Sir Ohwo Benson Oghotoma is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State. He has indicated interest to run for the position of Governor, Delta State. Not deterred by the fact that his party occupies the position presently, he believes he has what it takes to make Delta State better.
In this interview with OM Publisher, Daniel Dafe Umukoro, he highlights the challenges of the state and his blueprint to move the state forward if given a chance to lead the state.
He is confident that with the support that he has from bigwigs from Delta North, the supposed rotational arrangement that has zoned the position to Delta North will not be an obstacle to him, saying that the best candidate and not zoning should determine who gets the ticket.
Let’s meet you.
I am Sir Ohwo Benson Oghotoma, an educational entrepreneur in Abuja, a Graduate of Delta State University, Abraka and a product of the famous Urhobo College, Effurun, UCE . I was born and brought up in Warri to the family of an oil tycoon, Mr. and Mrs. Ohwo Alfred Oghotoma . I am of Otor-Owhe and Agbarha Otor extractions paternally and maternally respectively.
Why are you vying for the position of Governor of Delta State?
The reason is very simple. I want to lay a better and enduring foundation for the true development of Delta State. We can make Delta State to look like Dubai. We can build industries to create jobs. I want to make Delta State great and Warri greater again. I want to change the face of Delta State to look like an oil producing state.
With the present economic situation in the nation, how would you raise the finances to make the state look like Dubai and do all the great plans you have for the state if your ambition sails through?
Thanks once again. Out of nothing God created this world and out of nothing I established my business. If I can establish a business from nothing, why can’t I do more when there is something? Delta is a rich state. We have everything; we can generate revenues using scientific methods from taxes, and our tax income shall be huge because there shall be many investors because of my policy of reduction of tax rate, including persuasive ways of collection and remittances. The state owns businesses which shall be regenerated and established by my administration. This will bring a huge turn over. Thirdly, with the monthly allocations from the federation account, we can do so much. Delta State collects one of the highest allocations in the country, yet nothing much to show for it. If elected as the Governor, I shall prudently spend the money with generally acceptable accountability. Furthermore, there is the 13% derivation for oil producing states which our dear state is a stakeholder. This can bring substantial developments. Lastly, my personal aura before the international community and other co-operate organizations can also generate funds to run the state, etc.
Are you saying that you are not satisfied with the Okowa-led administration? His slogan is ‘Prosperity to all Deltans’. What is yours?
Okowa would have done well if he had evenly distributed the state’s funds, including establishment of industries which would have had positive influence on the people, especially the youths…He spends state funds on few individuals who are using IPad to protect his image and campaign for his second tenure. People are complaining bitterly about his administration’s inability to give employment and the corruption that occurs under his watch.
What experience are you depending on to provide good leadership to Deltans if given an opportunity to serve?
I have experiences in various degrees of human endeavours including business success. I managed my business to an enviable height. Though I haven’t held any political office, but I have been in collaboration with the likes of Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku Abubakar, and in 1999, I was a staunch supporter of Ibori.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is the incumbent Governor of Delta State, and a member of your party, PDP. Is your dream of becoming Governor under these circumstances achievable?
Power belongs to God alone, and vote to the people. There is always a Plan B in everything I do.
Delta North says it is still her turn to produce the governor since Okowa has served one term. Getting the support of your party and Delta North might be difficult. What is your take on that?
I am not a crusader of rotation. I believe in “the best should have it”. Delta North people are also suffering from the same non-performing government of Okowa. It’s also not easy for them. Some of them are among Deltans that called me to come out to contest against Okowa . The mismanagement is against all….
It will surprise people to find out the calibre of Delta North people that are behind me. Campaign will soon start na, abi?
Looking at Delta State, what would you say are the major challenges of the state?
Major challenges are unemployment and insecurity. When the citizenry is fully engaged, security is a work over. I shall be coming in to industrialize Delta State by building industries and tourism. This will eventually keep the idleness of Deltans from the streets because all will be engaged. People will even dislike government appointment because of the standard of businesses and companies that will be created.
What is your word to Deltans, as elections draw close?
Deltans should vote for the best candidates and not parties. The outcomes of elections should be accepted by all if it’s generally adjudged to be credible. Finally, they should shy away from election violence.
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