By IFEANYI OLANNYE
ASABA- The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday inaugurated the Maryam Babangida Leisure Park, Asaba and other projects executed by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Speaking at the event, Atiku commended Okowa for contributing to the growth and development of tourism in the country.
He said that only the PDP government could partner the creative industry to harness the huge potentials in the sector.
He, therefore, urged stakeholders in the industry to support the party in the upcoming General Elections.
He said: “What makes this event special is the naming of this place after Mrs. Maryam Babangida.
“This is because she was a lady who introduced very historic programmes in the lives of our women, particularly, rural women.
“For those who are not old enough to remember, she was the founder and initiator of Better Life For Rural Women.”
Atiku paid special tribute to her “for that contribution”, adding that women empowerment had been on the decline since her death.
He said that he had a meeting with the leadership of the creative industry in Lagos about two months ago.
“It was a very extensive meeting and I reminded them that it was the last PDP government that made available N100 billion to be accessed by the creative industry.
“I am not sure now that the money had been accessed by the industry since the PDP left government.”
Atiku, therefore, urged the industry stakeholders to have a partnership that believed in the future and contributions of the industry to the economy in order to make progress.
“I will like to inform the leadership and members of the industry that your best partner in the development and advancement of the industry is a PDP-led government.
“So, let me call on you again and your members to make sure that you play active role in this opportunity that would be available to Nigerians next month, to ensure the return of the PDP to power.
“I want to pledge that if you elect PDP in the next election, we will go with you, so that you can access the N100 billion for the promotion of the creative industry.
“I congratulate the government and people of Delta for being pacesetters in the development of the creative industry,” Atiku said.
Earlier, Okowa said that naming the park after late Babangida was to recognise her contributions to Asaba community and larger society.
Okowa lauded the creative industry for its inputs leading to the construction of a Film Village alongside the Leisure Park and Zoo.
He said that Delta had become the next tourism destination in the country.
“We decided to name the park after our great mother because of the impact she made on humanity.
“And I am glad that her son, Mohammed, is here today to witness the inauguration of the facility,” the governor said.
In a remark, Mohammed commended the state government for the honour done to his mother.
He said that her legacies would continue to live long after her demise.
Also, some of the industry stakeholders, including Zeb Ejiro, Tony Akposheri, Ali Baba and Francis Agoda, amongst others thanked the governor for giving them an edifice for their profession.
Other projects inaugurated by the former Vice President were the Koka Flyover and Interchange on the Asaba-Benin Expressway, Model Technical College, Asaba, Mother and Child Specialist Hospital and Advanced Diagnostics Centre, Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the park has a zoo and other facilities for recreation. (NAN)