Chief Johnson Ossai Opone
A Governorship aspirant of Ndokwa extraction in Delta State Chief Johnson Ossai Opone has asserted that when and if elected as the next Governor of the state come 2015, he would turn around the state in the various sectors of Governance, including physical infrastructure, jobs creation, power generation and human/capital development among others. When our news crew visited his Kwale country home last Saturday, in a quite lively and agile mood, the gubernatorial aspirant was full of confidence; he told the reporters that with his thirty years practice as a Chartered Accountant, he would apply his wealth of experience to bear in the economic administration and transformation of Delta State. He promised to create five industrial centres in each of the three senatorial districts of the state, as well as establish modern solar power generating plants that will boost industrialization and Socio-economic activities in the State. On what prompted his intention to contest for Governorship of the State,
Chief Opone Pointed out that as an advocate of change and accountability in line with the current transformation agenda of the presidency, he decided to govern the State basically for jobs creation, as part of the parameter for total transformation. He futher spoke on other topical issues such as the proposed creation of Amoma State, Youths and Women development, as well as the need to enthrone credible person as the next Governor of Delta State after Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. The guber aspirant told the journalist that he was most qualified for the post, judging by his experience. His words:- “I believe that the idea of looking for the old politicians as the most credible, is wrong, let all Deltans, particularly the PDP family look for credible and capable person. For example I have been a chartered Accountant for the past thirty years Creating jobs and if we are talking about being Credible, I have the experience and am competent that every kobo will be Judiciously spent”
Question: Sir, why did you decide to contest for the Governorship of Delta State?
Answer: One of the reasons why I am in the race is because Delta State needs credible and person with vast experience in job creation, one of the challenges facing our country today is insecurity and insecurity is related to non availability of job for the young, dynamic youths. It will be better for our nation Nigeria and dear Delta State to focus more on vocational institution. So, I am in the race to create job, bring about industrialization and agro revolution.
Question: In no distance date, precisely on November 29 this year, you will be facing other aspirants to the same position for a primary election. What are current preparation and expectation?
Answer: Well, eeh… We have been on consutations for the past one month round Delta State including an elder state man, chief E.K. Clerk and I am sure that with the preparation I am making, I shall emerge the candidate of all Deltans with the hope of touching the lives of our dear people of Isoko, Urhobo, Jiaw, Itsekiri, and the good people of Amoma Area of the State. I am from Ndokwa extraction, and I think that an Ndokwa Man will emerge the PDP flag bearer in Delta State Governorship Contest come 2015 General Elections.
Question: What is your relationship with President Goodluck Jonathan?
Answer: As you are aware, I came out about five months ago, but within that five months I have had interactive session across the State which were widely reported by the media. I have no personal or ultimate relationship with President Goodluck Jonathan, but I believe that the idea of looking up to Old Politicians as credible is wrong let the Deltans particularly the PDP family look for credible and capable hands for example I have been a Chartered Accountant for the past thirty years creating jobs. I am well known for Chartered Accounting, a company was purchase for about Eighteen years for N155 Million, the Nigeria paper for over Fifty-five years I was part of people that turned it around to be functional So, we are talking about being credible and when you are credible, Deltans will pick you, for me, I have the experience, I have been Competent and being a Chartered Accountancy, every Kobo will be judiciously spent.
Chief Opone During the Interview
Question: Sir, you in Warri, when you went to consult with the Delta State PDP Elders and Stake holders, said you will create fifteen urban cities if become the next Governor of Delta State, can you please throw more light on this?
Answer: The Concept of building Fifteen Urban centers is synonymous with my own goal. Like I told you earlier, I shall embark on massive industrialization and Agro Revolution. You should agree with me that if you want to Industrialize a State, you must have Industrial Centers that will produce the base, so we intend to build five cities each in the three senatorial districts of the State. You may think the government is going to fund the projects, no, What my Government will do is to make sure that these cities are well planned in terms of drinage, roads,
power to guarantee economic activities. There are many avenues of generating power in the country such public Utility or private gas driven power, like we did in Lagos where the Solar powered generator is providing Electricity that is boosting economic activities around that area. Delta State is a Gas rich State, we are going to tap the gas to actualize this dream, aimed at upholding the DELTA BEYOUND OIL Programmed of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. My Cardinal Focus is that the Delta Beyound Oil of Governor Uduaghan is achievable if am elected the next Governor and Deltans will have a new lease of life.
