Ahead of the April 11 governorship elections in 29 states , a socio-political group based in the Niger Delta, Organized Ndokwa Effort, ONE, has asked electorates in oil producing states to vote for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress.
The group said the call became necessary in order for the region to benefit from being part of the ruling party.
The group also congratulated President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on his victory at the presidential election.
It said his emergence as president will usher in the much-desired genuine improvement of the entire geographical sphere of Nigeria and not just a “few friends of those in government”.
In a release signed by its coordinator, Rodney Odili-Obi, ONE cautioned that oil-producing states couldn’t afford to be in opposition.
Mr. Odili-Obi, who also doubles as a member of the governing board of Association of Niger Delta Trawler Owners and Operators said the time has come the people of the region to take their destiny into our hands.
The release specifically mentioned Delta state as one in which being govern by a party in opposition “would be costly”.
“Deltans cannot afford to allow our great State to emerge in an opposition Party. There are so much to gain when Delta State belong to the ruling party. For instance, the Delta North geo-political district, like any other district across all States of the Federation is in dire need of many public infrastructures and benefits that are a part of the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Government. Securing them for any community becomes competitive since they are never sufficient for every locality, nationwide within each budgetary year,” he said.
“According to local proverbs, ‘whenever a family meeting exceed midnight a friend who is like a brother goes home’. For us not to be like strangers in the family we need to flow into the caucus of the ruling party at the center. Thus, Delta State wisely deserves to be family with the new ruling Party at the Federal level. Our great State has never been in either an opposition or minority Party.
“While we are expecting the President-Elect to extend a hand of fellowship to all who voted for him and those who didn’t, we also should show good faith by deliberately warming up to the center by how we vote in subsequent elections.
“All Oil producing States have a great role to play in mobilizing to follow the existing trend of remaining in the new ruling party. There is very great wisdom in sustaining this way,” the statement said.
ONE said the fact that the South-South and South East have lost the chance to produce either the Speaker of the House of Representatives or Senate President for failing to be with the winning party is bad enough.
“We should not make the matter worse by continuing to stick to the losing path of the new minority party. Delta and other oil producing States should be cautious and wise to warm up to the government at the centre starting from the next election,” it said.