By Emeka Nwokocha
DELTA: Professor Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, on Saturday 18, August, met with Itsekiri leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Warri, headquarters of Warri South local government area of Delta State to draw more support to his governorship race.
The meeting was one of the series of consultations embarked upon by Prof. Utomi in recent past.
In his address, Prof. Utomi expressed joy at the warm reception given to him, saying he had built a cordial relationship with the Itsekiri nation over the years, emphasising his commitment to change the chequered political narratives in Delta state when he becomes governor of the state, adding that Warri would be revived from its present state of under-development to a nexus for business and industrial activities.
Continuing, the world-class Professor of Economics reiterated that his vision of unlocking the abundant opportunities in the state would rightly be possible when the itsekiri nation fully support his Rescue Delta Project.
When asked if he has the capacity to turn the battered Delta State’s economy around, Prof. Utomi said that Delta state has the resources to be the largest economy in Nigeria, noting that geographical positioning of the state as ocean facing is a huge resource to catalyze massive growth in the state’s economy.
On job creation, Prof. Utomi said he would tackle the bug of unemployment with brilliant initiative, noting that transitional jobs would be created to engage the teeming youths roaming the streets who do not have the requisite professional skills to get them better jobs. Saying that the youths would do vocational jobs and also have the ample time to go to school where they would acquire more training and skills in various trades with which they would get better jobs.
Responding to questions on his plan for the rural women in the riverine communities, Prof. Utomi said that government resources would be used prudently to improve on the wellbeing of the people in the riverine communities. Adding that ‘slum schools’ would be established in the rural riverine communities to cater to the educational needs of the people, stressing that monthly stipend would be given to the very poor Deltans to ameliorate their poor economic status.
Speaking on the brawl in APC, Prof. Utomi said that all hands are on deck to restore unity and peace in the party. “We are working seriously to ensure unity reigns in APC to make it a formidable party. The peace we crave for is coming to dwell in our party and it will open the doors for an avalanche of newcomers into APC, the winning party,” he stated.
Prof. Utomi’s visit was climaxed by his historic match into the arena of the Awan’kere Festival, popularly known as “Okere Juju” to join the good people of Okere kingdom in celebration of the 521 edition of the festival.
He was accompanied into the arena by members of the PUSH team led by its Director, Women Affairs, renowned Dr. (Mrs.) Omawumi Evelyn Urhobo, as well as members of Utomi Solidarity Forum (USF).
Prof. Utomi’s presence electrified the arena as he was warmly received by notable Itsekiri Chiefs and personalities of repute, led by the Ologbotsere (Prime Minister) of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayirimi Emami.
Other prominent Itsekiri dignitaries at the occasion were AVM Terry Okorodudu, Barr. Solomon Igbiaye, Comr. Tunde Okorodudu, Hon. Tosan Oyowe, Alfred Andarson, Barr. Omasan Agbajor, and others.
On Prof. Utomi’s team include AVM Frank Adjobena, Chief Malachi Orode, Engr. Leonard Obibi, Mr. Godwin Anaughe, Deacon Patrick Emerhana, Mr. Benjamin Amioku, Olorogun Johnny Esike, Engr. Lewis Ekiyor, Mr. Onome Yegbeburu, Chief Rex Golde, Mr. Emmanuel Oki and many others.