Promises Will Be Kept, But There Are Challenges.
BEING TEXT OF 2010 NEW YEAR MESSAGE BROADCAST BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. EMMANUEL EWETA UDUAGHAN, GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE.
We have come to the end of another year and the beginning of a new one. The out-gone year, surely, must have left its mark on us. It has to be after all, we lived through it with our different expectations and needs.
For some of us, last year had been a great one, meeting our expectations beyond what we thought was possible; and for some others, our expectations may have been dashed or met partially. Some have lost loved ones while some have faced tough challenges beyond sometimes their ability to cope. In short, the memory of last year is not going to disappear easily.
This is life and its arbitrary power to throw whatever it pleases at us. But, it is up to us to show resilience - an unflagging will to surmount adversity and triumph at the dawn of a new day.
I am sounding preachy today, you might say. I have to; because, this is a moment of deep reflection even as we celebrate the milestone of a brand New Year. I urge everyone notwithstanding their present station to show some forbearance.
In the New Year with its uncertainties, I trust in the boundless power of God to see us through to a better end. For me, from where I am I can testify to a number of good things that have happened to our state. I believe you too also can confirm the accuracy of my observations.
For instance, there is peace in our creeks and our young people have given up arms and returned to normal society to continue the engagement process over the situation in our region.
Giving up violence was a significant step and the fruits are already evident. The Federal Government under President Umaru Yar’Adua, has pledged to redress many infrastructure deficiency of the region. There are policy initiatives in the pipeline to secure for the oil bearing communities equity holding in the oil companies.
A lot of money will come out of this, and it should help in developing our communities. By the time the details are worked out, our people will become part owners of the oil companies. The state government is also doing its bit to ensure the post-amnesty success of the federal government.
On our part, I ask every Deltan living in the state to look around their vicinity, because I am sure you would surely see one project or programme which has a direct impact on us, and which this administration, your government has put in place.
You would, if you ponder further, recall that most of us have benefitted from one empowerment programme or the other of the government. We have done a lot in free maternal health care, which has saved so many lives; we have empowered our people through micro-credit scheme, a lot of Deltans are now gainfully employed; we are building new towns in the creeks after the devastation of the place.
We are through DESOPADEC touching the lives of the people in the creeks, many of whom are either employed or have access to new facilities not previously there; the urbanization and beautification of our major towns are proceeding well.
In this Xmas and New Year holidays moving round some of our cities, you would have no doubt that we are truly celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, as well as the renewal that has become part of our communities and within ourselves as a people.
This year will mark the third year of this government and it should be the culminating point of some of the mega projects, we initiated. Our Airport in Asaba should be ready; the Osubi runway should begin; the dualisation of Koko-Ugbenu road should be completed, leading to the take off the Koko Export Free Zone.
The Asaba-Ughelli dualisation should be near completion; the Effurun-Eku dualisation should commence. We are sure that site work at the industrial clusters in Warri Industrial Park and Asaba ICT Park should begin, as well as the IPP projects. The Oghara ultra-modern teaching hospital, which should be the best in the country, should be open to the public.
I have just touched on a few areas to put everyone in the picture of what the government is planning for the Year and the progress we expect. So there is a lot to be hopeful for and be happy about.
What do we ask in return? This government wants the cooperation and support of everyone, and one sure way is for us to pay our taxes as we need all the money we can get to build and complete so many infrastructure projects that should bring in businesses, create jobs and reduce poverty.
We ask you to be law abiding and to respect constituted authorities. Delta is a beautiful state and we should be proud of her beauty and the kindness of her people and their hard work.
Lest we forget, this year is going to be a political year heralding the beginning of election campaigns. For politicians seeking office, I charge all to observe decorum and to play the game by its rule. We must give politics a respectable image.
From the journey so far, I am sure we have earned your trust, confidence and cooperation, I pledge never to let you down.
Happy New Year.