2015: WHY I WANT TO BE THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE – LARRY OTU
Larry Otu is an unassuming oil and gas business mogul with the milk of kindness flowing in his veins. Recently, he spoke to some journalists including our Nyerhovwo Oghenetejiri and Frank Efe in his newly acquired mansion in Lagos, where he spoke on why he wants to be the next governor of the oil-rich Delta State in 2015. He held that he is coming on a rescue mission to liberate Deltans; that he will defeat Chief Great Ogboru in DPP primaries just as he stated that he is not afraid of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. While imploring Deltans to secure their votes in 2015, he said the time to sack the so-called cabal from government house, Asaba and put Delta State on the path of peace, progress and development has come.
Please may we meet you?
I am Larry Otu, an Urhobo man from Patani Local Government Area of Delta State and I am the CEO of Lym Group of Companies.
You are a business man, and you want to venture into politics. Why are you leaving your comfort zone to go into politics?
Well, I cannot sit back like they do and watch the people go through what they are going through and continue to do business in the oil and gas sector and the people are suffering. And the only way to enrich the people is to be in politics where you can actually touch the people. So, that’s why I am going into politics.
Why do you want to become the next Delta State governor come 2015?
Even in the Bible God said I will raise evil leaders to torment the people, and we all can see what is happening in Delta State these last few years – the people are going through torment by leadership. I am coming with the mercies of God to liberate the people come 2015 and give Deltans purposeful leadership and better deal.
Under which platform do you want to contest?
I will come under the platform of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP).
The man Chief Great Ogboru has been contesting under this platform and he will not relinquish this for anyone, how do you intend to deal with him?
To me, I do not think Chief Great Ogboru has the capacity to rule the state or win an election. It is very clear that Great has not been able to win an election because he does not have what it takes to win an election and come 2015 in the primaries I will defeat him.
What makes you so sure that you are going to beat him?
I am confident because we have the capacity to lead the people. From all ramifications, Great has constantly failed the people and he is swinging towards failure and he has not been able to win the people over to himself. We are coming with the Mantle of leadership for 2015. The poll will tell you that even the people want me as their leader in DPP. The time is up for Chief Great Ogboru.
There is a ruling party in Delta State and in Nigeria, how do you intend to contend with that party?
We know the strength of the party, we know the gimmicks of the party and so I am not afraid of PDP. They call themselves ruling party because they have not had a credible candidate to actually contest with them or give them a good run for their money and actually monitor their votes in all elections. 2015 will show that a complete switch and turnaround in terms of leadership in Delta State is possible.
People are saying that a Cabal is ruling Delta State, how do you hope to sack the Cabal if actually there is one?
I am glad you said Cabal. Delta State is not a dynasty. It is not a traditional council where people handover to other people. Come 2015, Deltans will actually elect their Governor and not handover as it has always been. The dynasty ends with Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. We are going to sack the so-called Cabal in 2015.
How are you going to break it?
Do not allow your opponents to know your strategies; do not allow them to know your next move, because if you do, you will not have the strength to defeat them. We are not revealing how we are going to go about it, but Deltans should be rest assured that this team has come to dissolve the dynasty in a democratic system. Come 2015, it is not going to be handover but election proper.
As a politician, do you have structures on ground to break the cabal?
When you say structure, I get worried because that is another form to deceive the people. But we have a system in place and we are strongly building on our system and this has been our initiative for the past six years and we are going to take over Delta State come 2015. But just stay with us and you will see how our system is implemented.
Can you beat your chest and say that come 2015 you will be sworn in as the next Governor of Delta State?
As a businessman, we have contended with all forms of processes and we have always been successful. What we have for Deltans, the blueprint and master-plan which will be unveiled shortly and the strategy to implement it, Deltans will know that the right Candidate has come. Come May 29, 2015 I will be sworn-in as the Executive Governor of Delta State.
Are you now saying that you are going to defeat Ogboru and the PDP candidates in the next election?
In the primaries we are going to defeat Ogboru and I do not think there is any credible candidate in PDP that will be able to match me in a free and fair election. Take a typical check on all candidates intending to run on the PDP platform, they have all held critical positions in the state or Federal levels. My question to each one of them is ‘how have you empowered Deltans so far”?
You are new in politics and you have never contested an election, what gives you the impression that you can just jump from primary one to primary six?
Probably, governorship is primary one to me and I have done a lot of consultations.
Ewherido is another factor and he has some structures on ground and he may also come under the platform of DPP or APC, What is your take on this?
I have told you that Ogboru is a write-off and I do not see any credible candidate in PDP and even if Ewherido comes out in APC, we are also going to defeat him.
Tell us when you are elected as the governor of Delta State, what is going to be your first priority?