Question: As an aspirant to the Governorship of Delta State, what are views about that proposed creation of Anioma State as it relates to your Primary Federal Constituency Ndokwa Nation?
Answer: Anioma State is the Proposed core State to be carved out of the Delta North Senatorial. District, which is made up of the Aniocha, Ika, Ndokwa and Oshimili people, apart from Ndokwa ethnic Nationality which was a part of Aboh Division, the others were in Asaba Division. Today, the defunt Asaba division has eight Local Government Areas, while former Aboh Division has only three Local Government Areas. My only agitation is that if the Anioma state is created, let additional Local Government Areas be created for the Ndokwa people in order to promote equality and fairness. Moreover, Now that Anioma state has not been created and PDP seems to Zone next Governorship to Delta North, let Ndokwa man take the slot, bearing in mind the fact that the major Oil and Gas deposit and production are in Ndokwa Area.
Question: How will you go about Youths and Women development when already elected into the Governorship seat?
Answer: The area I so much cherish about Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s Administration is the micro-credit scheme, and this is the area, as an accountant, am going to focus more on, in order to uplift the living standard of the less privileged Youths and Women, who will be prepared to be developed .if that be , it will help them function actively in trading agriculture or embarked on their own industries no matter how small, my administration will also establish skills acquisition centres in all the local government areas of the state and make the jobless young graduates employable through the skill training centre where they will acquire practical skills to enable them become self employable and reliance . all this am going to do to engage helpless women and jobless youth off the streets when I am already elected as the next governor of delta state .
Question: Sir, Nigeria as a nation, on October 1st this year, became 54 years after gaining Independence from her colonial British masters, how do you assess the country in the committee of other Nations of Africa?
Answer: Well as we all know, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, for every four Africans you will see, one of the must be a Nigerian, we are proud to celebrate our Independence and we are not lagging behind but much is needed to be done.
Question: What about the Nigerian founding fathers both those still living and dead, what are your comments about them?
Answer: In 1960 Nigeria became an Independent State and became a republic in 1963, when we got independence in 1960, the queen of England appointed Alhamadu Bello as the prime minister and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as the president of federal republic of Nigeria. This founding fathers of this noble country played their parts as they were able to restle power from the colonial masters. On gaining independence, the democracy of Nigeria was truncated by the military intervention in 1966 which brought Aguiyi Ironsi’s Government, and was toppled shortly when General Gowon took over the mantle of power and Nigeria went into a civil war with late Odumegwu Ojukwu leading the Biafra State. In 1970, the civil war ended and Nigeria started becoming one again, ushering in the reconstruction of modern Nigeria which lasted between 1970 and 1975 during the tenure of General Yakubu Gowon. I can say emphatically that these our founding fathers tried very well, especially in Midwestern Region where we had people like late Denis Osadebe, Chief Anthony Enahoro and late Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh who was federal minister for finance of Federal Republic of Nigeria, being a character accountant, I mean that these men left a rousing legacy for transisting us from colonial ruler ship to self governance. Unfortunately, the intervention of the military again in 1983 by General Muhamadu Buhari’s administration brought the second republic to abrupt end and President Shehu Shagari’s government lasted from 1979 to 1983.
Question: Will you like to speak on the current insecunty in the country as most public affairs analysts believe that the situation poses a threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria as a Nation?
Answer: Believe me, the Unity of Nigeria cannot be threatened, in the history of Nigeria, there had been more serious cases than what is happening today but what is uniting Nigeria is more than what can divide her. Take for instance, Abuja is the federal capital of Nigeria, Abuja is accommodating all the diverse ethnic groupings as their home. We had the militants in the south-south which late President Ya’ Adua was able to check and I believe that Boko-Haram will soon be a thing of the past, only that when president Goodluck Jonathan came into power, he has not had enough peace for even distribution of developmental projects, though he has announced that there would be more economic investment in all the northern States affected by the insurgents attacks, this might bring about increase in employment. By and large, President Jonathan has shown commitment for the corporate existence of the country based on his bold steps against the current insecurity.