Nigeria Decides 2023: Delta guber: My opponents lack global


From Paul Osuyi, AsabaGovernorship candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in Delta State, Comrade Sunny Ofehe, has unfolded his plans to revitalise the state’s economy and fast track its rapid development. In this interview, Ofehe, an Environmental Activist, said his international exposure and contacts gave him the cutting edge in the race to succeed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in 2023.Your party, obviously, does not have the structure to win a governorship election. What then is giving you the confidence that you are going to win?I have been over flogged with this issue of structure. Naturally, I believe that anything you do that requires you to sustain it with money is never sustainable over time. When you say structure, the people who really have structure are those who practise democracy in Western clime because their political parties are built on ideology, and the ideologies are based on who you are and what you believe. APC, PDP, the structure they had in 2019 is not the same as today because it is all about sustaining with money. Now the narrative is changing, people are beginning to be aware, people are beginning to understand that their votes can now count. And the politics of 2023 is bringing new breed politicians; people who can come out and talk about issues like what we are seeing in Peter Obi. For the first time, somebody is talking about issues affecting individuals, families and even the elite. Now let me shock you, I heard that the last election in this state cost APC and PDP about N40 billion. I was part and parcel of that, I was in APC like you said. But upon investigation, the two parties with that huge amount could only muster 48 percent of the votes in the state. So what happened to the other 52 percent? So people are no longer looking at the political parties, they are looking at the individuals, the character that is running the election. And because our Electoral Act says we have to run under a political party; nobody knew Labour Party before. But the moment Peter Obi stepped in, everybody is talking about it which means it is the character that matters. The message that I have for Deltans, and the experience and exposure that I have from where I am coming from, the understanding that I have about the issues here, the solutions that I have proven beyond time that they are workable and the fact that I have seen it all. I don’t need N200 billion to enjoy my life, I am already enjoying one. By the time they start hearing my message, by the time they start believing, verifying, knowing that what I am saying is correct, I am able to identify their problems from unit to ward to LGA, this is all I have. I have the template. My structures will automatically be formed by the time they start listening to me. No matter the amount of money for inducement, their conscience will make them put the thumb print on that man with character. I am young, hale and hearty and mentally sound. Physically, I am ready for the job.There are speculations that you are being sponsored to destabilise one of the major contenders…With all due respect, I was in APC. I honestly and genuinely came into APC to become the candidate. I was ready to face the competition, I am fearless, I don’t respect people by name or by what they have. I respect people by what comes out of the mouth. Leadership is understanding the problems your people face, and knowing how to deal with it. Suddenly, I was called from nowhere to Abuja where they told me that they have decided that Ogboru was going to be the sole candidate for that election. I told them that I was not going to be part of that negotiation. I went to court to seek an injunction to stop the sale of forms, and they said I was carrying out anti party activities, that when they are sharing political office, that I will be schemed out. I said I don’t care because my vision was to become the governor. I went further but I could not meet the deadline to stop the sales of the forms, that was when I withdrew. Then I had a meeting with Ogboru in the presence of everybody; no money arrangement was agreed. I stepped down for him, I committed myself to the party, I played my role in the best way I could. And I saw all of the lapses and those lapses are what have encouraged me to come back to run for 2023. This time, I deliberately did not want to run under the big parties because I don’t want my efforts to be compromised by people who are in the table negotiating the future of our dear citizens. And I was not ready to spend exorbitantly on expression and nomination forms. I am happy that YPP gave me this platform to be on the ballot a mere N8 million for forms. I am contesting against people who bought forms for N50 million, that is investment already, you need to recoup. Before you go through the primary process, you spend money, you are loyal to this and that. As we speak right now, I have not discussed with anybody, I am in this race for myself and nobody sponsored me to checkmate another person’s political party. In the course of time, you will see the truth in what I am saying now, I am in this race to compete to the end.People have also told me that by the time, my momentum picks, that they would approach me with money that I cannot turn down. I feel I owe it to God that after 26 years of staying in Europe with what I have seen and the opportunities that keep coming to me everyday which I have tried to sell to our political leaders and they have never taken seriously, I feel it is time for me to step in, take the mantle of leadership and take my people to the promised land. We have the capacity to become the California of Sub-saharan Africa, we have the capacity to increase the GDP in this country, we have the capacity as a state to look beyond FAC allocation, our meagre IGR and begin to think outside of the box on how to bring in investors. None of those on the ballot has a relationship with foreign investors like I do. No matter the security threat that my state can pose as long as I can guarantee their investments and guarantee return on the investment, they will be willing to come here and revitalise most of our moribund industries so