Delta State-born industrialist and frontline member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kenneth Gbagi, has promised better days for Deltans if elected governor of the state in the 20 23 gubernatorial election.
Gbagi made the promise on Wednesday while briefing journalists at the temporary secretariat of the Delta State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Asaba.
He described the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as an astute administrator who is laying a solid foundation for his successor to build upon. He pledged that as an industrialist, he would consolidate on the gains of the Okowa administration if elected.
Gbagi noted that detractors were bent on tarnishing his image ahead of 2023 gubernatorial election, challenging journalists in the state and beyond to scrutinize him to ascertain whether there were offences and damaging reports about him as a one-time education minister or his relationship with his employees as an industrialist and his community in the Urhoboland.
He said he was desirous of curbing unemployment and youth restiveness and, if elected governor, he would establish new industries and rehabilitate ailing ones in the 25 local government areas of the state.
Gbagi urged journalists to take their onerous task as watchdogs of the society beyond the mundane. He said there was the need to beam the searchlight on any person aspiring to lead the people and that it was not enough to analyse the suitability of political office holders from hearsay devoid of investigative facts.
He said all the negative insinuations by his detractors against his person and his governorship aspiration had contributed immensely in boosting his image, adding that such unnecessary mudslinging had become known to the electorates in the state.
Responding, Michael Ikeogwu, chairman of the NUJ, Delta State Council, thanked Gbagi for coming to brief the press, saying journalists in the state were not given to rumour-mongering.
Ikeogwu said that governance should be anchored on fulfilment of the aspirations of the people. He enjoined journalists in the state to deeply verify their reports before making such public, describing it as the height of unethical journalistic practice for any journalist to report any story from a one sided investigation of issues.
The Delta NUJ chairman said the NUJ in the state would no longer condone irresponsive governance, adding that there was the need for Governor Okowa’s successor to surpass his infrastructural and human capital development.