Ben Dunno, Warri
A member currently representing Warri North Constituency in the Delta state House of Assembly, Evang. (Hon) Michael Diden, has reaffirmed conviction in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project to boost the nation’s economy through a sustainable foreign exchange earnings.
The lawmaker, who has indicated his interest to contest the Delta South Senatorial seat in next year’s election, noted that his major priority in the National Assembly would be to move motion that will accelerate the take off of the EPZ project in order to consolidate the economy growth.
Addressing newsmen at his Koko residence in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta state, where he officially declared interest to contest the Senate seat, Evang. Diden, faulted the members of the present National Assembly for reneging in formulating legislation to back EPZ take off.
According to him, “the EPZ project is very key to the growth of both the Niger Delta region and the nation’s economy.
“I was one of those that played a key role in nurturing that project and am aware of its vast potential in boosting the nation’s economy through foreign exchange earnings and regional development by way of job creations and infrastructural growth”.
“If elected as Senator, I will ensure I move motion that would compel the federal government to revisit that project and commence the process of its take off considering its economy viability both to the federal government and the component states, especially across the Niger Delta region where it is cited”.
Commenting on his chances considering the calibre of personality he would be contesting with to clinch the PDP ticket, Diden, popularly known as Ejele, said he has paid his dues in making those vying with him realize their ambitions in the time past, adding that it’s time they all rally round him to actualize his ambition this time around.
“I am not out to sabotage anybody. I am here to run my own election and as I have said before if Buhari like let him leave his presidency to come and join this senatorial race, I will still run it to the end”.
Diden said that he had given Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Sen. James Manager unflinching support in the past and it was time for the duo to carry his hand and allow him have the Delta South Senatorial District without much challenge.
“I supported James Manager four times to become a senator free of charge without collecting a dime from him. I supported Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan from the position of Commissioner to SSG and to Governor. Is it not befitting for them to support me only once?. In this case two of them are Aaron, I’m the Moses. They should carry my hand up”.
Reacting to the rumour that he was being sponsored by governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Diden declared that he joined the Senatorial race based on his own volition and only consulted the governor as the leader of the party in the state like anyone aspiring into any political office would have done.
“The Governor is not sponsoring me. I went to the Governor with some members on my own and told him of my aspirations. I also went to the former governor with some members here and told him I want to run for Delta South Senatorial seat”.
According to him, getting the Senate ticket under the PDP is his final option, adding that he doesn’t have any other option by way of decamping to another party to realise his ambition if he fails to clinch the PDP ticket.
“I don’t have option ‘B’ in this race. I don’t have plan ‘B’. We know those who have plan ‘B’ and option ‘B’. The Senate is my final option. Decamping is not part of the option and I can assure you that the PDP flag is in my hand already.
While reaffirming that his chances of winning in the PDP primaries are very bright, the lawmaker based his conviction on the fact that delegates election doesn’t understand the ethnic nationality one comes from.
On projecting unity among the ethnic nationalities in the state, Diden noted that if given the mandate the red chamber of the National Assembly would become an embassy for the three tribes, Ijaw Isoko Itsekiri and minority Urhobo tribe that made up his constituency.
He said that before joining the race, he consulted widely with the people of the Senatorial district, including families, saying ” I can assure you all that after my consultations, its very clear that my people want me to partner with them to move our state forward.
“It is good for me to let you know that I have been consulting leaders and people in the seven local government that made up Delta South and it is also good to tell you I have told them of my aspirations so that if anyone ask you as a family member and friend you can tell them yes he has formally told us.
He said that he will bring to bear examplary representation and leadership if given the mandate, saying that he intend to offer strategic representation which would lift the state to a higher level of advancement and development.
He also promised to key into the fundamental policy thrust of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration anchored on the legacy of wealth creation and ‘prosperity for all Deltans’.