Pix: Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State,(2nd left) accompanied by Works Commissioner, Hon. Funkekeme Solomon holding the microphone; Hon. Eri Jeo of the State House of Assembly (behind the Governor and Funkekeme); HRM. Ambrose Odiri, Owehe 1, the Odio-Ologbo of Umeh kingdom; Hon Leo Ogor meajority Leader, House of Reps and Gen. Paul Omu (rtd) during the commissioning of the 7.1 Km Umeh road in Isoko South Local Government Area constructed by the State government. Pix: Bripin Enarusai
IT was carnival-like celebration weekend at Umeh in Isoko South local government area of Delta State as Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan commissioned Umeh road and Umeh Primary School, ending decades of neglect of the community.
The joy of the people of Umeh was palpable and infectious as Governor Uduaghan joined the sea of heads of Isoko people to celebrate democracy dividends in the community on a Valentine day.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Umeh road, Governor Uduaghan recalled that he heard about the road through the social media (Umeh Need Road Page on Facebook) and had to visit the community to know the state of the road, disclosing that it was difficult to access the community through road as at 2011 when the construction of the road was awarded.
According to the Governor, “it was through the Umeh Need Road group on Facebook that I knew about Umeh road and we engaged ourselves on Facebook. During one of my inspection visits to the community, I visited the school and it was not befitting for studying and we awarded the contract for the construction of the school.”
“I am excited not because this is our first road project or the most expensive project but, I am excited because, today, Umeh has a road,” he stated, noting: “The traditional ruler, youths and the entire people of this community are very appreciative, supportive of government as well as protective of public projects … Umeh youths, we appreciate you, Umeh women, we appreciate you, Umeh people, we appreciate you,” said an elated Governor Uduaghan
Besides, Uduaghan explained that the Umeh road caught his attention when he got to know that the people were great farmers and have the potential to feed the country if the environment was conducive.
This, he said tallied with his Delta Beyond Oil programme as the road will help diversify the State’s economy away from oil by re-focusing the peoples’ attention on agriculture.
Also, he challenged beneficiaries of his administration’s micro-credit programme to grow their businesses to cottage industries so as to be able to expand and employ more hands.
“Today is a day of love, Valentine day, you have expressed that love to me and we appreciate that love. For the beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme, you have to grow your businesses to enable you establish cottage industries. We have started micro credit here and we believe that in the next two or three years, the beneficiaries of this micro-credit would have grown to own small-scale businesses.
“This road project and the school were made possible because our Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration is sensitive to the plights of the masses”, stressing that a vote for the PDP in the forthcoming elections means a vote for continuous development and empowerment of the people.
Accordingly, he called for massive votes for all the candidates of the party in the general elections billed to hold in March and April.
The State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Solomon Funkekeme observed that it was on record that Governor Uduaghan has constructed more than 3, 000 kilometers of road in the state.
In an opening address, the Chairman of Isoko South local government area, Hon. Malik Ikpokpo, said: “The story of this journey may be written in a book because the people of Umeh cried and you listened to their cry. You are a listening Governor and today, development has come to Umeh.”
The traditional ruler of the community, HRH Odiri Ambrose Oweh conferred the chieftaincy title, Ovielo (King of Light) of Umeh on the Governor for his efforts in developing the community.