The Man, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan
Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan a medical doctor by profession was born on October 22, 1954 in Warri North Local Government Area in Delta State of Itsekiri origin.
He attended Federal Government College, Warri, (1968–1974), and the University of Benin (1975 – 1980) earning a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) degree, and a Diploma in Anaesthesia. He is married with two children. His wife, Roli, is the daughter of Brig. General Sunny E. Tuoyo (rtd), at one time Military Administrator of Ondo State.
Emmanuel Uduaghan was a founding member and Chairman of the All Nigeria Congress Association for the Warri South Local Government Area, a founder and executive member of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), and a foundation member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). On 6 August 1999, the Governor of Delta State James Onanefe Ibori appointed Emmanuel Uduaghan as Commissioner for Health. In this position, he improved the pay of medical staff and upgraded infrastructure. On 6 June 2003, Uduaghan was appointed Secretary to the Delta State Government. (SSG) In November 2008, Uduaghan and the state Chief Justice Rosaline Bozimo approved establishment of sanitation mobile courts to prosecute sanitation offenders in the state.
Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan became the governor of Delta State in Nigeria. He assumed office on May 29, 2007 via an election under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Uduaghan ran again for governor in the 26 April 2011 elections, and was reelected. He gained 525,793 votes, while Chief Great Ogboru of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) was the runner-up with 433,834 votes.
The State Called Delta
Delta State was carved out of the former Bendel State on August 27th 1991. The state was created following agitations for the creation of separate distinct states by all the ethnic groups of the regions. The then Military nt, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) created the state using the name “Delta” advanced by Niger Delta region. Then “Asaba” another name advanced by the people of Anioma for the capital of their proposed “Anioma state.” Delta state was once integrated in the Mid Western state from 1963 to 1976 and later Bendel State from 1976 to 1991. The name “Bendel” (Ben-Del) meant Benin-Delta to reflect the integration of Benin and Delta provinces.
Delta is an oil producing state of Nigeria situated in the region known as the Niger Delta, South-South Geo-political
zone with a population of 4,098,291 (Males: 2,674,306 Females: 2,024,085 (see Federal Republic of Nigeria, Official gazette, No. 24, vol. 94, 2007.)
The capital city is Asaba located at the northern end of the state with an estimated area of 762 km2, while Warri is economic nerve of the state and also the most populated, located in the southern end of the state. The state has a total land area of 16,842 km2.
Delta State is ethnically diverse with peoples and numerous languages spoken in the state. The Delta North comprises the Asaba (Delta Ibo), Aniocha, Ika, Ukwuani and Ndoisimili regions, the Delta Central and Delta South is made up of Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko, and Itsekiri. These groups are known to inter-marry. Most inhabitants
of the state practice Christianity and very few traditional faiths.
There are various solid mineral deposits in the state -industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, decorative rocks, limestone, etc.
These are raw materials for industries such as brickmaking, ceramics, bottle manufacturing, glass manufacturing, chemical/insulators production, chalk manufacturing and sanitary wares, decorative stone cutting and quarrying.
Delta State is made up of twenty-five Local Government Areas. They are as follows:
Aniocha North, Aniocha South, Bomadi, Burutu, Ethiope East, Ethiope West, Ika North East, Ika South, Isoko North, Isoko South, Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West, Okpe, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Patani, Sapele, Udu, Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Ukwuani, Uvwie, Warri North,Warri South, Warri South West.
Giant Strides Of The People’s Governor
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan with inspiring ideas, has recorded developmental strides in the state that are felt by both rural dwellers and those in urban areas. His landmarks of achievements in the state speak volume and are indelible.
With less than four months to his exit from government house, Asaba, Uduaghan can beat his chest to say that he has delivered 99 per cent of his targets of developing Delta State.
Unforgettably, is Governor Uduaghan’s foresight that the oil-rich South-south region of Nigeria may naturally in future face depreciation in oil output, enough to sustain the region and indeed the entire country. And applying the wisdom of King Solomon, Uduaghan embarked on actualizing his vision of diversification of the state economy that is not overly depended on oil revenue.
Armed with that foresight and to prepare his people for the possible fiscal pitfall of oil as major revenue, Governor Uduaghan has today carved a niche for himself, as the people’s governor with his conceptualization of Delta Beyond Oil agenda.
Governor Uduaghan perhaps keyed into the philosophy of South African man of conscience, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who once said that Africa is destroyed by disease, poverty and violence. The inclusion of violence in this context, is an indication that it is a cancerous cell that any governor or leader thinking to rescue Delta State from under-development must first tackle.
And that was what Dr Uduaghan set out to do on assumption of office in 2007. On assumption, Dr Uduaghan anchored his efforts on the conviction that there can be no meaningful development in an environment of insecurity. In the same vein, the governor believes that there can be no lasting peace in an environment of injustice, poverty and frustration.
While he tried to calm frayed nerves, he critically looked at remedies to calmed nerves that should never get frayed again. As a medical doctor, there is a saying in medical parlance, ‘give first aid and reduce the pain while searching for the real healing prescription.’
With that kind of approach, it is no wonder that Governor Uduaghan summoned courage and made several “uninvited visits” to the creeks to engage the warlords in dialogue, with a view to sheathing their swords. The meetings were a big success for the Federal Government’s Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, because the warlords accepted the governor’s assurances.
Having successfully tackled insecurity as panacea to development, Uduaghan set out on massive and vigorous development of the state in every sphere of the society.
Deltans cannot easily forget Uduaghan’s regime in the area of free healthcare delivery. Interestingly, the Ministry of Health still gives financial assistance to many Deltans who request for such assistance for treatment both locally and abroad. So far, the sum of ₦1.4 billion was provided and exhausted for financial medical assistance.
Passionate about students’ inability to pay examination fees, Uduaghan administration has faithfully paid the fees of all students sitting for the Secondary School final examinations. It is a policy he underpinned by the observation that some students even after going through the free school programme, are unable to pay the fees demanded to sit for the National Examination Council ( NECO), and the West African Examinations Council (WASC ) exams.
The Uduaghan administration also blazed the trail in its First Class Scholarship Scheme under which indigenes of the state, paternally or maternally, who make first class in any university either at home or abroad, are offered an annual N5 million scholarship to study for higher degrees up to PhD anywhere in the world. Not only this, governor Uduaghan also initiated a policy which ensured that missionary schools were returned to their original owners.
Under this policy, 40 missionary schools have been returned to their owners and in their places, the government has built parallel schools.
The governor, fully aware of his target in the education sector said, the huge investment in education has a lot to do with the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative of his administration, stating that “for anything you are doing to succeed, the bedrock is education”.
According to him, “we cannot be talking about ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ if we have our populace not educated. You must educate them first for them to even understand ‘Delta Beyond Oil’. If they are not educated, they will just believe that so much money is coming from oil, so, let’s just get the money and share it”.
For Uduaghan, the need for good education cannot be over-emphasized. His humble background as a village boy bears testimony to this. His words: “I grew up in a rural community where there was no road to the place; you could only get there by boat. There was no electricity, no pipe-borne water. In fact, it was more rural than what you saw. But there was something there – there was a primary school… and every adult in the community ensured that the young ones went to school. And today, I can safely say that from that little village, we have a lot of persons who have achieved success. At least that little village has produced two governors and people that are well placed. So, education, for me, is very important.”
Dr. Uduaghan’s achievements in infrastructure, housing scheme, roads construction, street lights and provision of modern transport facilities and hospitals, speak volume and are too numerous to mention.
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