ASABA/Nigeria: The Chairman Progressive Peoples Alliance PPA, in Delta State Mr. Fred Obi has stressed the needs for Deltans to look beyond the issues of tribal or religious sentiments in task of nation building, noting that for Deltans, in this new year there is need for us to turn a new leaf if we so desire to make progress.
He added that we must start seeing ourselves as one and begin to think of those things which will unite us as against that which will divide us.
In a New Year message, titled: “Our Strength is in our Diversity” signed by Mr Obi and a copy made available to our Correspondent in Asaba, he said “The year 2017 has ended and we are now ushered into the New Year 2018. No doubt, the out gone year 2017 has its challenges, despite its challenges though, we were able to surmount all and here we are in the New Year 2018 by God’s grace.”
He noted that travelling from one Part of the State to another reveals our very rich cultural history which can be harnessed not minding our tribal differences as our strength is in our diversity, hence all hands must be on desk to making our state an envy of all.
“Unarguably, our State is blessed with both human and Natural resources. But over the years especially from the period 1999 till date, our decisions especially as it relates to our democratic journey has not given us the much required dividend, this is partly as a result of our inability to genuinely invest in the development of our culture as well as in human capital.”
The PPA Chairman regretted that Deltans have continued to discuss issues confronting them along tribal line and not on the bases of merits and demerits. Honestly, no group of people so desired for growth can make progress under such circumstance. As a people, the State should come first before us if we must make the needed progress.
In as much as I desire growth and development to go to every corner of the State, according to him, it must not be on the bases of tribal or religious sentiment but on competence and contents of character, even as research have revealed that, some of our elected officials that got into the office because of ‘our turn arrangement’ can hardly perform for some obvious reasons which sometimes could also be associated with Godfatherism, politics and leadership of exclusion.
“Deltans, this is a new year. There is need for us to turn a new leaf if we so desire to make progress. We must start seeing ourselves as one and begin to think of those things which will unite us as against that which will divide us.”
Continuing; “Between 2018 and 2019, we as a people of Delta State, will be confronted with two major elections. Firstly, the Local Government election of January 6th 2018 which in my view is seen as a referendum as to whether we will continue to elect people on tribal bases, financial strength or base on competence, then the 2019 general election which will ultimately decide our direction as a people, the choice is up to us.”
He argued that governance and politics should be seen as a call to service. When it’s in the hand of one particular tribe, it should not be seen as our turn to focus Government infrastructural and developmental projects only at the region the leader is said to have come from.
In the same vein, other ethnic groups are enjoined to rally round those in power and by so doing, we would have jettisoned the tribal politics and our journey to making our state great, an envy of all, and investors destination which will ultimately fast rack the overall infrastructural development of the state, for the state can only develop speedily only when we are united as our strength is in our diversity.
“Again, we know very well that in life there is always time for everything. We have the morning, afternoon and evening. Those aspiring to be leaders and those already leading as well as the generality of Deltans should know, understand and endeavour to separate the time of politicking and governance. That while asking for the support of one and all, and as those already in power are going about the governance of the State and creating economic policies for the betterment of the people, government should also focus and think of policies that will strengthen our unity as a people.”
He maintained that criticism is allowed in democracy but vulgar words cannot be identified as part of criticizing government and her policies, and said if the bound of our unity will continue to be respected those of us in the opposition should immediately jettison the practice of attacking the persons of those in power but rather focus our energy on attacking the policies as that could be seen as constructive engagement and criticism.
While praying for a better 2018 for all Deltans, the PPA boss explained that the State can only develop in a peaceful atmosphere, this is why we must begin to see ourselves as one not minding our political ideologies or affiliations.