state currently needs.
Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi is Program Coordinator (Media and Public Policy) at Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos. He can be contacted via [email protected]/08032725374