Former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has warned that the use of blackmailers by the seating governor of the state, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa could lead to very serious security challenges if not tamed.
The former governor who spoke Tuesday 21st during the Press Day of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council with the theme: “Good Governance, Social Media and Journalists” held in Labour House, Asaba.
This is coming on the heels of one Ofejiro Oliver, owner of Secretreporters being sponsored by Okowa to publish unfounded stories and organize protest against Uduaghan.
Speaking for the first time since he left office, Uduaghan said, “Once a wrong information goes into the social media, it is very difficult to retrieve it. Even when you are able to retrieve it and you are able to say you want to correct it, sometimes not more than 10 percent of people who read the first wrong message will agree with the corrected message. Ninety percent will still be going on with the wrong message”.
He recall that his successor went to the state House of Assembly to present the financial stance of the state where Okowa imformed the House of over N700 billion debt profile.
“I am sure all of you know that by the time I left, the governor went to the house of assembly to make a presentation and of course what was the headlines in the next minutes? Uduaghan has left N700 billion debt in Delta State”.
He said even when the state government tried to make corrections on the initial amount, the wrongly carried message was still in trending.
“Unfortunately, the petitions that are being written by these whistle blowers has no basis. Blackmailing has become a big profession especially in our state in Delta, people are now eating, building houses and buying cars with it and everybody is becoming a victim of blackmail which is very unfortunate”.
The former governor who almost went off guard said the state should help to reduce the benefits blackmailers get, “let me appeal to the state government that sometimes the activities of blackmailers could lead to very serious security challenges. I just want to make that appeal. The activities of blackmailers can lead to very serious security challenges”, he reiterated.
According to him, “if the state government decides and allow blackmailers to have a free day, then the result might not be good for the state. I am a man of peace, I have managed this state for eight years and I ensured that there was peace in Delta State and I will not be part of anything that will bring insecurity to Delta State”.
He promised that if there was any action that would bring insecurity to the state, he would also say to the state government, revealing that he had discussed with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Festus Ovie Agas, lamenting that he has not seen the result of the advice hence he brought it to the public domain.
It would be recall that Governor Okowa and his Principal Secretary, Hilary Ibegbulam, who doubles as his alleged ‘Killer Squad Leader’, have concluded plans to sponsor a mass protest against the immediate past governor of the state, Dr Uduaghan, the past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay and former government officials who served under Uduaghan’s administration ahead of the 2019 general elections.