TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY COMRADE SHERIFF MULADE, PDP ASPIRANT FOR THE WARRI SOUTH WEST DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SEAT
As you are aware, I have indicated interest to contest for the State House of Assembly seat to represent Warri South West constituency. In view of this, I have had several consultations with critical stakeholders within and outside the constituency. I have met with various segments of the society.
I am very much aware of the place of traditional institutions on the need to balance our quest for progress and development. A couple of weeks ago, I led my consultation team to the Palace of the Peres of Isaba and Diebiri Kingdoms, the Pere of Ogbe-Ijoh-Warri and Gbaramatu Kingdoms.
Very recently, our consultation train was at the palace of the Olu of Warri for his royal blessings, where the monarch made it clear that his interest is for a leader who is prepared to serve with integrity irrespective of his -ethnic background.
It is worthy of note that we have proposed and established constituency offices in Ogbe-Ijoh, Oporoza, Ugborodo and Orere axes as liaison offices in the constituency. These offices were established for the purpose of effective engagement at the grassroots to promote peaceful co-existence among the people.
It is important that I acquaint you with the focal points of my agenda for the Warri South West constituency.
MY FIVE-POINT AGENDA FOR WARRI SOUTH WEST CONSTITUENCY
1.Peaceful Co-existence in Warri South West Council Area
I will pursue a programme devoid of ethnic bias. The goal of my programme will be to serve the Ijaw and Itsekiri nationalities in the council area in a most virile way. I will work towards ensuring that peace prevails in all our communities. Having being abreast with the underdevelopment of the constituency arising from ethnic hostilities, my programme of ethnic co-existence will attract development to the entire Warri South West local government area.
It is no gainsaying the fact that the failure to pursue a programme that embraces both Ijaw and Itsekiri in Warri South West is the bane of development and progress in the area. For years, we have allowed ethnic differences to separate us. The consequences of what they did with the mandate we gave them was violence, hatred and divide and rule policies that attracted the anger of our young people that caused even greater problems than we could imagine.
Our people cannot afford to go back to the days of insanity perpetrated by some self-centred leaders with questionable characters. The cry of every right thinking person in Warri South West is for a man or a woman who has the capacity to build bridges of peace between the two inter-married Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic tribes in the council area.
Our people are in search of a person who, for years, has seen the need to work for the progress of our people through peaceful advocacy. Let me say with all sense of humility that if I am given the opportunity to serve, I will do everything possible to ensure that we never again get involved in inter-ethnic strife. I will give equal attention to the needs of both ethnic groups. From henceforth, the people of Warri South West will view their representatives, not as Ijaw or Itsekiri, but as leaders with vision and mission for our rich and oil bearing communities.
2.Empowerment Through Development of Educational Facilities.
I am aware of the potentials of our children and youths. Over the years, we have failed to put in place a programme to harness our untapped human resources. If I am elected to represent Warri South West at the State House of Assembly in 2019, I will sponsor bills that will lead to the provision of quality education in the riverine constituency. My focus is to see that students in the council area compete favourably with students from other parts of the state.
The nature of the terrain of Warri South West has made the council area to be backward in terms of education. The few schools within the constituency suffer from the lack of teachers. Besides, pupils and students are not motivated to work hard. The unfortunate consequence of this is the large number of school drop-outs in the council area. I have been very concerned with the pitiable state of education in the constituency.
Few years ago, I initiated the Comrade Sheriff Mulade Peace & Unity Quiz & Essay competitions among junior and senior secondary schools in the area to promote unity and academic excellence. The competition which is the only one of its kind in the area and which has been adjudged by the Inspectors of Education and other well-meaning sons and daughters of Warri South West as a gate way to the development of education, has always been keenly contested with hard working students going home with cash prizes as much as N50,000 each and consolation prizes including school bags and exercise books.
I wish to assure all political stakeholders that if given the opportunity to represent the Warri South West constituency at the State House of Assembly, my constituency projects will be directed towards building an enabling environment for students to excel in their pursuit of western education and skills acquisition.
3.Development of Sports in Warri South West
In line with my initiative – Peace and Unity Cup Tournament, I will pursue a vigorous sports programme designed to discover sports talents among our teeming youths. I understand that sports do not only help to curb restiveness among the youths, they also expose them to a wide horizon of knowledge outside their immediate environments. I will influence the State Government and corporate organizations within and outside our localities to invest and develop sports in the area.
The development of sports at the grassroots is the key to winning laurels at international competitions. We need to encourage the development of sports such as swimming and athletics. It is most unfortunate that we are yet to tap from the swimming prowess that nature blessed us with in our locality. I will see to it that an Olympic-size swimming pool together with other facilities are constructed and that swimming coaches and instructors are employed to train and retrain our swimmers in readiness for both national and international competitions.
4.Environmental Justice for All
Our people in Warri South West deserve to enjoy fresh air. It is an indisputable fact that environmental degradation has brought an end to our primary source of livelihood. It is therefore, logical that we claim our right to environmental justice in the most intellectual and peaceful way. As an environmental rights activist, I will pursue legislations that will go a long way towards ameliorating the hardship suffered by our people on account of environmental pollution.
The time has come for us to draw the attention of the state and the federal governments, as well as multinational companies and international organizations to the aftermath of environmental hazards suffered by our people. The untold stories of environmental degradation have to be made public using peaceful advocacy as a strategy.
People and organizations must be made to take responsibilities for the hardship and other tragedies that environmental pollution has caused our people. I will ensure that global environmental best practices, as witnessed in other climes, are applicable here in our locality.
5.Leadership Development and Poverty Eradication
I will pursue a programme that will enhance the development of leadership qualities among the youths and the women folk. I am aware of the danger arising from lack of exposure. Violence and militancy are often the offshoot of lack of quality leadership. As I gear up to enhance the development of leadership, the end result will be the promotion of the safety and security of our locality and the welfare of everybody in Warri South West Local Government Area.
Regular quarterly town hall meetings that will be held across the four constituency offices and the leadership training programmes that will be organized during my tenure will undoubtedly provide avenues for the youths and women to be aware of what is required of them to excel in life. As much as possible, no young person(s) worth his/her salt will remain idle in the locality. I will also ensure that our women and youths are empowered through skills acquisition and the provision of free start-up programmes, while musical entertainment programmes will be used to engage the youths in promoting peace in Warri South West and its environs.
It is pertinent to state that I am not a sponsored candidate neither am I a propose imposed candidate on the peace loving people of Warri South West Constituency that will serve the interest of a few but I am an independent candidate under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to serve the interest of all PEACE.
Thank you very much for your quality time, and God bless you.