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 How Gov Oborevwori strolled over his first Delta storm

How Gov Oborevwori strolled over his first Delta storm

For Governor Sheriff Oborevwori who has paraded the polity in Delta State with the seeming air of one who cannot hurt a fly, the recent rumpus over an alleged plan to transfer three faculties of the Delta State University of Science and Technology to Orerokpe was one that understandably touched emotions.

But it also showed that the governor who has been hailed for his amity and tolerance even of the political opposition, can also fight back when machinations against the peace of the state are involved.

The disharmony over the alleged transfer was despite the cord of filial relationship between the Isoko and the Okpe that have made the people of the two nations to identify themselves as ethnic cousins.

However, the involvement of some of the leading political figures from the Isoko nation in opposing the move appeared to give the rumour some measure of credibility.

The chant against the alleged move came to the attention of the public after a former Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, one of the leading lights to have come out of the Isoko nation in recent years came out to condemn the alleged move describing it as a prescription for ethnic war.

He said:“Signing out the Administration and Management Faculties from the University and moved to Orerokpe, to be known as Delta State University of Science and Technology, Orerokpe Campus is an invitation to ethnic crisis.

“The decision to dismember our Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro is an assault on our common sensibilities. This will adversely affect and have incalculable damage on students of the university.

“If you want to destroy a nation, you don’t need bayonet, bombs or nuclear warheads. All you need is to destroy the education of the nation. This act is capable of destroying the education of the students of the university. No one should play politics with the future of our children with this act of favouritism.

“It will be better to reverse the institution back to it original status as a polytechnic than turning it into a glorified University that will not provide the expected benefits to the people.”

Before him, a pressure group, ‘Ozoro Positive Voice’ with Dr. Enahoro Michael had similarly alleged a move to transfer the three faculties to Orerokpe.

What was significant was that the agitation against the alleged transfer came at a time when the Oborevwori government was about confirming plans to boost the academic prestige of the Ozoro university with the confirmation of three upscale disciplines following the endorsement of the National University Commission, NUC.

Indeed, Governor Oborevwori gave a hint of such to Isoko leaders who visited him of the new courses including Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences for the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro.

The Isoko leaders comprising traditional rulers and prominent sons and daughters of the Isoko nation led by Professor Chris Akpotu had actually visited to congratulate the governor on the confirmation of his 2023 election victory by the Supreme Court.

Remarkably, the governor used the opportunity as he was wont to, to brief them on his efforts thus far.

He said: “I appreciate this visit because it is long overdue. I know the support that you people gave to me and I made some promises that I am still keeping till today. The Chief of Staff was the first person I appointed from Isoko nation. I have given key appointments to the Isoko nation.

“I am happy that you have come to congratulate me on our victory at the Supreme Court. You have also come with some requests. I have taken note of all the requests you made. Like I promised, I am going to be Governor for all Deltans and I am doing just that.

“We are doing our best. If you drive through the Oleh Roundabout, you will smile because it has changed. We need unity and peace in Delta State” even as he vowed not to undermine the tranquillity between the people and the government.

It was during this visit that he disclosed the establishment of the three new faculties. He was, however, silent on the rumour about the transfer of three faculties out of the school in Ozoro to Orerokpe.

It was, however, a shocker that just as the delegation departed Asaba that protest broke out in some parts of Isoko land over the alleged transfer.

That was when the new Sheriff of Delta State showed his other stern side.

Speaking through the Commissioner of Information, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza hinted at more conspiracy tales behind the whole episode.

In a statement following the protest, he said:

“We want to assure the good people of Isoko nation that His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Sheriff F.O Oborevwori would not do anything directly or remotely and for very obvious and personal reasons, to undermine the Isoko people, especially in the area of education.

“Deltans are therefore called upon to be wary of elements who don’t mean well but hell-bent on spinning half-truths and deceptive information just to cause confusion and disaffection against the administration of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori and his well-laid-out MORE Agenda”.

Meanwhile, Okpe leaders have also shown good faith in deescalating the tension by urging the governor to keep the peace.

Rising from the crucial meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Okpe Union worldwide, Okpe leaders while commending Gov Oborevwori and calling for calm said:

‘’We are fortunate to have a listening Governor who will certainly do what is best in the interest of the State. Violence and destruction of public and private properties cannot be a panacea to this kind of decision.

“We appreciate the fact that the State Government has met with stakeholders of the Isoko Nation including our sister union, the Isoko Development Union (IDU), Traditional Rulers of the Isoko Nation and other Stakeholders.

“We appeal to them to prevail on all especially the youths to give peace a chance as the Governor of the State has promised not to undermine the development of the Isoko Nation nor any other part of the State’’.

Their call was after they had reviewed the situation of their pride city, Sapele which they lamented was lagging behind other Nigerian cities like Calabar, Kaduna created about the same time. (Vanguard)

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