Barr. Kenneth Odhe is a political scientist, a lawyer, politician and a businessman and currently I am the senior special assistant to the governor on political matters. In the interview with Isoko Mirror Regional Editor, he bares his mind on why he wants to contest for the Isoko North Local Government Council Chairman and other issues excerpts.
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Barr. Kenneth Odhe I am a businessman, a politician, and currently the senior special assistant to the governor on political matters. A staunch member of the People Democratic Party (PDP).
What form your desire to contest for the Isoko North Local Government Council Chairman?
Overtime, I have watched and read through the political process. There is a burning desire in my heart to contribute and give back to the grassroots, given the fact that as a growing young man in the past I saw local government council chairmen going into Primary Schools to ensure that the primary school pupils are giving quality education. The primary school is the fulcrum and foundation of the educational background of a child. It is the duty of the local government council chairman to ensure that the foundation of the pupils in the primary school is solid.
If you look at our health sector at the local government level, the focus is the primary healthcare centre which is under the purview of the local government council chairman. For instance, there was a day I was driving down around 9 to 10 pm and I saw a lady crying for help I find out she delivered her baby in the place of local health worker and she was bleeding. And they were pleading that I should take them to the General Hospital, by the time we got there it was too late, the woman past out. If there was a well equipped primary health centre in the area, that death would have been prevented.
If I become the local government council chairman I am going to ensure we have effective primary health centre in all the communities in Isoko North Local Government Area.
In the area of market, the market is also under the purview of the local government council chairman. What do we do to ensure we have effective market? One, we will grant soft loans to our traders, put better infrastructure in our market, employ people to maintain the market, provide adequate security and create an enabling environment where market can thrive well.
Sir, with the dwindling fortune of allocation coming to the local government council, how are you going to achieve these things you mentioned?
This has to do with planning and strategy. We are going to have revenue generation drive. Not that we are going to tax our people. And what we are going to generate is to improve the lives of our people. As somebody who has managed his private business successfully, I am going to be prudent with resources in day to day running of the local government council.
Under which platform are you contesting this election?
I have been a member of the People Democratic Party, currently I am a Senior Special Assistant to the governor on political matters. We brought PDP to Isoko in 1998, PDP is the political party I belong. I believe in the party ideology and programmes. I also believe in the programme of the Delta State governor Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. I can assure you I am going to key- in into the Smart Agenda of the Delta State governor. The local government is the grassroots, I am going to bring the development to the grassroots. I am going to be in touch with the people of the local government regularly.
In the last 34 years I have always been within this environment and I know what the people want, I know how to bring everybody together.
Nigeria politics is full of godfatherism. Who is backing you for this race?
First of all, the Almighty God is the one backing me. Secondly, the people, I have built and venture all my life around people, the people come first, my godfather are the people. But I didn’t mean that, the political leaders in Isoko North will not be respected, they have paid their dues, made sacrifice for the People Democratic Party. I am going to give them the respect they deserve. I can’t pinpoint any single individual as my godfather, the people are.
How will you rate the administration of Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor?
Well, what I will tell you about Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor administration, he has done his best within his own ability to the development of the Isoko North local government area. When I come in I want to bring in new ideas to continue from where he stopped.
So, what are you going to do differently from your predecessor if you are elected?
We will embark on robust programmes, people oriented programmes. We are going to articulate the views of the people. We are going to take the development to them by having interactive session with all the communities in the local government, the youths, the women, the elders, the president generals and they will tell us what they want. And we will look at our resources and see how we can achieve our objective.
As a Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Political Matters. How will you assess the governor performance so far?
Just like what you know, His Excellency Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa performance is above 90 percent. In terms of road construction is not even track B or track C road he is doing track A road. Today, in Delta State there is no local government area that has not feel his impact in terms of road construction. He has also done well in the educational sector with the accreditation of various courses at the State Polytechnics and University. For instance, the Law Faculty, Oleh Campus was having issues, he was able to revive it. The Engineering Faculty where we have five departments, were not accredited. But because the governor is academics loving governor he was able to ensure that all the departments, courses are accredited.
The academic environment work with the market force especially at the local government level.
In the health sector he has done excellently well also. Tell me which area the governor has not done well!. Is the area of paying salary or payment of gratuities or pension! Is it policy statement he made and keep!. The governor is somebody who is not a noise maker. He is respected nationally. This is why when PDP wants to do National Convention he was chosen as the convention commitee chairman. Look at what he did, it was peaceful, crises free and a candidate emerged. Is the economic submit by the vice-president were he headed various sub-committee.
I just pray that, he should be give opportunity to replicate what he is doing in Delta at the national level.
How will you assess the management of Covid-19 in Delta State?
Perfect, you know the governor is a Medical Doctor, not just a Medical Doctor, he has practice for over 30 years. One of the major thing the governor did was to create awareness despite the lockdown to tell the people that convid 19 is real. And isolation centre were built not just only in Asaba but also in Warri and the general hospitals in the 25 local government area, a team is stationed in the 25 local government area, in case if there is anybody infected with the deadly virus the team will evacuate the patient to the isolation centre where medical attention will be given to such patients. If you look at Delta State convid 19 death rate it is below 0.3 percent because quick response is been given to the people and there is no discrimination. Convid 19 doesn’t know if you are rich or poor neither of you are black or white.
The State governor did credibly well in this area.
What is your message to the people of Isoko North Local Government Area?My major message to the people of Isoko North Local Government Area is to to tell them that they should be fair and equitable, we should be our brothers keepers because Isoko is one nation. We should always love one another and try as much as possible to give back to the society