A frontline chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr. Festus Anwuli Iwerebor has promised to anchor his administration on transparency and accountability.
Mr. Iwerebor who gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists on Friday at his Boji-Boji, Owa residence, Ika North East Local Government Area, stated that one of his major priorities would be to enhance the infrastructural development of the council area, and to boost the human capacity base of the people, through youths and women empowerment, as a way of complementing the three point agenda of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghanâ€™s administration.
He noted that when a woman is sufficiently empowered, it reflects in the home, while youth empowerment covers the entire family, adding that it is an area he will lay strong emphasis on.
Farmers, he disclosed, would be given all necessary assistance to improve their yields, so as to meet up with the food requirements of the people. He noted that worldwide farmers are given subsidies in the form of fertilizer at very cheap rates, provision of farming tools, granting of micro-credit, stating further that he will also focus his attention on the opening up of rural roads for easy evacuation of agricultural produce. He equally disclosed that his government will endeavour to build storage facilities in places like Igbodo and Ekwuoma where perishable farm products like tomatoes would be stored.
On the ravaging erosion devastating Boji-Boji metropolis, Mr. Iwerebor said he will put measures in place that will curtail the indiscriminate dumping of gabbage in water ways, which in his view, was responsible for blocked drainages that makes rain water to spill on the roads. He said that stiff penalty will be imposed on defaulters, and that he also intends to make Ika North East one of the cleanest council areas in the country.
He stated that there are factors that predispose people, particularly the youths to crime, disclosing that he will tackle the issue of crime though the massive empowerment of the youths, who form the bulk of those involved in violent criminal activities. He sees those engaging in armed robbery and other sundry criminal activities as frustrated members of the community who should be assisted, through empowerment.
Mr. Iwerebor disclosed that he will set-up community policing by encouraging and supporting vigilante groups in all wards in the Local Government who will liase with the police to check crimes. He also added that he will procure mobile phones for the police, through which “emergency calls” can be made and logistics for effective policing.
Responding to the question on Okada riding by Ika youths, the chairmanship aspirant submitted that it is another way of reducing unemployment, saying that it has helped in reducing joblessness drastically, but however stated his only displeasure is that they go without putting on helments.
Mr. Iwerebor disclosed that he will not be relying on money coming from the Federation Account, which he said is not even enough to embark on capital projects that will be of benefit to the people, but will partner with the private sector on the basis of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) to propel economic activities in the local government.
He stressed that infrastructures and facilities such as good roads, health centres and general enabling social/economic environment will be provided to attract investors to the area.
He called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the step-down being proposed for Ika land, and to also improve on power generation and distribution, as he observed that energy sector is outside the scope of the local and state governments.
On the rumour making the rounds that he was once convicted in Austria, Mr. Iwerebor denied vehemently, stating that it was probably coming from faceless political opponents, who were not bold enough to give their names. He added that he was never involved in any crime that could have warranted his arrest or conviction.
Mr. Festus Auwuli Iwerebor was born on 9th February, 1967, to the family of Chief Humprey Iwerebor, the current chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ika North East Local Government Area. He attended Ngala Primary School, Bojo-Boji, Owa and Owa-Alero Secondary School, Owa-Alero, before proceeding to the University of Benin, where he studied Political Science and later Delta State University Abraka for his MSC, Public Administration.
On graduation, he ventured into the importation of cars into Nigeria from Europe. His business took him to Italy, Germany and Austria. He is married with two kids, a boy and a girl.
Mr. Iwerebor revealed that over the years he had assisted Ika indigenes in getting employment and in financing some persons in traveling overseas. He disclosed that he had also sheltered and fed many Ika people in his house in Lagos.
Since joining politics, where he was Special Assistant to the governor twice, he had succeeded in securing employment and appointment for so many people, with emphasis on indigenes of Ika North East Local Government Area.
He said he believed he is qualified for the job because of his experience in government, his administrative exposure, and academic background.
Mr. Iwerebor stated that the decision of the party to put him forward has nothing to do with his fatherâ€™s position, but however conceded that his fatherâ€™s political antecedents contributed in some measure in the confidence the party hierarchy had on him.
His Europe experience, he said, has afforded him the opportunity to know that development is an imperative of our modern world, adding that there are basic facilities and infrastructures that are needed for modern existence.
He disclosed that he has a blue print, which he does not want to release for now. Mr. Iwerebor pointed out that he is not gunning for the chairmanship because of money but to make a name because he is not ending at the local level. He promised to build an ultra modern Trailer Park between Umunede and Ekwuoma. That, he said, will be achieved through partnership with the private sector. He further stated that he will spread his reach to the state and federal levels so as to attract development to the council area.
He disclosed that while serving in Iboriâ€™s government, he made a lot of proposals and generated a lot of ideas, which were accepted by the government.
He enjoined Ika indigenes in diaspora to actively participate in the development of Ika land, while promising to open up a website, where he will be interacting and sharing ideas with his people all over the world.
Mr. Iwerebor remarked that this father, Chief Humphrey Iwerebor is not step-downing as PDP Chairman in Ika North East Local Government Area, as being insinuated but that he is gracefully bowing out, and that he will still remain a rallying point and a leader in Delta State politics.