Perturbed by the dilapidated infrastructures and the protracted economic challenges faced by Deltans, the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the state, Ambassador Oke Idawene, has bemoans the capability of the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in transforming the state.
He noted that it was regrettable that after he has spent a year and four months in office, there are no meaningful projects to show.
According to Idawene, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, if one take a comparative analysis of states like Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Anambra and Rivers with that of Delta, it would be concluded that there is no governor in Delta State.
The reason is not far-fetched, he pointed noting that; “Okowa has an ulterior motive, when he immediately assumed office. The first thing he did was to increase the contract approval limit which Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan and James Ibori pegged at N50 million. Every project worth more than N50 million was usually debated by the State Executive Council (SEC) during Ibori and Uduaghan time but when Okowa came, he increased his approval limit to N250 million”.
He continued: “The question now is how many projects are above N250 million in Delta State? In this case, what he does is that he approves the jobs in his bedroom to whoever he wishes to award it to. You can take a look at the Inter Bau Roundabout, at Asaba, I understand that the project was given to an Agbor man for N250 million, an unknown contractor in the state. That is an aberration”, he lamented.
He said the governor renovated the newly constructed Government House with N1.2 billion, a project Uduaghan completed three months before he left office, maintaining that it was wrong to renovate a Government House that his predecessor only used for three months.
Idawane who is also the Chairman of Registered Political Parties South-South zone, carpeted the governor for his calculated attempt to destroy the civil service structure in the state by deliberately denying them their salaries and other entitlements.
He wondered why the civil servants cooperative contribution are being held by the state governor even when some workers have not received their salaries for months.
“The civil servants contributed the money, it belongs to them. Okowa is running Delta not as an elected governor but as a monarch. The IGR of the state is shrouded in secrecy. Nobody knows how much is generated in the state. Anytime he builds one kilometre road, he commissions it, is he not seeing what his colleagues are doing?” the opposition leader queried.
Reacting on the road projects governor Okowa has commissioned, the SDP Chairman said; “Roads he has commissioned are insignificant roads, they are too small and too petty to show as an achievement. Look at Ben Ayade in Cross River State, he commissioned the biggest garment factory in Africa a few days ago. Delta is richer than Cross Rivers State. Look at Wike of Rivers, look at Obiano of Anambra State, look at Akwa Ibom, the roads you are talking about are three kilometres and one kilometre roads, they are nothing to show compared to the billions of naira he has received.”
He however, urged the people of Delta North to shop for a credible candidate that can take over the mantle of leadership of the state in 2019 general election, declaring that there is no tenure for Okowa in 2019.
“Anioma will have to look for another person that will represent them because Okowa has failed Deltans. We made sure that he won the election in 2015. We blocked candidates from our party to make sure he won. Today, he is the governor but he is running the state like a monarch. We will reject him in 2019”, he added.
His words; “Delta Central and South have ruled Delta State for eight years each, we agreed that it should be the turn of Delta North. I knew that if a stronger candidate had come through SDP, he will be on the neck of Okowa. We knew Okowa has been in government since 1999, and we felt he has experience and with his SMART agenda, we felt he will deliver Deltans but right now, Deltans are in abject poverty. Deltans are weeping, gnashing their teeth under Okowa. I was part of that arrangement to make sure that it is the turn of the Anioma nation to produce the governor and I apologise to Deltans for supporting him in 2015.