Delta PDP Governorship Flag-bearer, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has assured the people of Isoko land that his administration would not only integrate the rural areas of Isoko nation with the urban areas and transform them into modern cities, he would also embark on a revenue generation policy that would concentrate more on the taxation of rich who dodge tax payments and make them pay the proper tax, instead of the poor who form the majority of the people.
Okowa made this declaration, while addressing the mammoth crowd that had turned out enmasses to receive him during the governorship campaign rally in Ozoro, Headquarters of Isoko North LGA.
Various pressure groups including the Ithihikpebe Campaign Organisation floated by Hon. Joel Thomas Onowakpo had gathered at the campaign rally to show support for Okowa who was flanked by his running mate, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro.
Speaking in turn at the rally, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor, who is seeking re-election in the National Assembly, Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovouzorie Macaulay, former Chief Whip, Senator Stella Omu, Executive Chairman of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, frontline politician, Chief Dennis Etaluku, High Chief Iduh Amadhe and Chief Askia Ogieh, among others assured Okowa that the Isoko will totally vote for him come February.
Addressing the crowd at the rally, Okowa said his administration would focus on wealth creation and agriculture as its focal point if elected as Governor.
Okowa however applauded the programmes of the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, stressing that he would encourage skills and technical education as an avenue to attract industrialisation in the creation of jobs for the youths.
“We believe the Free Maternal Health Care Programme is good and should be commended. We would continue to pursue it and introduce new health care programmes to the benefit of all Deltans. Though there are challenges owing to the recent drop in oil prices, we would tap into other avenues for income generation,” he said.
Okowa said that his administration if elected would place more priority on the Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR), to fast-track the developmental needs of the state.
“My administration shall take seriously the issue of revenue in the state. We shall diligently evolve resources collections from the internal generated revenue for even development of all areas of our state and not even the rich will be spared in our revenue drive,” he said.
“Delta State will experience a turnaround and the Isoko nation will not be left out. Our government shall be inclusive of traditional rulers”, Okowa said.
While rallying support for President Goodluck Jonathan and other PDP candidates in the State, he said President Jonathan has done a lot for Nigeria through his transformation agenda as reflected in various sectors of the economy.
The PDP Flag-bearer who expressed his great delight at the way he was received by the people, told the huge crowd that he would deliver quality leadership to them and also address the issue of Youth unemployment, amongst others, when he assumes office.
Senator Okowa, who had earlier been given the Isoko name, ‘Oghenesive’, meaning Godsent, by the people of Ozoro, informed the people that he also had a bood link with the Isoko people.
“By this name given to me today and my long association with the Isokos, I can now comfortably say that I am now an Isoko man. From henceforth, I agree to be called Ifeanyi Oghenesive Ogheneganre Arthur Okowa”, the PDP Governorship candidate said.
Before hitting the campaign rally venue, Senator Okowa and his team had paid homage to the Ovie of Ozoro, HRM, Ovietobore Anthony Ogbogbo, Ibuka I, where he was assured by the Royal Monarch of the total support of Isoko People for him and for President Goodluck Jonathan in the February 2015 elections.
The Ovie of Ozoro, who sang one of the Senator’s favorite song, ‘Father, to you be all the glory’, addressed him as “Your Excellency” and described Okowa as Godsent in this political era, adding that Isoko people in his domain would deliver Okowa during the February 28th guber race.
“Silver and Gold we have none, but our votes we give unto you”, the Ovie of Ozoro enthused.
The crowd that turned out for the campaign rally in Oleh, Isoko South was even more overwhelming than that witnessed in Ozoro as those who had heard Okowa speak earlier were only too eager to see and listen to the PDP governorship flag-bearer one more time in Isokoland.
Okowa who was overwhelmed by the show of love at the Oleh Township Stadium where thousands of supporters had already gathered, awaiting his arrival, thanked them for their support, promising to lead them well and give them their rightful place if elected, and like a priest, he blessed them and then began to dance to a song from the array of great Nigerian musicians, headlined by Ras Kimono, Orits Wilikie and Candy Sea, who had been invited to add glamour to the event.
Highlight of the rally in Oleh was the introduction of all the PDP Candidates for the various elective posts in the February election, by Senator Stella Omu. The candidates introduced were, Senator James Manager (Delta South Senatorial seat), Hon. Leo Ogor (Isoko Federal Constituency), Hon Tim Owhefere, Barr. Orezi Esievo and Johnson Erijo all for the Isoko State constituencies, in the Delta State House of Assembly.
On arrival at Oleh, Senator Okowa and his team had first paid a courtesy call on the king of Oleh in his Palace, where the Omogha I, Odiologbo of Oleh Kingdom, HRM A.W.O Orawah, received them in his palace.
Addressing the Odiologbo of Oleh Kingdom, Okowa stated that the people of Delta can only be truly united if the traditional rulers unite the people, and promised to work with royal fathers if elected as governor.
“We will do things that will make you proud of us. We will take Oleh town to a new step. I am the only one with the relevant experience to govern the state”, he told all the kings and chiefs present.
Responding, the King affirmed that they had all endorsed Okowa long before he came as the ordained one, even as he urged his subjects to get the permanent voters’ card, in order to vote for Okowa.
Praying for Okowa in the Isoko language, the Omogha I affirmed the words of the Ozoro King, saying “Our Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa come May 29th, when Isoko says yes to a person, they don’t go back to say No. The alligator pepper is not shared by two persons (meaning that only Okowa has been blessed by the Isokos and they cannot anoint another aspirant”.
Below are more photos from the Campaign rally in Isokoland.