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To some people empowerment is just a palliative rhetoric, incline to the  escapist option tilting more to playing to the gallery, as against the more enduring and result oriented alternative of it (empowerment) leveraging the lives of the populace positively.

Unarguably, Rt Hon Victor Ochei Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly conveniently falls into the latter category as exemplified by his numerous empowerment programmes in doled out to his constituents of Aniocha North dating back to 2002, even before steeping on the soap box.

In one of such programmes, artisans numbering over one thousand comprising barbers, hair dressers, welders etc, were provided the requisite tools of their trade, as a means of enhancing the economic sector of the area.

He has demonstrated unalloyed support for education as the only veritable legacy bequeathable to the younger by their older compatriots, which ultimately engenders societal advancement in the various areas of human undertakings.

At various fora he had un apologetically stuck to this belief which according to him, arises from his late father’s conviction that without education, the society stagnates which paints a forlorn picture of the society.

Sometime in September 2010, he gave out sixteen eighteen seater buses to secondary schools, over fifty thousand exercise books, one hundred motorcycles and fifty tricycles to beneficiaries within the Aniocha North locality.

This is undoubtedly a show of commitment to uplifting the society, borne out of an intrinsic desire to ensure societal evolution, using education as the sustaining conveyor belt in realising the set out  objective.

In the sports segment, Rt Hon Ochei has bankrolled the Victor Ochei Soccer Competition for the the seventeen towns in Aniocha North Local Government Area for more than eight years, coupled with  his sponsorship of a National Wheelchair basketball Championship for the second year running, which has transformed the sport to a class of reckoning. 

Just recently at the Pilgrim Baptist Grammar School, Issele- Uku in Aniocha North he once more demonstrated his resolve to continuously apply empowerment as a proper tool of development by doling out a princely twenty five thousand naira each to one thousand and twenty women, totalling twenty-five million, five hundred naira, as well as over forty thousand branded exercise books to public secondary school students in the locality. 

In his speech on the occasion, Rt Hon Victor Ochei ,the Empowerment Parliamentarian Par Excellence submitted that’’ my desire to empower the women folk  engaged in artisan, farming, hairdressing, tailoring and other trades was in fulfilment of the campaign promise I made to the womenfolk while seeking for a return to the House for a third time in 2011’’.

Continuing on the same plane, ‘’the idea behind the empowerment programme for the women was to empower their trades for them to generate more wealth and develop the culture of saving. I am assuring the male folk and the youths to be patient, because your empowerment is on stream and prospective beneficiaries will be notified.’’

A new positive vista was opened on that historic day when he affirmed his resolve to extend the scheme to the remaining 24 Local Government Areas of the state, which elicited not just ovation from the all present but provided a ray of hope to Deltans that in the desert of adversity, there is always an oasis of salvation.

Governor Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan was so enthralled by the prospects of the scheme,  that he gave  marching order to elected and appointed political office holders in the state, to urgently initiate empowerment programmes in their wards and constituencies to complement government’s effort at alleviating the living standard of the people.

In a nutshell, the mustard seed sown on sunny April 4, 2013 day is growing to offer a ray of hope, pointing to an enhanced socio-economic standard in Delta State, owing to the altruistic disposition of Rt Hon (Engr.) Victor Ochei, deservedly tagged, The Empowerment Parliamentarian Par Excellence.

By Nkem Osu is the Acting Chief Press Secretary to The Speaker of the Delta Sate House of Assembly.



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