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Tragedy hits Delta state as Gov Okowa collapses

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When Ifeanyi Okowa was inaugurated in May, 2015 as the governor of oil-rich Delta State, he was saddled with the responsibility of effectively utilising the states resources.

Epic Drama and Controversy has fallen on Delta State since Governor Ifeanyi Okowa emerged the Governor of the State.

While Speaking to Deltans in the state city, They told The Platform News Correspondent that Ifeanyi Okowa as collapsed the state value and made Asaba one of the most unattractive state capital in Nigeria.

According to Asaba Residents, There is sadness and Bitterness in Delta state because Governor Okowa doesn’t care about the welfare of the people he is ruling.

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THE PLATFORM NEWS also reviewed the performance of Governor Okowa since he resumed office and we discovered that most of his election campaign promises are yet to be achieved.

Insecurity, Pipeline vandalism and militancy in the creeks have continued to plague the state while Communal Clashes seems to be the only amazing thing happening in Delta state.

Delta state has been hijacked by a cabal of political contractors and sundry jobbers, who have captured and taken the state hostage, even as the governor appears clueless and confused on the way forward in addressing the life and death challenges facing the people of Delta state. Honestly speaking, Okowa is carrying about as if he sought to win power first and then plan what to do with it after; he is just so unprepared for office, that not a few Deltans are having voter’s remorse. It is axiomatic that Okowa has set himself to fail. This is an embarrassing let down by a man to whom much has been given; and from whom much is expected.

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Since the creation of Delta state in 1991, the people have suffered under successive corruption-ridden, intrigue-filled, undisciplined and rapacious governments; the poster child of which was James Ibori, who was convicted of corruption and money-laundering and currently serving jail time in Britain. The people had waited to see a change for the better and Okowa’s election held out that promise and hope that a new Delta State was possible. So far, that hope and expectation has turned out to be a luxurious desire as Okowa has put on display, the most embarrassing verdict on his poor leadership credentials, proving to be worse than even his predecessors. Okowa seems addicted to primordial sentiments and prebendal instincts. Granted that before him, the Anioma people of Delta North and the Ijaw have never occupied the exalted office, that in itself; should not justify the abusive patronage and clientelism which Okowa has elevated to instruments of statecraft and governance.

It is incredulous, that Okowa, who has elevated the phrase “Delta state is broke” to a personal motto found nothing wrong awarding an airport renovation contract worth N5 billion to ULO Construction Company owned by one of his side-kicks, Uche Okpunor. With practically no experience in the aviation sector, Okpunor sold the contract to a Chinese firm for N500 million and pocketed the difference as commission. The Chinese outfit has abandoned the project and Okpunor defended his action by claiming he received only half of the N5 billion. The balance N2.5 billion reportedly went to underwrite the cost of securing Okowa’s victory at the election appeals tribunal. It is worth noting that the same ULO company received hundreds of millions of naira to renovate the presidential lodge but did a shoddy job, resulting in a fire; only to be rewarded with another contract to renovate the damaged building.

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In another paid-to-play scam, Okowa approved a three-year N360 million contract for Daily Independent Newspaper for coverage of activities of the Delta state government. The funds were disbursed by the Managing Director of the Delta State Oil Area Producing Communities (DESOPADEC), William Makinde, an Ibori proxy, who has taken financial recklessness to a level, never before seen in Delta state. If Makinde has seen anything wrong with combining public office with incurable money-mindedness and lust for material aggrandizement, his actions are yet to reflect it. Here is a man who could not pay workers their salaries for the month of December 2015, but spent N50 million in a lavish end-of-year party at the Brown Hill event center. Makinde claims to have paid N5 million to rent the venue, whereas the standard rent was N1 million. Makinde runs DESOPADEC as his private kitchen.

Under Okowa, the developmental aspirations of Delta state have taken a back seat, and everything he does is to empower and fill the pockets of his Ika kinsmen to the exclusion of people from the central and south areas. He has missed no opportunity to reward his political sinecures.

It is indeed pathetic that a man who was given the chieftaincy title of Ekwueme of Ika (meaning a man who does what he says) would turn out to be such a terrible disappointment, yet arrogant and disdainful to the electorate. Because leadership is key to change the present sad state of things in Delta state, the governor must commit himself to, and be seen to so do, a life of rectitude and an integrity-driven government. The only effective leadership is by example and Okowa as the pinnacle of state authority and power, must earn and claim without an iota of doubt, the moral high ground from which to exercise leadership.

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The Platform News also discovered that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has set up a team to protest against the Past Governor of Delta State, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and 3,000 T-shirts have been printed abroad with banners designed.

We had an interview with Hon Kingsley Amafibe from Delta State and he disclosed that the people of Ika community  & the entire deltans voted Okowa because they thought he will bring development to the state but since he resumed office till date, hardship and bitterness has fallen on the people of Delta state.

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