By Michael Osuoza
As the 2019 general elections draw closer, the All Progressives Congress, APC and its leaders in Delta state are beginning to show signs of defeat even when the governorship election is still months away. These signs of their impending woeful outing in the election are becoming more apparent as their leaders are becoming more desperate and uncomfortable with the rising profile of the state governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
While we do not begrudge the desire of the APC in Delta state to play the role of an opposition party in the state, we are appalled by their inability to identify well meaning projects of the Okowa led administration that have added value to the standard of living of the people and improved aesthetic value of our urban centres.
What is most disturbing to us is that contrary to the well established principle of well meaning individuals identifying with development, these APC leaders, particularly of Delta North extraction and specifically Dr. Cairo Ojougboh and Victor Ochei, have chosen to be very blind to the many giant strides of the Okowa led administration.
We are aware that these two self-acclaimed latter day saints of the APC, who unfortunately rose to political stardom on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are desperately struggling to outdo each other in their quest to become the number one leader of the party in Delta North.
What is most disturbing is that this supremacy battle and quest to be seen as the apostle of ‘Change’ between these two, tend not to find space in the school of politics of ideas.
In the case of Cairo Ojougboh, he has alleged that no single project has been done by the Okowa led administration in the last three years and obviously we are at sea on how to respond to such, because we don’t even know whether we should refer him to the dualised Cable Point Traffic Light Road in Asaba, the ongoing dualisation of the Old Lagos/Agbor road where his poorly run hotel is located, the dualisation of Sapele-Amukpe Road, the concentric road in Okerenkoko, the Burutu township roads, the Old Oleh-Ozoro Road, Amekpa Afiesere Ofuoma Road and over eighty other roads that have been completed.
Perhaps again, we should even send him to see the over three thousand entrepreneurs that are making waves on account of Governor Okowa’s job creation initiatives in the state.
Indeed, we will not hesitate to help him pay an optician to examine his eyes so that he can see the upgrade of the Asaba International Airport or the many storm drainage projects in Asaba and other flood prone areas in the state.
We believe that with a clear sight it will be easy for him to see the thousands of youths who have left the labour market to become entrepreneurs across the 25 local government areas. Although it is said that: “Eyes are useless when the mind is blind.”
Let us also remind Dr. Cairo Ojougboh of the fact that it is on record that Delta state was the second state in Nigeria to submit the appropriation proposal to the state assembly and also the second to sign the 2018 budget into law. So for him to insinuate that the state government is operating without a budget is to say the least, the height of crass ignorance.
It is obvious that Ojougboh and his co-travellers would wish that Dr Okowa under-performs so that they would have some arguments to latch on, but the disappointment these retrogressive forces have suffered, on account of Governor Okowa’s giant strides, have triggered their frustration hence they continue to resort to blackmail and propaganda that lack any iota of truth.
Dr Cairo Ojougboh in displaying his ignorance about government and governance processes accused the Okowa led administration of awarding the new state secretariat complex to a company that was incorporated in 2014. We challenge Cairo Ojougboh to show us any part of the Nigerian law that stipulates that a company must possess the age of Methuselah to qualify for a job. In any case we are not surprised because it takes a sound mind to recognize the place of competence in the award of contracts.
We also read the laughable insinuation that over $18million dollars have been wired offshore by the company on behalf of the governor. Again that allegation qualifies for the joke of the century. $18 million dollars amounts to over N6bn at the prevailing exchange rate. We would like Cairo Ojougboh to tell us what percentage of the contract that amount represents and how it was wired offshore and how anybody could contemplate that kind of abnormality.
It is rather unfortunate that given the dwindling fortunes of Cairo Ojougboh, who has virtually spent a lot of money in his failed election bids and other failed political office seeking projects, he has not embraced the whistle blower opportunity introduced by his new political party in this season of whistle blowing so he can actually benefit and make some good money for himself with the 5% finders fee, since he has all these mind blowing information about multi-million dollar frauds in the Okowa administration, instead of calling a press conference or even giving misleading interviews to pressmen and quoting unsubstantiated information at every opportunity. Imagine how rich he would have become by now, with even considerable funds to pump into his already doomed governorship ambition in 2019.
Finally for Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, it is worthy of note to remind him and also place categorically on record that the Delta state government is among the very few states that are not owing workers under the employment of the state. So for Ojougboh to allege that salaries are not being paid and we are busy building a secretariat for workers clearly shows another of his desires for the State’s Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals to remain perpetually on rented apartments.
As for Victor Ochei, it would simply be pedestrian and tantamount to wasted time and effort to join issues with him by responding to his vituperations as we all know how embittered he has become, following his successive serial losses to Governor Okowa and the PDP in quick succession in his days in our party.
We do not wish to recall his high handedness, arrogance and over arching ambition even when we offered him the olive branch and our hand of fellowships like the proverbial prodigal son, all of which he rebuffed in favour of the political wilderness and waste land he has chosen to hibernate in the APC.
We will also not reveal the magnanimity and humane disposition of our beloved Ekwueme to his fellow Anioma brother even in the face and treachery of Victor Ochei who would prefer to blackmail the state government to continue the funding of his many non- performing contracts, which greatly contributed to the under development of the state in his active years in power.
We will also not dwell too much on the IPP project in Oghara, which became a veritable conduit pipe for him to fleece the state and neither will we recall the powering of street lights in the state project, for which the state government became his veritable cash cow for many years.
We are not surprised that in the APC wilderness where he has unfortunately found himself, he has deliberately resorted to constant media attacks on the Governor Okowa led administration in an attempt to prove that he is stronger than both Cairo Ojougboh and Great Ogboru in his party, even when he is aware that Governor Okowa has performed creditably in virtually all areas, particularly in the cordial synergy and harmonious management of the Executive/Legislative relationship, which is considerably more robust, pragmatic and result oriented than when Ochei held sway in the Delta Assembly.
We wish to, as a parting shot to Cairo Ojougboh, Victor Ochei and indeed the dysfunctional APC structure in Delta state, restate the commitment of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to the overall development of the state and assure them and Deltans in general that he will not be distracted by anti-development and unprogressive forces whose only desire is to gain power for their selfish aims.
God Bless PDP!
God Bless Delta State!
IFEANYI MICHAEL OSUOZA,
STATE PUBLICITY SECRETARY,
PDP, DELTA STATE