By ABEL JOHNGOLD ORHERUATA
Nigeria’s foremost industrialist and Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) and Nexportrade Houses Limited, Okakuro Ede Omueya Dafinone, has formally declared his intention to succeed first South-South zone Senator to occupy the position of Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie OmoAgege, as senator representing Delta Central senatorial district.
He unveiled his intention and programmes of development when elected as Senator today in Ughelli.
Dafinone noted that after consulting with his family members, party leaders, critical stakeholders in Urhobo-land and his associates, he purchased the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for Senate on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC to serve the people of Delta Central Senatorial District and the Urhobo Nation in the 10th Senate.
The Board Member of NEXIM Bank and Chairman of Nigerian Conservation Foundation, noted that as a senator, he would always work with all stakeholders to determine the best possible manner to represent the district.
The Urhobo born famous philanthropist said he would be committed to promoting transparency and accountability in government financial management, environmental protection, the arts, gender equality, and women and youth empowerment when elected as Senator.
Taking the mammoth crowd back memory lane, Dafinone said in his declaration address “My dear compatriots, in 2015, when we needed a strong voice at the national level to reposition the Urhobo Nation, after years of declining influence and standing in the politics of our country, we sent Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Obarisi of Urhoboland to the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to represent us.
“In just seven years in the senate, Omo-Agege pursued his vision to restore Urhobo greatness and improve the lives of all Delta Central Senatorial District residents with a sense of urgency and he did the hard work to make that vision a reality.
“He offered us effective and quality representation in the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian Senate and raised the bar on legislative representation to a new level.
“The gains of the last 7 years are great and visible to all of us in terms of projects, sound legislations and empowerment of Urhobos, these are legacy achievements that will transform Urhobo land for many years to come.
“These accomplishments which demonstrated that doing good work matters, have laid a solid foundation for our future. Now we must build on and improve on that foundation, as Omo-Agege seeks the office of Governor of Delta State to implement a Pan Delta EDGE Agenda to Build A New Delta for the good of all Deltans.
“Today, after consulting with my family, party leaders, critical stakeholders in Urhoboland and my associates, I purchased the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms for Senate on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC to serve the people of Delta Central Senatorial District and the Urhobo Nation in the 10th Senate.
“I am running with the hope that the people of Delta Central Senatorial District will allow me to deploy my knowledge and experience as a Chartered Accountant, as the Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) and Nexportrade Houses Limited, as a member of the Board of NEXIM Bank, as the Chairman of Sapele Integrated Industries Limited, as the Chairman of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and as a trustee of the Guild of Fine Artists, and most especially as a philanthropist which has prepared me to hit the ground running with an understanding of the issues that matter most to Delta Central and Nigeria, as well as the experience to make a difference in the Senate.
“In offering myself to represent our people, I am mindful of their expectations and needs which I understand very well, having served in various committees of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, whenever I am given the privilege to contribute my quota to the advancement of Urhobo Nation. I am currently chairman of the Sapele Okpe Community Land Trust Association. Trustee of Okpe Union and Treasurer and Trustee of the Okpe Leaders of Thought.
“Today, I’m even more committed to serving our people and contributing to the progress of Urhoboland. So, as the next senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, I won’t avoid any challenges, and I’ll put Delta Central and Urhobo Nation first in all of my decisions.
“At the heart of the challenges, we face as a district and a country is the urgent need for jobs for our people, especially women and youth, as well as insecurity that is threatening our way of life.
“I believe that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising unemployment, especially among the youth.
“In the past 6 years through the Dafinone foundation, I have been running social and community projects to provide scholarships for post-graduate education, disburse micro-credit loans to women and support the development of vocational skills within Delta State and over 2000 persons have been empowered through this intervention.
Now we must fight to create more jobs to solve the insecurity problem and harness the demographic dividend associated with the rising population.
“This requires a vibrant, diversified economy with a strong manufacturing base. And the task of our time is to seek bold new ideas, create the urgently needed jobs for our people and lift millions out of poverty.
“We must also adopt an export-led industrialisation strategy to revitalize our manufacturing base, agriculture, and help to create new jobs and economic growth.
If elected I will campaign tirelessly to promote Nigerian-made products and work to enact laws to create an enabling environment for the manufacturing sector to thrive.
“I will also work with my colleagues in the Senate to enact a law that will make the federal government adopt a policy, to revitalize our seaports in the south, particularly the Okwagbe deep-sea and Sapele ports to promote the export of produce from the Niger Delta area and also decongest Lagos port.
“Additionally, I would be committed to promoting transparency and accountability in government financial management, environmental protection, the arts, gender equality, and women and youth empowerment.
“As a senator, I will always work with all stakeholders to determine the best possible manner to represent the district.
“So, my dear party men and women, most especially the delegates to our forthcoming primary, give me your support, give me your votes and together, we will keep Urhobo great.
“I also want to invite all people of Delta Central Senatorial District to join me on this walk to sustain, consolidate and build on the good work Senator Ovie Omo-Agege started for the people of Delta Central Senatorial District and the Urhobo Nation which began with the purchase of forms at the National Secretariat of APC in Abuja on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022. May God help us all!” Okakuro Ede Omueya Dafinone noted.