FEATURE: Oborevwori Marching Words With Action

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There is no doubt that the politics of Delta state took a new dimension on the 20th of March 2023, with the coming of the former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as Governor of the state.

When Oborevwori burst on to the governorship contest in 2023, a number of people expressed fear that quite a few odds were stacked up against him.

For one thing, he is the longest serving Speaker for six years, where he managed both the legislative, the executive and the judicial arms of government.

He could not have done that without the help of God and massive support from the people because during the period, he was perceived as an enemy as he was the sacred cow, used to replace Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya.

So the view was held in some quarters that the entrenched vested “interests” in the system were going to tear him down and make mince meat of him! Many people also thought that he was new in politics and did not quite know the ropes.

As soon as he took the oath of office as the Executive Governor of the oil rich state, he expressed his determination to match his words with action, calling on Deltans to pray fervently for him to fulfill his thoughts for the state.

“I covet the prayer of all of you for the wisdom to lead, and the divine enablement to achieve the goals that we have set for this administration.

“The tasks we face are tough, the choices not easy. But with your support and prayers we shall get the job done”, he assured.

To keep faith with his electioneering promises, on Friday July 28th 2023, Governor Oborevwori, approved the recruitment of primary school teachers, clerical officers and watchmen in 22 local government council areas in the state.

One thing that is thrilling in Oborevwori’s blueprint for these newly engaged teachers is that they most be and work in their various locations (councils). This move has successfully chased away ghost teachers/workers from the system.

The state Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON), Hon. Victor Ebonka who announced the approval while addressing journalists at the end of the State Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) Meeting in Asaba, said the approval was given at the JAAC meeting while recruitment would be based on individual local government needs assessment.

He said: “At today’s JAAC meeting, His Excellency, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori gave approval for 22 out of the 25 Local Government Councils to immediately employ the services of primary school teachers in their respective Local Government Councils.

“This employment will not have a uniform number because each Local Government Council will be considering those that have retired from their Councils. So the number to employ will vary from Council to Council.

“We are also employing watchmen, clerical officers and all other support staff for the Local Government Education Authority. This will go a long way in solving the problem of lack of teachers in our primary schools,” he said.

You would agree with this writer that during the governor’s budget presentation, he promised to invest in teachers that would in turn reflect in their performance in the classroom.

“We will also prioritize investments in teacher training and professional development. We recognize that our teachers are the backbone of our educational system, and we are committed to providing them with the support and resources they need to deliver high-quality instruction.

“We will work with our educational institutions to provide training and development opportunities for our teachers, with a focus on improving their pedagogical skills, subject matter expertise, and use of technology in the classroom”, he said.

On roads, the State government is working round the clock to ensuring that communities are connected for sustainable development.

The governor on Wednesday March 6th 2024, personally inspected the ongoing work on the Okpanam-Ibusa bypass road; Beneku bridge; Emevor-Orogun Road; Orere bridge and Model Technical College, Orerokpe, as part of his promise to fulfill his pledge to complete existing projects while also initiating new ones.

Hear him: “the Okpanam-Ibusa bypass is a road that is very key to connect from the Benin/Asaba highway to Ibusa, to give access to the people around that area.

“I was there last year to inspect the project and I felt that I need to go again to ascertain the level of work that has been done, because the contractor promised that April/May this year, the job will be completed”.

Not up to one year, there are already signs of Oborevwori, having what other governors in the State and other States of the federation could not lay hands on as ‘Mega Project’, in eight years.

Governor Oborevwori will not just have ‘Mega Project’, but ‘Mega Projects’, which would be replicated across the three senatorial districts of the State.

You would recall that he declared during his inauguration to restore the lost glory of Warri, the commercial capital of the oil-rich state.

In fulfillment of that promise, on Monday, November 27, 2023, the sagacious governor performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the commencement of the following flagship projects in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun.

Study, Design and Construction of Road/Expansion of a Section of DSC/NPA Expressway from Effurun Roundabout to DSC Roundabout along Effurun/Patani (East West) Highway including the construction of a Cloverleaf Interchange of the Existing Effurun Flyover Bridge alongside two Pedestrian Bridges in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

Design and construction of a Flyover Bridge from Enerhen Junction, Effurun, to Marine Gate Warri in Uvwie and Warri South Local Government Areas of Delta State.

Design and Construction of a Flyover Bridge at DSC Roundabout, along the Effurun/Patani (East West) Highway and design and Construction of a Flyover Bridge at PTI Junction along the Effurun/Patani (East West) Highway.