that we can create jobs and expand our revenue generation capacity.Do you have the financial capacity to run the campaigns across all nooks and crannies of the state?Financial muscle to run the campaign.If I look at the finance, I will not even start at all. I saw a lot of errors from my participation in 2019. You see, money that you stole from somewhere that you never really worked for would naturally vanish from you somehow. What most people do not understand is that when you take leadership, you automatically go into spiritual covenant with Almighty God because the funds you are going to access are not yours; the funds you are going to use are not yours; yours has be defined in a salary structure, allowance structure.People were paid ecological funds and they ate the money and today poor people are running heltar skelter, they have been displaced from their homes because somebody did not do something to protect certain people who have no voice, who cannot shout, who cannot scream. But you know what, those people who embezzled the money will not know peace spiritually. Mention any politician today who left office and still remain a better person. That is why they will jostle for office position because that is the only thing they do. Most of the time, they buy property which they sell to recoup the money. What they however fail to understand is that your rise is directly proportional to your liability. So by the time you can afford a N2 billion home, your liability is already N5 billion. Even when you are selling for N2 billion, you are still poor because it has not solved the problems that you carry and those things are spiritual. When you are given money to construct road, you go and do a make shift road with potholes, and people die as a result of accident on that road. You think those souls are resting in peace? They are going to locate those people whose actions led to their death. And you know the consequences of such actions? Most political leaders you respect today in this country, it is their ‘mai guard’ that sleeps with their wives, their children become junkies. Those are consequences of public funds that you have misappropriated. And when you take oath of office with the Bible or the Quoran, you think it is just a recitation of words, no! So I understand all these rudiments. Public funds under my care would be appropriated properly and results would come out in a way that it can justify what is in the purse because I don’t want to end my life the way they will end theirs.If elected, how do you hope to deal with the ‘entitlement mentality’ that is so pervasive in Delta State?When you have a system who start first during the campaign by calling people and giving them money to deliver to the LGA without proper management, at the end of the day, people who actually go to the poll are given N1,000 each which is a far cry. So, there is a gap between the small population of the godfathers and the eventual people who give them the votes. And it is that gap we are cutting. In the course of my campaign, I will make myself available to the people, I will cut that gap of giving some people that I don’t know money. I was at Ogboru’s house a day to the election in 2019, instead of strategically planning, people were there waiting for money. I wonder who they wanted to meet at the midnight in their various locations. It was clear that those people would just divert, sleep in one place and will not even go to the field, and leave the fate of the party to those who are there and they slug it out later. For me, when you don’t have a plan and you start to give money, you will continue to give money. Now I will use an encounter I had with Ateke Tom the last time I was consulting. When I met him, he said if they supported me what will I do for him. I told him I have known him since the days of agitation, that if I become a governor, I will not give him one naira. He was shocked. I told him that he is a pioneer in the Niger Delta struggle, and now a living example of how far our people can go when they are deprived. In the Netherlands, I have companies who can build anything that floats on water, the companies can do the financing of those projects with 85 percent equity contribution. I told Ateke that as a governor, I will open up the opportunity for him, I will ensure I mediate between this company and our people who are in the marine industry, to acquire newly built vessels that they in turn hire to multi-national oil companies. Platinum Support Vessel (PSV) Dynamic 2, if you give it to an oil company, you get a minimum of 40,000 dollars a day. And then when you have an equity contribution of 15 percent under a single digit interest rate, you can employ at least 100 persons to man the vessel. You have income that is generating and the life span of that vessel could be 40 years if you service it properly. This is what I promised to give to Ateke Tom. And I will not end there, I will take him to the world, give him a platform to speak to the world to tell them to come and help youths in his community. We are going to give money but what we will do is that if we attract foreign direct investment, under the local content law, you need to have a local consortium that will partner with those multi-national companies. How will it sound if we have some of our seniors as chairmen of subsidiaries that are in partnership with the technical company, a company with technical capacity from abroad who cannot indigenise themselves? And because you are the chairman of the local consortium in Delta State, you are already a member of the board globally. And once or twice a year, you are invited to Rome, Madrid, Amsterdam, depending on where the country is domiciled, on an AGM. Your remittances would be coming in hard currency. You sit back such that even when you die, your next of kin takes over. So, you are not jostling in such a way that when I am no longer the governor, you are broke. I cannot give money but I can create that environment where all of this people would be self dependent. I want to add political value to our economy.How much FDI would you attract to Delta in four years if elected?A $100 billion. And hold me to my word.

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