The Executives of Student Union Governments (SUG) of tertiary institutions in Delta State have thrown their weight behind the call on former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, to contest the 2023 governorship elections in the state.
The SUG executives are from Delta State University, Abraka; Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun; Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku; Delta Polytechnic, Ozoro; Delta Polytechnic, Otefe, Oghara, and College of Education, Agbor.
The students, who endorsed Gbagi during a visit to his country home, Oginibo, in Ughelli South Local Government Area, charged the industrialist and philanthropist on the need to create employment for youths in the state through the revival of moribund industries such as the African Timbre and Ply Wood (AT&P), Asaba Textile Mill, and Delta Glass in Ughelli, amongst others.
SUG President, Delta Polytechnic, Ozoro, Udemude Gabriel, who spoke on behalf of the student leaders, expressed confidence in the ex-Minister’s ability to build on the successes of the Okowa-led administration.
Gabriel described Gbagi as a “great industrialist with the largest employer of labour in Delta State”.
The SUG President of Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE), Eseoghene Choice, advised Gbagi to make job and wealth creation top of his agenda for the transformation of Delta State.
“We know that you will win the governorship election based on your pedigree, but you should concentrate on establishing industries, and creating jobs and wealth for Delta youths,” Choice said.
The students, who also urged the former minister to facilitate the establishment of a Federal Polytechnic in the State, appealed for the continuation of bursary payment to students of Delta origin schooling in tertiary institutions across the country and in diaspora.
In his response, Olorogun Gbagi while noting the students’ concerns, promised to build on the good legacy of Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, by mapping out strategies that will revive moribund industries as well as establish new ones to address the employment needs of Delta youths.
“My utmost priority is the resuscitation of all moribund industries and establishing new ones in Delta State where the youths can be employed,” he said.
The former minister, who was instrumental to the establishment of various universities, polytechnics and colleges of education during the administration of former Goodluck Jonathan, said one of his visions for the State is to ensure that every youth is educated without hindrance.
Gbagi further called on the students not to be swayed by the deceptive antics of money bag politicians when politicking starts warning, “the youths should not mortgage their future because of money”.
He advised the students to continue to support the developmental strides of Governor Okowa and shun any act capable of diverting the attention of the Governor from his excellent works.