Why I Am Running For The Vacant Delta Central Senate Seat By Olorogun Festus Keyamo
I extend fraternal greetings to all sons and daughters of Urhobo land, politically delineated as Delta Central Senatorial District. My name is Olorogun (Bar.) Festus Keyamo, born and raised in Ughelli North Local Government Area, but originally from Uvwie Local Government Area. For lack of adequate space for my full profile, kindly go to www.deltaforcesunited.wordpress.com.
I write this solemn message to you, irrespective of your previous political persuasion or affiliation in Delta State, and irrespective of your previous biases for or against me. I urge you to keep an open mind as you read this, in the earnest expectation that your love for the growth and development of Delta State transcends party politics and even family relationship.
In the inner recesses of our conscience, and whenever we kneel before our Creator to say the truth, we will all agree that our State has been thoroughly underdeveloped by successive governments since the return to civil rule in 1999. Many of us, understandably, may not have spoken out for so many reasons. Unfortunately, in the face of a smouldering silence, a dynasty of sorts has been created by this set of so-called leaders. And they have perfected the plan to handover from one selected ruler to another, with no interest in the real development of the
State, and without consideration for the real choice of the electorate in free and fair elections. Some of us have been helpless onlookers as our State fell tragically into the hands of brigands, petty thieves, fraudsters, and thugs masquerading as “leaders”. It is very unfortunate. Sadly, we cannot expect any drastic change under such a woeful situation where a set of corrupt and inefficient leaders produce and anoint another set of corrupt and inefficient leaders. The game of
musical chairs will continue and the circle of poverty as a result of misrule will also continue to expand.
It is in the light of this depressing condition that some patriots, early this year, floated the progressive platform, ‘Delta Forces United,’ to aggregate progressive thoughts and bring together all those who hate what is happening in our dear State. History teaches us that it is always a grave mistake not to properly berth a revolution. Consequently, the more than 5,000 registered members of the group have moved en masse into the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) with the clear aim of wrestling power from the devious clique that continues to hold us to ransom in Delta State.
After the launch of the Delta Forces United, it became public speculation that I was interested in the Governorship race in Delta State come 2015. Of course I had my eyes on the Governorship race whilst I was mobilizing the Delta Forces United to join the APC, and that, undeniably, still remains my ultimate goal. I will never abandon that goal. However, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. And he, who is great in smaller things, will be greater in bigger things. In this regard, the Senate seat presents a unique and humble opportunity for me to bring to bear my enduring enthusiasm and skills for the supreme benefit of my people in public office, and to set the tone for the quality of leadership that is to come. That is why I am running for the vacant Senate seat in Delta Central. And if the people give me a pass mark, they will eventually decide whether to push me forward, or withdraw me from the guber race. Like we say in DFU,
‘na our hand e dey’!!!
I have always been bemused to hear people say I am new to the intricate game of politics. For the avoidance of doubt, let me set the records straight. I was one of the four persons who sat down to conceptualize the National Conscience in 1994 with my late boss, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, and I
was the first Northern co-ordinator of the movement that later metamorphosed into a political party (National Conscience Party). I have also, in the last twenty-one years of my professional career, handled hundreds of cases involving inter and intra-party disputes, which gives me a rare insight into the various intrigues and shenanigans in political parties in particular and politics in general. I have often wondered whether anyone is born with “politician” written on his or her forehead; whether the likes of Comrade Oshiomhole, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor
Babatunde Fashola (SAN), and even President Goodluck Jonathan (who was a lecturer) and so many others were “politicians” before they decided to contest for public office.
I believe Delta State deserves a new set of thinkers, even if they are not perfect; a new set of ideas, to inject life into the politics of the State; a new beginning, just to get things right. We, as a people, deserve total freedom from the yoke of bondage. That is why I make no pretence about it
that the central theme of my foray into Delta politics is to dethrone the old order of crass corruption and bad governance and to lead a revolution of real change. We must oppose the succession plan of the PDP. I represent that real change because I have never been part of the corrupt system before. I am a fresh face, a clean hand with a well-known track-record. I come to town to add great value and not to destroy. You may hate me or love me; believe or disbelieve me; ignore me or attend to me; but no one can deny that in the last twenty-one years since I qualified as a professional lawyer and started my career with the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, I have always had something to stand for in the public domain. I don’t hide my views nor shirk my responsibility for the good of mankind. The whole nation knows where I stand at every point in time. And that is a virtue supremely required for the Senate on behalf of the proud and noble people of Urhobo land, and for their profound aspirations to be given a breath of life.
What do I intend to do in the Senate? Though, we have just less than two years left in this Senate session, I intend to get down immediately to brass task. My main areas of interest would include, but not limited to:
(a) Consumer protection
There are inadequate laws in Nigeria to protect the consumers from unfair business practices in the market place. Hence I propose to immediately sponsor a bill to establish a National Trade Commission with a specialized department of Bureau of Consumer Protection. In addition, a legislation akin to the Unfair Contracts Terms Act of 1977 in England will be proposed.
