National human rights group grades Okowa on road construction, you will be surprised to see the score

AUSTIN OMOS OYIBODE, EDITOR
Prince Kehinde Taiga, Delta state chairman of Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, has commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the road constructions across the state.

Specifically, Prince Taiga said since 1999 till date, no government had worked on the Isoko road but the administration of Governor Okowa, in his first term, took the bull by the horn and brought life to the road between Isoko and Asaba.

“I want to appreciate the governor for some things he has done in the previous administration. In terms of road, I so much appreciate the road from Isoko to Asaba. Since 1999, that road has been awarded severally.

“No contractor has ever done it to where it is now. And the road has been put in a good shape where vehicles can drive. Okowa has actually tried in road matters. With the assessment we have made, he has done well in terms of road,” Prince Taiga told Emeraldng.com in an interview in Warri.

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Taiga added that former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan who was brought up in Warri before he became governor could not do any good road in Warri, insisting that Okowa has been able to fix all the bad roads in the oil city.

When asked to comment on the quality of roads despite the quantity spread across the state, the human rights advocate said Okowa should not only be blamed for poor standard of roads but contractors, community leaders and the monitoring team of engineers who give clean bill of health indicating that the project has been done and completed.

He said: “The problem is not entirely with the governor, it is also from the contractors. Governor will only give approval, there are different people that monitor the contracts but at the end of the day, the contract will not be properly executed. The problem is not just from the governor alone. It is also from the contractor and the monitoring agencies.”

However, Taiga also pointed accusing finger at the governor, noting that the issue of kickback to both the governor, officials of the ministry of works who constitute the supervising engineers and those charged with funds disbursement are all culprits in the poor standard of roads in the state.

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He said: “I told the governor one day, give me the power to monitor these contracts, don’t pay me, you will see that the jobs will be well done. I will drive round, if they do not do their jobs, I will sue them. But the governor will not do that because he knows that he will also have a kickback.

“A contract of N50million was awarded to a contractor and the kickback is N20m, how do you expect that contractor to do a good job. He cannot. They should stop the collection of kickbacks. The governor should stop the kickbacks.

“He is part and parcel of the kickbacks. He has his own kickbacks. There is no contract that will be awarded to any person as far as this state is concerned that there is no kickback. There is always a kickback even to the executives of community and this is the major reason why projects are not executed to specification because the money has been shared.”

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