Deltans lack a lot. Throughout my travels round the world, I have come to know that Deltans lack a lot. As a State, Delta is too rich for it people to be suffering. My first core project will be power generation and distribution. We will also take up education and empowerment of the youths. At the moment, I am investing about 3 Billion Naira in Delta state for skills acquisition and development. So our main focus will be education, power, empowerment, healthcare and security.
Specifically, what is your programme for women?
There will be no specific programme for women because in my government I equal women as men. In my government, there will be no Ministry of women affairs because if I did that I will also have to create Ministry for men affairs. It is going to be a system of government where women are part of the government. We shall have fifty percent men and fifty percent women, with this, we shall achieve gender equality
There is this rumour going round that Delta State may produce the first female governor come 2015, how do you see this development?
Well, the poll on that day will tell. By May 29th, 2015 I will be sworn in as the next governor of Delta State and the woman coming in should know that she will be floored in the elections. My suggests is for all women to join this train.
Are you confident about the electoral system because the powers that be could rig you out of the election?
That is why I told you that my team has a system and framework to tackle electoral fraud and all that. We know the gimmicks, we know the areas where electoral frauds are high, and we shall destabilize all forms of electoral frauds in Delta State. So we have a plan in place to check electoral fraud. It will never happen in this Delta again.
Apart from your three billion Naira investment, what other programmes do you have for millions of un-employed graduates in the state when you become Governor?
Delta State budgets billions of dollars yearly that gives you an impression of the State’s income. The reason why youths in the state are not empowered is that government before has not taken further steps to create jobs for them. I take a typical example of waste; I just told you a framework for waste. It will not take us up to 18 months for us to build a waste recycling plant. Can you imagine the level of persons that will be engaged in selecting waste and disposing of waste in Delta State? So we are going to create jobs in agriculture, waste, oil and gas and ensure all the key projects, marginal fields that have been sold, marginal field operators are going to come in. We are going to ensure that these marginal fields’ operators must employ Deltans. We are putting a system in place to ensure that youths have the proper skills to work in these organizations. We are also going to ensure the safety and security of all companies operating in Delta State and rebuild investors confidence.
Shell has sold a lot of their Assets and many marginal field operators have bought up these Assets, they will employ new people and these people must be Deltans. Before now you find people from various states occupying our job slots. But in 2015, Deltans must be sitting on our slots.
Shell has finally moved out of Delta State and Pan Ocean has moved to neighboring Edo State, as a man who has being in the oil and gas industry, how are you going to convince these people to do business in Delta State again?
It is so sad that the present administration saw these coming and allowed it to happen in their very eyes. But we are glad that God has given us the natural resources and the Assets are here in Delta State. Shell has left Delta State and Pan Ocean has left Delta State but the Assets are still in Delta State and new operators will come and operate these Asset. So in my governments, if you must operate an Asset in Delta State, then you must re-locate your office to Delta State. That is the formula. So if Pan Ocean has left Delta State and their Assets are here, then they will have to come back to Delta State. I will ensure the safety and security of these Organizations.
How do you intend to tackle security challenges in the state?
The reason for insecurity globally, is as a result of poverty. I will tell you a typical example, I arrived at the airport in Halifax, in Canada on picking my bag from the belt, my friends were actually waiting for me at the belt. Nobody thought about stealing anybody’s bag because the government has empowered the people. Take a look, people who go kidnapping people are jobless and they see the day to day lifestyle and high living of people stealing from the government. But if they are fully engaged and earning income, they will not go kidnapping people. Our formula for 2015 and beyond is to empower the people and not to kill the people.
Talking about infrastructures, we have bad roads, no water and so many other things, how do you see this?
Delta State is not like other places where you have to drill too deep before you get water. However, we recognize that clean and drinkable water is an issue in some areas. My government shall ensure that clean and drinkable water is available to all Deltans. With regards to roads, it is sad that with the money coming from the Federal and the state generated revenue, roads and other infrastructures are supposed to be petty issues. But now, these issues are taking the center stage. Part of the system to be implemented in Delta is “operation tar all roads”.
What is your programmes for the people in the riverine areas?
It is so sad that past governments have continued to neglect the people in the riverine areas when it is so simple to connect the riverine areas with other areas. We are going to connect the people of the riverine communities with bridges to link them up with the people in the cities and you will find development moving towards the riverine areas. One of our plan for the riverine communities is to connect them with bridges into the cities and you will see rapid development going into the riverine communities and crime will be reduced in the riverine communities and our major cities.
What is your message to Deltans as we approach 2015?
It is my appeal to Deltans to secure their votes for the right man and that man is me. I am coming with a Mantle to take away their pains and long years of suffering by the grace of God.