Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, is busy drawing the battle line for the 2023 governorship race in Delta State, one of the big oil and gas states in the Niger Delta that is also known as the Big Heart.
Omo-Agege wants the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has been dominating the affairs of the state since 1999 to be thrown out of the Government House, Asaba, for its alleged poor welfare programmes for workers.
With the posturing of the deputy senate president, the 2023 governorship ‘war’ in Delta promises to be a tough one for PDP. The party will require the political wizardry of former Governor James Ibori, to resist the advances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) warlords.
Ibori dominated the affairs of the state from 1999 through 2007. Fourteen years after leaving office, Ibori is still effectively in control of the political direction of the state. In 2015, his cousin and ex-governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, made a failed attempt to flush out the PDP when he defected to APC.
Uduaghan owes his political relevance in Delta to Ibori who first made him Health Commissioner, Secretary to the State Government, and then governor in 2007.
Omo-Agege is however, lamenting the alleged refusal of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State to pay senior citizens their pensions and gratuities after serving the state meritoriously.
Omo-Agege exploded as part of activities marking this year’s workers’ day celebration in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga.
The federal legislator who is seeking to govern Delta on the platform of APC said, “the continued neglect and refusal of the State government to pay their pensions and gratuities speaks to the disdain, aversion, contempt, derision and hatred by the Okowa-led government for workers.
“Unfortunately, many retirees have passed on without collecting their entitlements while others have resorted to riding commercial motorcycles popularly called Keke to make ends meet.
“Current workers are also not that hopeful that they would be receiving their entitlements as and when due upon retirement. This does not speak well of an oil-rich state like Delta.
“It is a sorry state that those who have diligently served the state for the most productive part of their lives are treated like second-class citizens by the state government.
“Frankly speaking, Delta State workers deserve better and we shall deliver on all promises to them”.
Omo-Agege felicitated with the Nigerian workers on the occasion of the 2022 Workers’ Day celebration and applauded them for their hard work, diligence and sacrifice.
He noted that their efforts are largely responsible for the greatness of the country and the respect Nigeria now commands in the comity of nations.