Former Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has said that the impressive pace of development in states in the country with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors bore eloquent testimony to the fact that the party’s governors were working for the development of their respective states.

Speaking yesterday in Asaba, where he inaugurated several projects executed by the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Saraki appealed to Nigerians to throw their weight behind the PDP to enable the party return to power again in the country in 2023, in order to rekindle the currently low tempo of development.

While commending Governor Okowa for his vision and commitment to the uplifting of the people of the state through his numerous valuable projects, the former senate president described the governor as “a man of capacity and integrity” who has remained a pride of his political party, the PDP.

He recalled his close association with the governor in the Senate, saying he (Saraki) was happy that Okowa had lived up to his high rating as a focused and goal-oriented leader with a passion to improve the well-being of his people.

While inaugurating the N1.69 billion DLA Road in Asaba, Saraki said that when the leadership of the PDP had cause to seek Okowa’s assistance in times of important assignments, the governor always rose to the occasion.

Saraki, who was also formerly governor of Kwara State, said, “I worked closely with you when we passed the Health Bill; I know your capacity and I’m happy you have not let anybody down.

This is what is meant by bringing good governance to the people.

This is a project that impacts on the commercial life of the people, it is a project that impacts on the community, and it is a project that is long overdue.

“So, only a man with vision and commitment, who has come finding a solution to a nagging problem and not just a solution that you can see; that after many years he would have left the stage, the people would be happy to have had such a leader.

“I am not praising you; because in our party (PDP) any time we have difficult assignments, who do we turn to? We go to your governor (Okowa). That one shows that he has capacity and he has integrity.

“So, Your Excellency, it’s so good to be here. You’re the pride of the party (PDP). It’s only in the PDP you see our governors doing this. And, this is why we are telling Nigerians to give PDP the chance again, and you will see the difference that will happen in this country.”

Speaking earlier, Governor Okowa expressed delight that the road that had previously proved a hard nut to crack was being inaugurated by a man who has offered Nigeria exemplary good leadership.

He expressed delight to have achieved the completion of DLA Road and adjoining streets after unsuccessful attempts by previous administrations in the state.

The governor also told his guest that his administration was constructing a gigantic secretariat in the state capital to accommodate all government ministries, departments and agencies.

Okowa said, “We are truly very happy that this road is being inaugurated by you. There had been previous attempts at constructing the road but it failed because of inadequate drainage provision.

“Beyond the construction of the roads, we have done the major sewer leading to the Amilimocha River and we are glad that the road will be put to use all-year round.

“We are also constructing a leisure park and a film village because Asaba is home to Nollywood and we will want to maintain our leadership in Nollywood.”

Okowa commended Asaba people for their cooperation, saying “I must publicly thank the people of Asaba for their cooperation and support for my administration.

“I want to promise that by the time we finish in the next two years, we will be glad that there was a government in the state.”

Director-General, Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, Mrs. Joan Amaechi Mrakpor, said that contract for the DLA Road was awarded on December 24, 2018 to take pressure off the busy Nnebisi Road and avoidable link with the Benin-Asaba Expressway.

She thanked the governor for breaking a seeming jinx and “finally putting an end to the suffering of road users due to the deplorable situation of this road”.

Chief Nwanze Oduah, who represented the Asagba of Asaba, Obi Prof. Chike Edozien, said that the road had, until the governor intervention, been a nightmare to inhabitants of the area and commended the governor for being able to complete the road.

“We have witnessed an avalanche of roads inauguration in the state and as you can see, economic activities have picked up again on this road and we, the Asaba people, cannot thank you enough for doing this for us”, Oduah said.

At the opening of the new school, the commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Patrick Ukah, said that the establishment of the Government Primary School, Junior Staff Quarters, Asaba was conceptualised during the 2016 Delta Education Summit which, among others, was the need to give quality access to education for Delta children.

“The handing over of schools in 2011 to the Christian missionaries necessitated the building of more public schools to cope with rising population in the state capital.

“The new primary school is built according to specification and has the capacity to admit 760 pupils at an average of 40 pupils per classroom.”