Battle for the soul of Delta South: Meet the four major contenders jostling to succeed James Manager as senator
With few days to the all important February 25th general elections in Nigeria, the battle for the soul of Delta South Senatorial District has become intense among the key contenders.
For a better insight, Delta South is one of the three Senatorial Districts that made up Delta state. The Senatorial District covers eight local governments which comprise Bomadi, Burutu, Isoko North, Isoko South, Patani, Warri North, Warri South and Warri South West. The headquarters (collation centre) of Delta South is Isoko South Local Government.
Population-wise, the Ijaw ethic nationally controls a commanding respect as they are found in the six out of the eight local government areas.
In the past 20 years, Delta South has been represented by Senator James Manager and he is expected to completes his tenure comes May 29, 2023.
Although there are about eighteen political parties in the country, GbaramatuVoice will be focusing on just four: the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC); the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
As the state therefore races toward the scheduled election date, meet the four major contenders jostling to take over from James Manager.
Read their backgrounds and pedigrees below.
1. Hon. George Timinimi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Party (APGA)
Born on 11th July, 1962 at Ubefan, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. Hon. George U. Timinimi began his educational pursuits at the Local Authority Primary School (now Kumpa Primary School), Ubefan (1971-1973) and Ekpebiwei Primary School, Forcados Terminal (1975-1977). Upon successful completion of his primary school education, he became the pioneer recipient of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) regular Secondary School Scholarship Award for Bright Students in Gbaramatu Kingdom, between 1977-1983.
He attended Burutu Grammar School, Burutu between 1977-1984, Step Forward Secondary Commercial School between 1986-1987 and Erejuwa 2 Grammar School, Ode-Itsekiri, where he obtained his West African Secondary School Certificate (WASSCE) (1988). He proceeded to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port-Harcourt between 1989 –1995 where he bagged a Bachelor of Science Degree (Management Option) in 1995.
Since completing his first degree at Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port-Harcourt, Hon. George U. Timinimi who has a penchant for academics, went ahead to obtain a Masters degree in Communications Management from Delta State University, Abraka in 2008, a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Benin in 2015 and two Masters of Law (LLM) degree from the University of Benin between 2017 and 2018, respectively. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State.
As a politician, Hon. George Timinimi has been a foremost personality in community, State and National politics and has held several elective and non-elective positions therein. Some of these positions are; Chairman, Warri South West Local Government Council, Ogbe-Ijoh (1997-1998). He was a Special Assistant on Community Affairs to the then Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Chief James Onanefe Ibori (2003 – 2005), Chairman, Gbaramatu Community Development Committee (CDC) (Governor’s Office Annex, Warri) (July 6th , 2005 – Dec; 2010), a Member, Delta State Transition Committee that transited to power Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (May 2007) and also a Member of the Sub-Committee on Peace and Security of the Transition Committee; the Chairman, Delta State Waterways Security Committee (May 31 st , 2007 – November 2010), a Member, State Executive Council, Government of Delta State and Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources & Development, Delta State (August 2007- September 2009) and Member, Federal Government of Nigeria Committee on Peace and Conflict Resolution of the Niger Delta (July 2007 – 2009).
He also served as the Director-General of the Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru Campaign Organization Delta State Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections), and was formerly leader of all Ijaws of the APC in the Ijaw Local Government Areas in Delta State.
2. Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama (Retd), the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP)
Commodore Omatseye Oritseweyinimi Nesiama was born in Sapele, Delta State. He undertook his early education in Delta State attending the prestigious Government College Ughelli. He began his military career at the Nigerian Naval College, Onne, as a member of the 5th Regular Combatant Course in June, 1984.
In furtherance of his military career, Commodore Nesiama attended several military courses, initially sub-specializing in Intelligence Statecraft, before qualifying as an Above Water Warfare (AWW)– Anti Air and Anti Surface Specialist. He graduated as first in overall order of merit and second in overall order of merit at his Junior and Senior Staff Courses respectively, earning major awards in his time at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji—Kaduna State.
He graduated as a Counter-Terrorism Fellow from the George C Marshall Institute for International and Security Studies, Germany in 2007. To cap his military education, he attended the prestigious PLA National Defence University, Beijing, China where he graduated with distinction in Defence and Strategic Studies in 2012.
3. Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC)
Joel is a Manager with 27 years of positive work experience in professional practice, in business and in public service. He holds an extensive knowledge of all current economic, social and regulatory issues.
He was State Coordinator, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), from February 2016 – July 2018, for Delta, Edo and Rivers State and coordinated all the offices of Federal Inland Revenue Services in Delta, Edo and River State for improved Revenue collection, productivity and efficient service delivery.
Joel was also a onetime Executive Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, from July 2009 – September 2015.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the board, he was responsible for formulating Strategies and policies to increase the internally Generated Revenue of the Delta State Government of Nigeria. Between October 2007 to May 2008, he functioned as Executive Chairman Executive Chairman, Isoko South Local Government Council.
In private practice, Joel functioned as Group Chairman, Elomaz Holdings Elomaz Holdings, from April 1999 – Jul 2007. Principal and Owner,JOEL-ONOWAKPO & CO #Chartered Accountants. April 1997 – Jul 2007.
He attended and was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executive Fellows Program, 4/2022, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Executive Education.
4. Evang. Michael Diden aka Ejele, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Hon. Michael Diden aka Ejele, is a the current Chairman of the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC). He was also a Member of the Delta state House of Assembly (DTHA), where he headed the House Committee on Security. He is an Evangelist and the General Overseer of Mega Praise Church of Christ, Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area, Delta state, where he (Evang. Michael Diden, AKA Ejele.
During the Delta South Senatorial primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held in the last quarter of 2022, at Oleh, Isoko Local Government Area of Delta state, Diden emerged the party’s senatorial candidate by polling 176 votes out of 272 votes cast by delegates to defeat other aspirants.
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