Former Special Advisers to the Delta State Governor, Special Duties, Hon. Uzoma Idaboh, in this interview with Shola Oyeyipo and Anayo Okolie, denies speculation that he will be vying for the governorship post in his state. Excerpts:
Would you say your exit from government in 2011, was not as a result of any misunderstanding between you and the governor?
Not at all! Politics is turn by turn. Even as I am not currently in government, I am still working with the governor for the good of the state.
There are speculations that you are nursing a governorship ambition in Delta, how true is that?
Though it is not that if the people want me, I cannot be governor, I am not sure anyone would speculate that because it is not in my purview. I have made up my mind clearly to run for an elective office in the Delta State House of Assembly, so as to represent my people there. I have made consideration for the Senate and the House of Representatives, but as you know, most of these positions are zoned. That is why I have made up my mind to contest for the state assembly election, to represent Aniocha North local government area in 2015.
Why the Delta Assembly?
In the House of Representatives, we have four local governments that make up my federal constituency. In the last 15 years of democratic rule, the Aniocha North, where I come from has occupied that seat for 12 years, while another local government; Aniocha South has occupied it for four years, which was during the tenure of Hon. Paschal Adigwe.
So now, the Oshimili South, being Asaba and Oshimili North, being Akwukwu-Igbo and Ibuza, have been agitating that it should rotate, because you can't do 16 years and only a section has been there. So, I am of the view that based on equality, their argument will be very strong. However, in the House, it will be much smoother and convincing, if an incumbent is asking for an opportunity to go even for the 10th term.
What would be your interest areas if elected?
If I represent my people in the State House of Assembly, without any fear of contradiction, my voice will be heard loud and clear, when I speak at the legislative arm and when I also speak to the executive arm, because I have paid my dues.
What would you say prepared you for this assignment?
Having been in the system long enough, I have made friends across the length and breadth of the state, I have also served in various capacities and I know how government works. So, if I bring these experiences into the state assembly, it will materialise for the benefit of my people.
As former aide to Governor Uduaghan, did you better the condition of your people?
At that time, because of my cordial relationship with the governor – he wanted somebody he could call to do what he wanted and carry it out the way he wanted it done. In my local government alone, I was able to attract over 17 key projects. In my own community, I was able to attract community health centre, street lights and I was able to attract the connection of our electrification to the national grid. All the wooden poles were taken-off and concrete poles introduced.
The secondary school in my community was renovated, new classroom blocks were built for the primary schools and roads were constructed with some resurfaced. In other communities, like Iseluku, we were able to visit the hospital, find out what they needed, and we discovered that their major need as at then was staff quarters for the doctors, which was completed. Their hospital was also refurbished and the facilities and equipment upgraded with new ones. In fact, with no exception, all the primary schools in my community were overhauled with new furniture then.