By: Sparrow Adaeze
“Sir, we have appraised all your actions, dreams and aspirations for Anioma. This is important for us… We want you to keep the dream alive for it’s our dream” a cross section of journalists in Delta state, charge Prince Ned Nwoko.
The journalists under the umbrella of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State chapter on Thursday 4th October held a press conference and a solidarity visit to the Star Prince of Anioma.
Prince Ned Nwoko who was surprised at the visit addressed the media practitioners thus: “I say thank you for the partnership that I have enjoyed for the past few months in this journey to Rescue Anioma as we have tagged it. I know that not all of you are from Anioma but my focus and interest is really on Delta North. I grew up believing about how to change the lives of our people and of course those that live here. I have things that are of great concern to me but I will today focus on two…
First is the POLLUTION of our environment. This is caused by oil spillage, gas flaring and other associated hazards. I feel as a concerned indigene and a UK-based solicitor that I could make the oil companies to account for their wrong deeds.I know for a very long time we have had very uninformed representatives because getting oil companies to become responsible to host communities is not a difficult thing to do. I felt that oil companies have such huge establishments that have really high standards. There are what we call the international best practices to use for such circumstance as cleaning up the environment but they don’t do this because our leaders are compromised and the masses suffer. This is what I thought of doing if given the opportunity as a Senator to pursue.
Secondly, the FLOODING in Anioma is an annual catastrophe. When it comes we see the devastating effects it causes to the people, their homes and farms. Sometimes lives are lost. Must we wait until it happens every year to source for relieve and shelter? No, it doesn’t need to be so. I know that there is a very simple solution and that it requires something of leadership which I was prepared to offer myself to do. River Niger has had huge sand filling over the years. Just as the water flows it carries sand and debris along through Nigeria into the Atlantic Ocean. There is a solution which is to dredge the Niger; not only dredging it but dredges to a depth that will enable huge vessels to pass through it but also widen the width. We have inland waterways in charge of the maintenance of waterways. Inland waterways and international bodies both with my support should be able to get the dredging done and have the shore lines lifted up and protected. We can also encourage the government to build small settlement above the banks of the river. This will create the water flow required by the Niger. When all this is done, the lives of our people will be made better. I am talking about huge commercial ventures which will impact on the lives of our people.
These are just some of the things I had in mind amongst other things I would do. That hope is still there…. We will sit down and go back to the drawing board and decide on the best way forward… The Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is doing well as a governor. He has shown some exemplary leadership so somebody like me that I am in PDP for instance is purely because of him. Purely because I feel that somebody like him who is quiet, focused and people-oriented should be supported for a second term.
Thank you all once again for believing in me. We will achieve together as one Anioma. Let us not relent; there is still much fights to be won. I appreciate and love you all”. Prince Ned Nwoko concluded.
Responding, the spokesperson of the journalists said: “Sir, we want you to keep the dream alive for it is our dream… We really want to commend your courage. You are a true Deltan with a big brave heart. You have campaigned, you have demonstrated your popularity, reaching out to the people with complete accessibility; you have carried the media along all the while, you have carried all strata of the district and society along in all your campaign.
“Your quintessential qualities are beyond imagination, that Anioma nation has you as a son is a great honour. Please don’t be deterred in your efforts to represent your people. In as much as what happened in the primary elections is unfortunate but you are a Peace Ambassador who cares for the lives of the people. You stood for peace all through…. You are a distinguished legislator and leader. Your good deeds are there to speak for you.
Yes, in you, Prince Ned Nwoko, Anioma has a dependable Pacesetter”, the journalists declared in praise of the Star Prince.