Former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan Wednesday said he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support President Muhammadu Buhari.
Uduaghan said Buhari has achieved a lot in entrenching peace in the Niger Delta and putting in place infrastructural facilities in the region, saying the President needs the support of people like him.
The former Governor joined the ruling APC barely three weeks after the former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Senator Godswill Akpabio also from the South-South region defected to the ruling party.
The duo last night attended the national caucus meeting of the APC in Abuja.
Giving reason for his defection in a statement titled, “Moving onto the bigger playing field”, Uduaghan said President Buhari has from inception of his administration set his priorities right in creating an enabling environment for peace in the Niger Delta region.
With the commitment of the President, he said “it became incumbent on every well-meaning Niger Deltan and Nigerian to assist the process of building an economically prosperous nation.”
According to him, rather than using the military to harass the people of the Niger Delta, the Buhari administration has embarked on various engagement processes that have led to agreements and brought hope to the people of the Niger Delta.
Uduaghan listed the achievements of the President in the region to include the establishment of Maritime University; the setting up of a steering committee for the EPZ (GAS CITY), the plan for a deep sea port, the dredging of the Escravos-Warri River; the opening of the railway line to Delta Steel Company, among others.
“There are also various human capital development programmes especially the school feeding and the “social security net” that is making 5,000 Naira available to the poor, the continuation of the YouWin programme, the various SME programmes, and several other projects across the region have brought hope to the people”, he said.
He added, “In the last years, Mr. President has personally engaged several regional leaders and youths. Senior officials of his administration also engaged many Niger Delta leaders and youths. Very significant is that Mr. President mandated the Vice President Prof Yemi Osibajo SAN, to visit virtually all 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 however enjoined other Niger Delta people to support the government in its drive to bring lasting peace to the region.
He said: “I will, therefore, give the strongest support to any President that shows commitment in the affairs of the Niger Delta. I call on, and enjoin, other well-meaning leaders in the region, who have very useful contributions to make, to come on board and join hands in helping this Federal Government to pursue a robust development agenda that would uplift our people. Whatever milestone that appears not to have been achieved yet is not for lack of efforts. Joining hands with and supporting the process will lead to a faster delivery on expectations.
“It is in the pursuit of this noble objective that I’m offering myself to help drive a process that would give the lives of our people in the Niger Delta more meaning. President Muhammadu Buhari needs people who will join hands with him to uplift our people. From my political experience, you have to be well represented and actively so at the “board room” when decisions are being taken. Delta State must be well represented. Niger Delta must be well represented.”