A political pressure group with the name, Coalition of State Chairmen of Registered Political Parties in Delta State said that after two years in office, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led government has succeeded in spreading misery instead of prosperity for all Deltans which he promised during his campaign.
The group noted that on 29th May, 2015 Deltans were excited and sincerely looked forward to a new phase of life that will be distant from the stagnation and hopelessness of the past PDP administration as was encapsulated in a “SMART Agenda.
In a statement signed by Chief Efe Tobor, Chairman; Comrade Emeka Bidokwu, Pub Secretary; Prince Jude Eze, Secretary and Fred Akpewe, leader; they explained that two years down the line Deltans are disappointed as the Okowa’s government is a sham.
“The so-called “SMART agenda” has turned out to be a dumb agenda; and the promised prosperity is nowhere to be found.
“Clearly Delta State has once again been taken for a ride as there is no strategic plan or actions to move the state forward.
They also described 2017 budget of Delta State as a document of deceit, because the receipts, expenditures and balances of Delta State account are shrouded in such extreme secrecy that it has made Gov. Okowa administration to stand out as the “most unaccountable” in the history of the state.
“Worse still, he has succeeded in taking over the roles and responsibilities of Delta State House of Assembly and his State Commissioners, as he awards nearly all contracts by himself from Government House, and gets the Delta State Tenders Board to rubber-stamp them.”
The group also accuses Okowa’s government as been the most ethnically-biased government considering the dominance of his kinsmen in his government.
The group stated further that while less-endowed states like Anambra, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Jigawa and Cross-River have developed an economic model that is geared towards putting their people to work and achieving self-sufficiency in food production, and even for export, Okowa have nothing in the offing.
The group added also that; “with vast arable land, Dr. Okowa is unable to utilize the enormous amount of money so far received by his administration to create an enabling environment for enterprise to thrive in the state. Deltans have become so impoverished and are crying out loud that the social contract between the government and the people is totally misplaced.
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Okowa, Mr. Charles Aniagwu reacting to the Group’s attack on the governor, described the group as faceless.
Aniagwu stated: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication by a body that calls itself the Coalition of Registered Political Parties in Delta State in which they attacked the laudable programmes and the modest achievements of the Okowa led administration.
“Ordinarily, we don’t respond to faceless groups neither do we succumb to the antics of such groups whose sole aim is to distract us from staying focused on the objectives and goals we have set for ourselves as a government.
“The reason we have elected to give this particular publication a thought is because the authors are claiming to represent Registered Political Parties in the state and have also tended to discredit our modest achievements in the last two years.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Town Hall meetings have been adjudged by well meaning Deltans as laudable as it has afforded them the opportunity to Interface with the government just as it has also afforded the Governor the opportunity to have first hand information on a number of issues.
The group while claiming that development activities is at a stand still in Delta, went ahead to contradict itself by alleging that ongoing contracts were awarded without due respect to transparency. Again, that is not the true position as contracts are awarded with strict adherence to due process, transparency, accountability and in accordance with laid down laws of the state with strict observance of international best practices.
For the avoidance of doubt, the state government has awarded contracts for 98 roads covering 612km out of which 45 spanning more than 245km have been completed and commissioned. This is in addition to line drains covering over 300km. It is also on record that the administration’s policy on job creation is fully on course and has led to the emergence of hundreds of young entrepreneurs both in the agricultural and skill acquisition sectors with attendant multiplier effects.
Needn’t we also stress that a reasonable number of primary and secondary schools have been renovated and now wearing a new look. Such uplift of facilities in the educational sector have also been complimented with the revamping of technical schools in the state which were hitherto in a deplorable condition.
“It is common knowledge that the State Government has severally assisted the Local governments to meet up with their salary obligations despite the fact that the local government is an independent tier of government.
“We can also confidently say that DESOPADEC was restructured via an Act of the State House of Assembly and most Deltans can attest to the fact that the restructuring has saved the Commission from being bugged down by excessive boardroom politics, just as the Commission have despite the recession in the economy been able to address some developmental needs of oil bearing communities.
“The Okowa led administration has continued to take steps to reposition our urban and commercial centres especially the state capital, Asaba which in the last two years witnessed the construction of roads and drains. The reconstruction and upgrade of roads in Warri, the state commercial nerve centre is also ongoing. The Effurun to Enerhen Junction dualization is a an example of such efforts by the government.”