Monday, October 26, 2015

'I was the Least Likely Candidate for this Office.' says Okowa Over his Tribunal Win.

About an hour ago, the Delta State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba affirmed my victory at the Governorship election of April 11, 2015. In their judgment, the three-man panel upheld my election and was unequivocal in its declaration that I was duly and validly elected as the Governor of Delta State.
2. First of all, I dedicate this victory to God Almighty without whom today’s triumph and the electoral victory of April 11 would not have been possible. I am Governor today not because I am the most qualified person, the most gifted administrator, or the smartest politician. It is simply by the grace of God who sets up kings and removes them.
3. Indeed, I was the least likely candidate for this office. I didn’t have the kind of financial war chest required for a long drawn out political campaign nor did I enjoy the backing of big time campaign donors. But God, upon whose mandate and instruction I commenced this journey, orchestrated the events that led to my emergence, first as the PDP flag bearer, and later as winner of the April 11 governorship election in Delta State. And He has sealed my victory with today’s judicial pronouncement. Therefore, I give all the glory and honour to Him.
4. I applaud the Tribunal judges for their courage in deciding the case based on the evidence before them. With this landmark ruling, the eminent jurists have put paid to the vile propaganda in certain quarters that the governorship election in Delta State was marred by violence, irregularities and electoral fraud.
5. The governorship election in Delta was conducted under a free, fair, peaceful and transparent atmosphere as anybody in the State at the time would testify. And the vast majority of our people voted for the PDP and for me as Governor because we connected with them, and they believed in our campaign promise of prosperity for all hinged on our S.M.A.R.T agenda.
6. It bears restating here that the PDP is the only party in the state that has visible presence in all the wards and units of the three senatorial districts. During the electioneering campaigns, we traversed the length and breadth of the State as many times as were necessary to solicit for the votes of our people. And for our hard work, we won convincingly in 21 out of the 25 local government areas of the state. It was an overwhelming – and reassuring - pan-Delta mandate.
7. Today’s affirmation of my victory by the Tribunal is an invitation to all and sundry to join hands with this administration to move the State forward. In particular, I extend my hand of fellowship to Chief Great Ogboru of the Labour Party and Olorogun O’tega Emerhor of the APC, both of whom I am sure are desirous to see Delta become a centre of excellence in all spheres of human endeavour. These men are my brothers, not my enemies. And I look forward and welcome whatever ideas and suggestions they have for the developmental aspirations of our beloved Delta State.
8. The challenges ahead are enormous. We need to upgrade our infrastructure, build new schools, create jobs, transform our agricultural sector, improve our public transportation and fine-tune our primary and tertiary health system. And we have to strive to accomplish all of these in the midst of a turbulent economy and dwindling receipts from the Federation Account.
9. Delta State can ill afford another round of litigations. They not only cause needless distraction, they breed discord and acrimony among our people. For too long, litigations have become a cog in the wheel of our progress. This is the time to put an end to this trend. For the sake of our State!
10. This administration is determined to build a State that we can all be proud of, and that will be the envy of other states. But it is going to take all of us working in concert, and partnering with one another to make this happen. We do not claim to have all the answers. But one thing we know is that we will work hard, we will be accountable and we will be honest to tell you the challenges that we face. We may not achieve all we set out to do in one year or even in one term but we are determined to give it our best shot and make a difference in the lives of our people.
11. Finally, to the good people of Delta State to whom today’s victory actually belongs, I thank you for using your voice and your vote to express your confidence in me and, my party, the PDP. As I said during my swearing-in, I am humbled by your collective decision to choose me as Governor. I pledge to serve you with sincerity of purpose, utmost transparency and total commitment.
12. Together we will build the Delta State of our dreams.
13. God bless Delta State.
Office of the Governor
Government House
26 October 2015

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