By Annabel Ogheneganre
As the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the most impressionable political discovery of the Urhobo nation in the fourth republic prepares to step down from the National Assembly en-route Government House Asaba, the people of Delta Central must search for a proper and fit replacement in the 2023 general election.
The two major political parties in Nigeria, the PDP and APC have been on the search with the PDP throwing up Chief Ighoyota Amori and Chief John Nani. The APC on the other hand has no known names other than a scion of the Late Senator David Omueya Dafinone family of Sapele in the person of Ede Dafinone, a chartered accountant and an accomplished gentleman in all ramifications.
While I have made my stand known in my assessment of the two aspirants on the platform of the PDP, it is proper to note that whether there are persons contesting the APC ticket with him or not, Ede Dafinone is a beautiful bride for the senate in the 2023 general elections. His credentials, pedigree, achievements in the private sector, his family name and attainments in the political space at the national level stands him out as a most fit and proper material for the Delta central seat in the senate.
His only visible challenger for the APC ticket, Chief Dr Chris Obiuwevbi Ominimini, we learnt has withdrawn from the race in line with wise counsel from party members who reasoned that since the latter is from the same Ughelli North local government area with Senator Omo-Agege who is running for governor, it would be in the best interest of the party for the senatorial candidate to be from outside Ughelli North. That argument is sound and well taken. At the end of the day, Ede Dafinone should easily pick the senatorial ticket and run in 2023.
Ede Dafinone is not an ordinary politician. He plays the game at the top echelon of the party, he is a household name and has registered his mark in his chosen career as a chartered accountant.
He would be bringing his wealth of experience in the private sector and would deploy his knowledge and experience as a Chartered Accountant, Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Promotion Group (MANEG) and Nexportrade Houses Limited, and as a member of the Board of NEXIM Bank to bear on his assignment ij the senate if voted in 2023.
He is also Chairman of Sapele Integrated Industries Limited and Chairman of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and as a trustee of the Guild of Fine Artists.
As Chairman of the Dafinone Foundation, he has distinguished himself as a philanthropist of note with a clear understanding of the issues that matter most to Delta Central and Nigeria, as well as the experience to make a difference in the Senate.
According to him during his official declaration to run for senate, Ede Dafinone had stated that ‘’In offering myself to represent our people, I am mindful of their expectations and needs which I understand very well, having served in various committees of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, whenever I am given the privilege to contribute my quota to the advancement of Urhobo Nation. I am currently chairman of the SapeleOkpe Community Land Trust Association. Trustee of Okpe Union and Treasurer and Trustee of the Okpe Leaders of Thought.
‘’Today, I’m even more committed to serving our people and contributing to the progress of Urhoboland. So, as the next senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, I won’t avoid any challenges, and I’ll put Delta Central and Urhobo Nation first in all of my decisions.
‘’At the heart of the challenges, we face as a district and a country is the urgent need for jobs for our people, especially women and youth, as well as insecurity that is threatening our way of life. I believe that the rising insecurity in Nigeria is a result of rising unemployment, especially among the youth.
‘’In the past 6 years through the Dafinone foundation, I have been running social and community projects to provide scholarships for post-graduate education, disburse micro-credit loans to women and support the development of vocational skills within Delta State and over 2000 persons have been empowered through this intervention.
‘’Now we must fight to create more jobs to solve the insecurity problem and harness the demographic dividend associated with the rising population.This requires a vibrant, diversified economy with a strong manufacturing base. And the task of our time is to seek bold new ideas, create the urgently needed jobs for our people and lift millions out of poverty.
‘’We must also adopt an export-led industrialisation strategy to revitalize our manufacturing base, agriculture, and help to create new jobs and economic growth. If elected I will campaign tirelessly to promote Nigerian-made products and work to enact laws to create an enabling environment for the manufacturing sector to thrive.
‘’I will also work with my colleagues in the Senate to enact a law that will make the federal government adopt a policy, to revitalize our seaports in the south, particularly the Okwagbe deep-sea and Sapele ports to promote the export of produce from the Niger Delta area and also decongest Lagos port. Additionally, I would be committed to promoting transparency and accountability in government financial management, environmental protection, the arts, gender equality, and women and youth empowerment.
‘’As a senator, I will always work with all stakeholders to determine the best possible manner to represent the district. So, my dear party men and women, most especially the delegates to our forthcoming primary, give me your support, give me your votes and together, we will keep Urhobo great.I also want to invite all people of Delta Central Senatorial District to join me on this walk to sustain, consolidate and build on the good work Senator Ovie Omo-Agege started for the people of Delta Central Senatorial District and the Urhobo Nation which began with the purchase of forms at the National Secretariat of APC in Abuja on Wednesday, April 27th, 2022’’, he had added.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Ede Dafinone, the unassuming but well groomed financial expert would be going to the senate, not to make wealth, but to actually serve the people. There is no air of desperation in his aspiration.
He is always calm, calculative and focused on service delivery. He certainly fits the bill as the beautiful bride in the 2023 senatorial contest in 2023. APC will do well to give the party flag to him as a proper and fit person to step into Senator Ovie Omo-Agege shoes.
Annabel Ogheneganre writes from Garki, Abuja. (firstname.lastname@example.org)