Uduaghan: Election Fatigue Forced Me to Step Aside from Senate Bid

•Next elections will make or mar Nigerians, says Igali

•Tackle security challenges before polls, Gbagi posits

Sylvester Idowu

A former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday, denied stepping down from his senate bid but only stepped aside as a result of election fatigue.

He bared his mind at the 2023 Press Week of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Warri Correspondents’ Chapel Lectures/Award Ceremony held at the Casa de Pedro Hotels, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

The former Governor claimed that contrary to speculations, he did not jettison his aspiration for the Red Chamber for a Delta South Senatorial aspirant but decided not to contest because of “election fatigue”.

He explained that he never picked up a form for the Senate on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but only did once while he was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“I indicated interest to contest, but at no time did I collect form in the PDP. I only collected in the APC. At no time did I step down. I only stepped aside, because of election fatigue,” he said.

Uduaghan, while delivering a lecture titled “2023 Elections and Role of the Media”, noted that by 2023 Nigeria would have enjoyed 24 years unbroken democracy, adding that the media had during the period enjoyed a lot of freedom, unlike under the military.

He, therefore, charged media practitioners in Nigeria to be more objective in their reportage since, according to him, media projections were at times far from the reality.

He also challenged media owners to be faithful with their workers by paying them as and when due to guard against being influenced negatively by corrupt politicians.

The former Governor said he was in support of the calls for traditional rulers to be given constitutional roles in governance in Nigeria, saying “with such power, authority and recognition, insecurity challenges will be curbed to a large extent across the nation.

“I feel very sad that we have not given our traditional rulers the special role they should play. I say this because a lot of cases are settled in the palaces. Traditional rulership must deal on dictatorship. They should be given the power, authority, recognition to play more roles in the society. I am sure if that is done, all these challenges in our society will be reduced.”

At the same time, Chairman of the occasion and former Nigerian Ambassador to Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Ambassador God knows Igali, in his speech, warned that the choices and decisions taken by Nigerians in the forthcoming general election would make or mar the steady evolution of the nation’s democracy.

He noted that 2022 has a lot of significance and of special importance to the 2023 general election, which he described as “a watershed for the country.

Igali, therefore, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the federal government to ensure better preparation for 2023 general election, stressing that the process of going through an election was like most other journeys in human existence and planning.

Igali, the current Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Board of Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), declared: “There is need for proper planning, understanding the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and more importantly, proffering solutions to issues that present themselves in a timely manner.”

Also, a frontline governorship aspirant in Delta State and former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, emphasised the need to frontally tackle the insecurity challenges across Nigeria to make life more secured for the citizenry.

Another former governorship aspirant in the state, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, canvased for free and fair elections and urged INEC to make early preparation for the exercise.

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