The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, broke his silence on his successor with a charge on all aspirants for the gubernatorial election in the state to sell their programmes and policies to the people rather than scheming on how to disparage fellow aspirants.
Governor Uduaghan who has been evasive on his likely successor noted that neither he nor any level of scheming could determine the candidate that would take over from him in 2015 but that the final choice rested in the hands of God.
Dr. Uduaghan spoke at an Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service held at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter’s (Anglican Communion), Asaba to mark the 23rd anniversary of the creation of Delta State on Wednesday, 27th August, 2014.
He cautioned aspirants to “stop running around trying to disqualify anybody because who God wants to give power, that He will give, whether you disqualify somebody at the screening stage and God wants that person, the person will succeed.”
The Governor recalled that in the build up to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in 2006, he was disqualified by a screening committee in Port Harcourt before an appeal panel cleared him to contest the polls.
“As an aspirant who wants to take over from me, tell the people what you want to do, let us have a clean electioneering campaign. Who God wants, He will put in office.
“Let the campaign not be about me, about whom I am supporting or who I am not supporting, let the campaign be about what you can do for the people.”
He added that, “I want to thank everybody that has indicated interest to take over from me in 2015, it is not easy to make up one’s mind to contest but, know that there is only a space for one person at a time for four years.”
Governor Uduaghan said that Delta State has cause to thank God on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the state creation in view of the giant strides that have been recorded by successive administrations in the state.
According to him, the decision to mark the occasion with a thanksgiving service was to acknowledge God’s mercies and goodness towards the government and people of the state and a means of securing more favour from the Creator.
The Governor said that the state has recorded successes and used the occasion to declare August 27 as Thanksgiving Day for Delta State.
Governor Uduaghan who pronounced August 27 every year as a Day of Thanksgiving indicated that a bill would be sent to the House of Assembly to formally proclaim the day and urged the Speaker and members of the state Assembly to give the bill expeditious consideration.
He explained that his administration’s Delta Beyond Oil Programme was a legacy that would stand the test of time because it involved going back to economic activities that the people were engaged in before the discovery of oil.
“We must go back to those things we used to do before oil was discovered, agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing, and others,” he added.
Dr Uduaghan attributed the peace, stability and development in the state to concerted and sustained prayers and called on the people to be more united and shun bitterness towards their neighbours.
“What we need now is unity, we must remove every bitterness from our body, there is so much bitterness and such bitterness can lead to ethnic strife and security challenges,” the Governor observed, emphasizing that there is need for change of heart.
The Governor also commended traditional rulers in the state who have renounced fetish practices to embrace God and appealed to the few traditional rulers who are yet to embrace Christianity to do so stating: “When a traditional ruler suppresses God’s activities, that Kingdom cannot grow.”
The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor in a sermon on the need for thanksgiving observed that such heart of gratitude grants access to God, answers to prayers, assurance of victory, abundant grace and long life.
He cautioned against unbridled quest for money, noting, “we need money but, we must not love money, every other evil is linked to the love of money.”