I plan to revive dead industries in Delta, empower women – Accord Party Governorship candidate


 Helen Onokiti is the Governorship candidate of the Accord Party in Delta State. In this interview on Women Radio monitored by FTN/AF24News’ Fred-Ahmadu Olamide, Onokiti talks about her vision for the state.

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 How is the campaign going?

It is going well.  I’ve started campaigning from local government to local government. We have 25 local governments in Delta State and I’ve been to 19 because honestly, it’s not easy because it is expensive. So, I’m doing it to the best of my ability and resource.

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So how do you go about it?

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For the rallies, we go from local government to local government. We use vehicles to go from place to place. It’s like that because we are not the ruling party. The ruling party has more funding than we do. I talk to the people, telling them the reason they should vote for me as a woman because a woman has never ruled Delta State before. They believe that women won’t rule well but I believe women will do better. We women know the pains of our husbands and children and we want better things for our people so I try to preach to them. I go to the marketplaces, and the streets, I gather people and talk to them, and I even do door-to-door campaigns. I want them to know that they should support me as a woman.

You mentioned earlier that your party has less funding than the ruling party so how do you fund your campaigns?

My party people and my family support me. Some do posters and fliers for me and plan how to help me take them to Asaba which is our headquarters in Delta State. There isn’t too much funding so I cherish the support I get from people.


What kind of business do you do?

I’m a government worker and a businesswoman. I’m a distributor and I have a very big beer parlour and I do some talking there as well.

When you go out to talk to people, what do you tell them?

I tell them to vote for me because I want to address unemployment in the state. There are a lot of industries and businesses here that are dead. Delta Glass and Asaba Textile Mills are dead. I tell them that if I come into power, I will refurbish all these dead businesses and create jobs for our children. Many of our children are graduates but they are unemployed. There are properties in Delta State that the government can transform into places of work. I also plan to empower women and support them in establishing small-scale businesses and touch on the agricultural sector. If I am supported, all these things will come to life and everyone will reap the benefits.

 When you go out to campaign and talk to people, do you get favourable responses that suggest the people are actually listening to you?

I like the responses I get because it seems the people feel like men have not done well in the past and they would like to try a woman for a change. I don’t plan to disappoint them. I want them to try me. As a mother, not just a woman, I will do them well.

Assuming you win the elections, what would you do in the first 100 days that would be evident to the public that you have begun your work?

If I were to be elected today, I would start with the roads. Outside Warri and Asaba, a lot of the roads are bad, so I could start there as I said before, I would work on providing employment opportunities starting with all the dead and closed-down companies we have in Delta. I will bring them back to life so that more people can be employed. I will let people understand that Delta State has more than just oil money. Agriculture is still very valuable. I will do a lot of things for them and make Delta State better. I will not use the state’s money to build a house abroad, I will be here, working and making Delta a better place.

You talked about creating jobs for graduates who are unemployed, what do you plan to do about the children who do not even have access to education?

A lot of the children are not in school, it’s because their parents don’t have the money to put them in school. As a mother, I am aware that in the olden days, there was free education. I intend to bring it back. In institutions like the University of Delta and Ozoro University, I will work to bring down the school fees. I will make primary and secondary education free and make university education affordable. Then when graduates are produced, employment will be waiting for them. I intend to support skill acquisition training and empower artisans and vocational workers like hairdressers and mechanics. I will also make healthcare free.

How do you plan to pick the people in your cabinet?

I plan to pick people who are like-minded and share my vision. When it comes to handing out projects, I plan to actively supervise each one to make sure they are really going along.

There are people who ask for money in exchange for votes. Have you encountered such people?

No, the response I normally get is people saying that they have voted for people who didn’t do what they said they would do and I would tell them I don’t have money, and that they should join me to repair Delta State. If you have to collect money to vote, the person you voted in can think he has bought you off. If you sell your vote, you sell your right. Join me to repair the damage. Vote for me. When I get into the office, the money allocated to Delta State, I will use it to repair the state. We have to come together for this to happen. The roads and school I want to do, we have to do it together because if all goes well, we will all enjoy it and if it doesn’t, we all will suffer so if you’re given work to do, do it well. I want to empower the people of Delta State and put smiles on their faces. Men have come and gone and done nothing. It is the turn of a woman now.

So you said you are a businesswoman, how long have you run your business?

If you come to Warri, ask anyone where Liz Kitchen is. Through my business, I have been to many weddings where I give life and business advice to people ( who I call my children now).

What are your final words of advice to Nigerians and the people of Delta State as we approach the election season?

This goes out to everyone, especially the men who on election day would go and drink beer. In this time know that it is one man, one vote, and your vote counts. I want everyone to go out on election day and vote! Please don’t sell your vote. If you sell your vote, you will suffer for it. Vote for the person you think will do good. And let’s address the youth so they are not violent during the election period. Let everyone go, vote and leave in peace. That’s my advice.





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