(b) The fight against corruption
I have done a lot of work in this area \as a private citizen and as a lead Prosecutor to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. As a result, I have a fair knowledge of the legal huddles we face in the fight against corruption. Earlier this year, I had forwarded to the National Assembly a detailed proposal for constitutional amendment to check the delay in corruption cases, which is actually one of the major obstacles in the fight against corruption. Kindly google “festus Keyamo proposes ways to speed up corruption trials,” and you will find the details in various sites. Little did I realize then that I would be presented with the opportunity to be in
the hallowed chambers of the Senate this year to push it through myself. I intend to do just that if given the chance.
(c) The Petroleum Industry Bill
More than three years ago, I was invited by the National Assembly, even as a private citizen, to shed light on the proposed P.I.B. I supported it because of its strong local content opportunity that will benefit my people in Delta State and Niger-Delta in general. My position has not changed, and I intend to push for the passage of that Bill on the floor of the Senate.
(d) Accountability of legislators
I intend to do a quarterly publication of my activities in the Senate to my Constituents and organise regular town-hall meetings. In addition, I also intend to propose a Bill to make it mandatory for all legislators to publish their activities on a quarterly basis. This, without doubt, is essential as a result of the motley crowd in the National Assembly that makes it difficult to keep track of the activities of each and every member of the Senate or House of Representatives. A Bill to compel them to publish their contributions every quarter will keep them on their toes and increase the tempo of activities on the floor of both the upper and lower Houses in the National Assembly.
(e) Power to Appoint Service Chiefs
In an effort to promote democracy and the rule of law, I reasoned that the military must be subjected to constitutional authority. Hence, I proceeded to court a few years ago to challenge the powers of the President to unilaterally appoint Service Chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly. A few weeks ago, the court gave judgment in my favour. I intend
to see to the implementation of that judgment.
(f) Resource Control and Youth Empowerment
I will support the age-long battle of my people in the Niger-Delta Region for the Federal Government to concede more percentage from oil revenue to the oil-producing States like Delta State so we can take better care of our social amenities, our schools, roads and to empower our youths. Youth empowerment will be close to my heart, because that is one of the key solutions to violent crimes in Delta State such as kidnappings, armed robbery, etc.
(g) Corporate Manslaughter Bill
This was a Bill that late Senator Pius Ewherido (who was my very erudite colleague at the Bar, having been called seven years after me) proposed before he passed on. Because of my vast experience in this area of practice of law, I will take a second look at its provisions, make necessary amendments, (if need be) and push for its passage in honour of our fallen
brother, the late Senator Pius Ewherido.
(h) Delta Steel Company
Though this is not a legislative function strictly speaking, I will use the position as Senator to lobby for the resuscitation of this moribund company that was once the pride of the nation. It can help to provide jobs for our teeming youths and take them off the streets.
The above agenda is not, in all, exhaustive. No man is an island. Since I represent a large and largely educated constituent, I intend to engage in constant consultations with my people, and I will be open to suggestions and contributions from them in areas that directly affect us as a people.
So, I will not be an Abuja politician. I will be home every weekend in Uvwie to receive complaints, suggestions, and I dare say, commendations too.
To further achieve my set goals, I intend to erect billboards with phone numbers, manned by my staff, who will receive constant complaints from members of the public, which will be brought regularly to my attention.
Also, I intend to maintain a website for the Delta Central Senatorial District that will constantly update everyone as to our activities in the Senate.
I just need to emphasise that, throughout my campaign, I will not demonise any of the other Senatorial aspirants just because we are running for public office. After all, these are all prominent sons and daughters of Urhobo land. Aspirations for public office should never be a license to destroy our kith and kin who, otherwise, would have been our mentors and heroes. I urge all my supporters to be decent and courteous, but blunt. We are only presenting Festus Keyamo as the BEST’ qualified aspirant, not the ‘ONLY QUALIFIED’ aspirant, for the exalted position.
I am also not at loggerheads, politically, with anyone. All the talk about other political figures cut no ice with me and has not deterred me from holding firm to my unfailing belief of equity and justice for all. I am primarily concerned about doing what I believe would be of great benefit to my people. If emotions run high and my supporters make negative comments publicly or in the social media about other aspirants, please forgive them, but do not attribute those comments to me. I will not descend to name-calling. Throughout my career, I have been bold, constructive,
courageous, but courteous in my engagements. We intend to remain so. We will gladly accept constructive criticisms and comments. But we will not hesitate to reply to any or all negative and false criticisms or comments about me. We may ,unavoidably, be acerbic or caustic (but not abusive) in our reply, but that will be done to serve a germane part of the game.
We are confident that you will share in our unbridled optimism, and we count on your prayers, support and encouragement as we embark on this onerous task. Please remember that one more voice, one more vote, one more support and encouragement from YOU can be the difference.
It is time to take a stand regarding our State, not because the crowd says NO or YES, or the power-brokers say NO or YES or because the ruling party says NO or YES, but we urge you to take a stand because YOU BELIEVE IN OUR CAUSE. It is a matter of conscience.
May God guide and guard you as we count on your support.
Yours most trusted,
OLOROGUN FESTUS EGWAREWA KEYAMO
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