Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi is one of the staunch supporters of the senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Nwaoboshi who represents Delta north on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is a first term senator, and he is seeking a return ticket to the National Assembly. He speaks on the need for unity in the state.
What is your relationship with the governor of your state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa?
Okowa is my brother and our relationship is very cordial. Let me tell you that when we started the PDP in Delta State, we came from two different groups to merge and form the PDP. Ibori was leading the GDM, and I was the deputy state chairman of DP when we merged and decided to take the destiny in our hands. Now, in 1999, the state secretary position was zoned to Delta north, the chairman was zoned to south while the governorship was zoned to central. When I was going for the secretary, Okowa supported me with all his heart. Later when we won, we met at the state executive council. I took over from Okowa as Commissioner for Agriculture, and I started from where he stopped. When I was going to contest for state chairman of the party, if you know the circumstances of which I became the state chairman, I was the man who took up arms against Ibori and the state government that power must shift in which I had to write in the consciousness of other ethnic groups and the Urhobo groups that power must shift and leave Urhobo land. In the process, I lost three drivers, not that they died, they will just come and drop their keys that they don’t want to work that they want to bomb the car. I was like a rejected man. I remembered when I went to one supermarket in Asaba, they didn’t know, then somebody just came and called Peter, as soon as the girl at the counter heard my name, she hurriedly attended to me. In five minutes when I came back because I forget something, they had locked the shop. It was that bad. Eventually when I was going to contest the chairmanship, Okowa supported me at his own risk as a serving commissioner. What I am trying to say is that we have a very long relationship and I believe that he was the best man for the job. It was in this house that we took a resolution that it must be Delta north, and I led the Delta north team at the time. It was me versus Uduaghan who was the sitting governor. I owe it a duty to the Anioma man to project that position which he is holding today as the governor of Delta State.
I also owe it to him as a loyal brother who has been loyal to me, to be very loyal to him and protect that position which he is occupying. So I have a duty, the duty I owe him for his loyalty and the duty I owe the Anioma people to protect that position. If he fails, the Anioma people have failed. As a man representing the Anioma in the upper legislative arm, the highest legislative arm in this country, I owe it a duty to make sure that he succeeds as the first Anioma man to be governor because that will be the yardstick to measure whether we will occupy that position in the future.
What are your dreams for 2019 and 2023?
First, two dreams. A united Anioma because my brother is the governor and of course a united Delta State. I am not one of those who think that there will be no friction within the state but what should we do to make Delta united and successful. Whether you like it or not, when I finish my tenure, I will be used as a yardstick to measure the performance of those who will succeed me. Our brothers from Ndokwa for example, out of the selfishness of some people, when I brought the empowerment from amnesty office, no Ndokwa man had been empowered before I came in, and I was able to attract it to the area. We have over 300 slots, but when the first 96 which was even delayed as a result of the Ndokwa people, I had 26 petitions on my head. They came to Abuja and demonstrated, they said all sorts of things, and they said my brothers were on the list. The people came and conducted on the spot assessment, they did not see one person from Ika, Aniocha, Oshimili, and they saw that the entire beneficiaries were Ndokwa. But where that has landed us today is that we couldn’t proceed to the second phase, we couldn’t go to the third stage. They stopped at the 96. I moved a motion for the establishment of a polytechnic in Kwale axis, and the public hearing is coming up soon. But I have people on the social media who are saying that Ndokwa does not want a polytechnic, that there is one in Aboh. I came into NDDC and saw that for 17 years, the NLNG did not pay a dime as the 50 percent they are supposed to contribute to the commission. I brought them to the table, brought them to their kneels. I sponsored a bill that brought them to their kneels. Now they have paid over $60 million to NDDC within a space of two months. I single handedly sponsored that bill, got it passed at the senate, got it passed at the House of Representatives and got it assented to by the president. You may not like me but that bill and the money generated remain in my name. If I can generate that kind of money what is wrong if I asked for a small percentage to improve the area where I come from, is that too much? You are looking at about N26 billion and we are asking for just about N2 billion to develop the area, is that too much? That is the first phase, the next stage now is that they are supposed to pay about $120 million, NLNG is negotiating with them. So it depends on the level of preparation when you went there. I think after about 40 years as a politician, if I cannot know my left from my right, I am not worth being one.