As the yearning for infrastructural development takes the centre stage among Deltans, the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has rebuked two of his political appointees over what could be described as ‘sabotage’ of government efforts.
The governor rebuked the Director-General (DG) of Asaba Capital Territory Development Authority who was a former gubernatorial aspirant in the 2015 governorship election, Chief Clement Ofuani, for not getting approval from his office before embarking on the development of the Cable-Point Area of Asaba.
According to the governor: “When the state government built the road, it was not for the purpose of throwing away the poor in that place, that was not the intention. And there was no approval gotten from my office on any development in that place.”
Hear him again: “Somebody was just talking with the Capital Territory as I was told about the need to develop the place and I think that the Capital Territory DG also asked him to go and have some discussions with the people but apparently he went on to start taking actions without approvals and I immediately called the Capital Territory and I said no I am not aware of this, neither have we taken any discussions on it.”
He insisted that if the people are willing to receive a relocation money to go somewhere else, it will be the will of the people but “I am not going to go out there because now we have a good road in the place but to displace those persons who are currently there because of the fact that they are poor, I will not do that and I have not instructed anybody to do that. I will stand on the side of the poor,” he declared.
Also, Okowa took a swipe at the commissioner of works, Chief James Augoye, and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry for allowing the contractor handling the sector “A” of the Ughelli-Asaba road in the Ozoro area, Isoko north local government council of the state.
The governor, who was responding to questions from journalists on Wednesday during the quarterly media interaction in government house, said: “I share the same complain with you. The commissioner for works is aware that I have had to call him even yesterday morning; I had to take a meeting with him and the permanent secretary where I expressed my dissatisfaction about the work programme of that contractor.
“Because I feel very embarrassed that he took a long stretch road and had to start doing laterite overlay when he knew that we are already in the raining season, obviously a wrong step and I made it known to the Permanent Secretary that I was not happy with what was done.
“We can blame the contractor but I hold the ministry responsible for that because they are supposed to supervise and they would have intervened to ensure that that was not done. So, obviously, it is a default on our own side as government that we did not possibly put an eye on it.”