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Never! Me step down? Iíve worked too hard to quit now ĖOdili

Posted by By CHRISTIAN ITA on 2006/12/11 | Views: 1809 |

Never! Me step down? Iíve worked too hard to quit now ĖOdili


Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili has vowed to remain in the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket, saying he has worked too hard for him to quit now.

Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili has vowed to remain in the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket, saying he has worked too hard for him to quit now.

National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmadu Ali, had while decrisbing the number of presidential aspirants in the party as unwieldy recently, recommended the prunning down of the number.

But speaking exclusively with Sunday Sun in Port Harcourt after the commissioning of the Omoku power plant by President Olusegun Obasanjo, Odili said he would contest the December 16 National Convention to its logical conclusion.
Asked if he was the ďanointed candidate,Ē he said: ďIf Iím anointed I wonít have to work hard.Ē
Excerpts:

You are seen as of one of the front-runners and lately your party chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, was reported as saying that the number of aspirants in the party is too much and that the number should be pruned down. How do you take that?
Iím a democrat. Even in practice I believe that the race is for the party to arrive at the best flag-bearer it should present with an eye on the general election.

Supposing the party says you should step down?
Iím convinced Iím one of the best. Iím convinced that I am one of those that have what it takes. And I have been there. I believe people will go for the best.

What gives you that confidence?
I see myself like a student who has prepared well for an examination. The syllabus is clear. You have to look at what weíve done with the opportunity we had as the governor of the state. You look at our achievements, then you look at our pedigree and then you look at the way we have approached the new process and how we connected with people across the country.
All these will come together to produce a report card.

I want to believe that if Mr. President were to vote that day, given what he said at the launch of Omoku Plant, he would cast his vote for you. Am I correct?
Thatís your opinion, you are an observer and Iím an actor. You know, like they say, it is not possible for a dancer to see his or her back. So, itís entirely up to you.

Do you enjoy the support of your fellow governors from the South-South?
We are not there yet because apart from the governor of Bayelsa, virtually every other governor in the South-South is an interested party. So, when we get to a point where it becomes clear that a South-southerner is in the race, it will be difficult for us to do otherwise than to support ourselves. So, we have to get to the bridge first.

You have one challenger (Chief A.K. Horsfall) from Rivers?
No! He is not challenging me, he is expressing the desire to rule. He is like everybody else aiming to get the party ticket. Itís not a challenge to me.

We hear of anointing and the fact that there are preferred candidates. Are you the anointed candidate?
If Iím anointed, I wonít have to work hard.

They say Odili is the man to beat, how true is that?
It sounds nice to hear. Those that are saying it are the ones you should ask.

Let us, go back to the Omoku Plant. Is what you have done in Rivers a foretaste of what you would do for the country if elected president?
I believe that if by the special grace of God we win, it is not only a pointer, itís an indicator of what we can do or what we will do by the grace of God on a larger scale, the bigger scale at the national level. All it calls for is political will to do it and how to go about doing it.

Congratulations your Excellency, Rivers State came under national spotlight with the commissioning of the Omoku Power Plant. How does it feel to be the undertaker of this monumental offering to the nation?
Humbled by Godís grace and enablement that made it possible for us to translate the dream to a very tangible and obviously monumental reality. Looking back at the inception, it is difficult for one to really imagine how we got here. There were many challenges on the way. Of course, we did not fully appreciate the enormity of the cost of implementation at the beginning. But we had a political will that something needed to be done. It is something that was definitely going to cost money. And if you run away today because of the cost, is it going to be cheaper tomorrow? So, since it was inevitable that the project must be pursued, we just had to do something about it. We are happy that at last we got there.

The president said the Omoku Plant is a testimony that few of the governors are providing visionary leadership. That sounded like an endorsement?
No! I think I wonít jump to your conclusion. That might be your opinion, but for me, it was a humble acknowledgement of our efforts and all that we have been doing for our people. Looking at the future and successive generations, I just believe that when leadership does the right things, things that are not selfishly motivated, things that are for the larger number, you do it for posterity. The president has seen what we did. Those comments were words of appreciation on a job well done.

In concrete terms, how would the project impact on the lives of the people of Rivers State vis-a-vis the nation at large?
You know you canít talk of industrialization in terms of stable development unless you have an assured capacity for power delivery. That is the foundation weíve laid. The trickle-down effect is that the small scale industries will benefit, medium scale industries will benefit, large industries will also benefit. Hairdressers, water sellers, welders, vulcanizers, every aspect of economy will be affected positively. We believe that this is one foundation for economic stability because poverty reduction, wealth creation, industrialization are all taken care of.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your ‚Äúevening life is better than evening life‚ÄĚ?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.