Uduaghan defects to APC, cites Buhari’s engagement in Niger Delta, others
A former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, yesterday announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).This came as former Senate Minority Leader, Godswil Akpabio, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s integrity has endeared him to the masses, adding that the President’s infectious disposition had brought respect to the country
Uduaghan gave reasons for his defection in a statement titled: Moving on to the Bigger Playing Field, pointing out that peace and security have been the toughest challenges of any Niger Delta leader since 1997.He commended President Buhari’s administration for the giant strides recorded in peace and security since assuming office in 2015.His words: “Since inception of the APC administration, President Buhari has paid attention in encouraging interest and activities that will bring a permanent solution to the Niger Delta crisis.
“Once the President set his priorities pursuant to creating peace in the region, every well-meaning Niger Deltan and Nigerian became interested in assisting the process of building an economically prosperous nation.”
While noting that he was deeply involved in management of issues in the region for 12 years, first as Secretary to State Government (SSG) and then Governor of Delta State, Uduaghan said: “Engagement was our major tool. This involved government officials, community leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youths, retired military officers and activists, among others.
“The Buhari administration has embarked on various engagement processes that led to agreements and brought hope to the Niger Delta people.“It is also significant that the President mandated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to visit the oil producing states, engaging various stakeholders. This is unprecedented in the history of the region. Such engagement processes have brought some measure of peace in the Niger Delta. Things can only get better.”
Uduaghan added that beyond the engagement processes, the APC government has embarked on some infrastructure and human capital development programmes in the region.He listed the activities to include the opening of a Maritime University, setting up of a steering committee for the EPZ (Gas City), plans for a deep sea port, dredging of the Escravos-Warri River and opening of railway line to Delta Steel Company.
Others are the soon to be flagged off Omadino-Escravos Road that will pass through many riverine communities, road construction works by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as well as Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) projects In Delta State. “ I decided to leave the PDP for the APC after consultations and prayers. In doing this, I want to thank the leaders, supporters and interest groups that have been urging me to remain in PDP. “I am happy that after explaining some of the deeper issues, some politicians have agreed to join the APC in the near future. So, I am going to APC as ‘John the Baptist’ to other Delta politicians that are coming in soon,” he stated.