All persons, irrespective of ethnic and religious background, as long they are resident, do business and pay taxes to the Delta State government, are equal stakeholders in the State and therefore will enjoy equal benefits without discrimination.
Deputy Senate President and governorship candidate of the Delta All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, gave the assurance in a meeting with muslim leaders in the State, Saturday, December 17, in Warri.
He frowned at the reported discrepancy in school fees paid by indigenous and non-indigenous students in tetiary institutions of State saying when he becomes governor, that policy will be abolished.
“As far as you are in Delta State, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim, you will pay equal school fees for your children. You are all Deltans, you reside here and pay taxes so you are equal stakeholders and you must enjoy equal benefits.
“If there is a job opening both children of Christians and Muslims are free to compete and have equal employment opportunities. They will all be considered equally, no discrimination.
“The same principle of fairness will be applied for pilgrimages. As the State government sponsors Christians to Jerusalem for pilgrimage so we will sponsor Muslims for pilgrimage to Mecca.
“I assure you that I will carry you along. There shall be a Special Adviser from among you who will interface between my government and the muslim community, and also in terms farmers and herders relationship.”
He recalled that the muslim community gave him support in 2015 which saw to his election as senator, and described them as valued stakeholders in the State.
“So long as you own a PVC you have a right to determine how you are governed. You are all here, you reside here, when it is good for us it is good for you and when it is bad for us it is bad for you. You should know how the State is governed, where we are and why we are where we are. I am sure you know that in the past seven and a half years we have a government that has been led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Speaker Sheriff Oborevwori. They have received over 3.5 trillion naira from the federation account and yet you see the state of our roads, retirees have not been paid and some have died; yet we are the richest State in Nigeria. Something is wrong somewhere.
“Since you chose to leave your various States to come and live in Delta and we have accepted you, you have a right to your fair expectations. I am sure the Delta State of your dream is not what you are seeing . That is why I have offered myself to be governor. I have a social contract with all Deltans irrespective of ethnicity and religious leaning, that so long you are resident in Delta State you have right to equal opportunities.
“We will attract companies back to Warri and the old oil city will boom again. Warri, Koko and Burutu ports will be reactivated. As long as your women are resident in Delta, we will guarantee bank loans for their businesses.
“We will engage the ingenuity of 60 per cent of the State’s population who are youths and channel their creativity through tech hubs that would ultimately generate revenue for the State. We will invest and improve on our security architecture to ensure the prevalence of peace for businesses to thrive.
“I commit to you that whenever we decide as a government to make appointments into the Muslim pilgrim board, we will consult you.” Omo-Agege said
Earlier on, the Chief Imam of Oghara, Alhaji Mohammed Maija, had complained that Muslims in Delta State were marginalized in job opportunities for their graduate children, in government appointments, and in payment of school fees in the State’s tetiary institutions. Over 500 Muslim leaders attended the meeting.
A day before on Friday, December 16, the APC governorship candidate in continuation of the party’s ward to ward campaigns visited Okumagba avenue, Ugbuwaguen and Igbudu areas of Warri, during which he promised that when elected governor, he would upgrade the Osubi airport to an international airport status.
He took note of the poverty that pervades Warri Township and tolls on it’s citizens and said there are only two months left for the people to decide their future and urged them to vote APC candidates during the election.
Olorogun Bernard Okumagba, an APC leader, in his remarks, gave assurance that with Senator Omo- Agege as governor, the yearnings of the people for human and infrastructural development will be achieved and life in Warri will bounce back again.