These projects are worth approximately N78 billion and are being handled by construction giant, Julius Berger Plc, and has a completion period of 27 months.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Oborevwori said: “Upon completion, these projects will not only change the face of Warri and environs, they will also ease the traffic congestion in the area and alleviate the hardship faced by commuters.

“As is often the case with road constructions of this nature there will be direct employment opportunities for our people, especially engineers, artisans, and labourers. Food vendors and suppliers, transporters, quarry operators and so many others in the construction value chain also stand to benefit”.

To mark his 100 days in office to further portray the topic issue of this article, Oborevwori completed and commissioned some of the projects his administration inherited from the immediate past administration.

According to him, “At Dennis Osadebey University, Anwai, Asaba, we completed and commissioned Administrative Building; 500-seater Auditorium, two 250-seater Lecture Theatres, University Gate House, Access Road into the campus and Faculty of Agriculture Complex.

“Also completed is an ultra-modern Administrative Building, Vice Chancellors Lodge, and the Faculty of Engineering, all at Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro and the Okpolo/Enhwe/Uwheru Road (Phase II) in Isoko south local government Area of Delta State.

Meanwhile, the Oborevwori-led administration has awarded contracts for more road projects including the construction of Nsukwa/Umute/Adonte Road (Phase I: Umute/Adonte) in Aniocha south local government area, rehabilitation of General Hospital Road with a Spur to Police Command Road from Warri/Sapele Road to Ajamimogha/Mabiaku Link Road, Warri in Warri south local government area, construction of Internal roads and drains in kurutie Town, Warri south west local government area, rehabilitation of Esisi Road from Warri/Sapele Road to Estate Roundabout with a spur to Nana College Road to link Ajamimogha Road, Warri, Warri south local government area, construction of eoads around Otovwodo Junction, Ughelli in Ughelli north local government area.

Others are construction of Okerenkoko Township Roads, (Phase V) in Warri south west local government area, rehabilitation and Asphalt Overlay of Ohorhe/Adagbrasa-Ugolo-Okuodiete Road with a spur from Adagbrasa-Ugolo through Ughwagba Community to Okan Junction along Eku-Osubi-Effurun Road in Okpe local government area, reconstruction of Upper and Lower Erejuwa Road in Warri, Warri south local government area with a promise to embark on the construction of more critical road infrastructure in the 2024 fiscal year as the government is irrevocably committed to advancing urban-rural integration.

During the inspection of ongoing construction of Nsukwa – Umute – Adonte Road in Aniocha south local government Area, one of the roads mentioned above, the State Commissioner for Works, (Rural and Riverine Roads), Mr. Charles Aniagwu, said Governor Sheriff Oborevwori was committed to the provision of opportunities and meaningful development for all through road construction for rural dwellers across the state.

According to Aniagwu, “the entire stretch of the road is 7.5km but we are starting with the Phase 1 which is about 3.2km”.

“The road comprises of upland and swampy areas, with 7.3 pavement width and it is part of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s desire to open up communities and build possibilities of communal inter connectivity.

“You do know that as part of his 4-point Agenda there is opportunities for all and meaningful development. This project speaks specifically to those two aspects of the Governor’s MORE agenda.

“Despite the fact that this is a very swampy area, Governor Oborevwori is not just looking out for only those in the cities, he also has eyes for those living in rural communities believing that they also contribute to the economy of our dear state.

“This road is very vital to these communities around this corridor and I can tell you that this road was awarded in November 2023 and work is progressing steadily.

“From what we are seeing, the contractor is making a whole lot of progress even without any advanced payment, he has also not raised any certificate.

“What you are seeing here is the commitment of some of our indigenous contractors.  We have continued to encouraged our indigenous contractors to grow.

“With the kind of work being done here such as escavation of unsuitable surface materials and the dredging of sharp sand to fill some areas that are likely to have underground water, you could see that our indigenous contractors are also making a whole lot of progress and that’s the desire of government to encourage them so that going forward they can compete favourably with their international counterparts.

“We are pleased with what we have seen and we are hoping that in the course of 2024, that this particular project will be realized because the Governor is desirous of getting the job completed in good time.” Aniagwu stated.

As Oborevwori approaches his one year in office, there is an innate overwhelming zeal in the man to achieve. There is this overpowering never-put-me-down dogged spirit in him which succinctly epitomizes the saying that it is not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man that matters.

Oborevwori, is marching words with action with his MORE Agenda for Deltan!

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