EXPOSED: Gov. Okowa Buys Endorsements For Second Term As Deltans Invade Social Media Over Infrastructural Decay In Delta

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……Delta North Insists On Anioma State Creation, Dumps Second Term Agenda

Facts have emerged on how Delta state Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa is using tax payers money running into several millions of naira in back rolling his endorsements across the state for a continuation of office till 2023.

Series of endorsements of governor Okowa by members of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for a second tenure have in the past weeks enveloped the entire state and the most recent being the one done by members of the party from Delta South Senatorial District comprising Ijaw, Isoko and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities, hosted by the immediate past Governor of the state, Mr. Emmanuel Uduaghan at his Warri home.

Speaking with HardReporters political editor, Saturday at the country home of former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan shortly after the enlarged meeting of Delta South PDP where Okowa was endorsed, a PDP chieftain disclosed that governor Okowa was behind the sponsorship of all endorsements for his second term across the state, adding that “Our governor is aware that party members are not happy with his style of governance coupled with the facts that 2019 is around the corner. And to woo back members, he came up with the idea of this series of endorsements with him back rolling it.”

According to the PDP stalwart, “There is no endorsement, members don’t go home with less than N10, 000 as the case may be. This depends on your ranking in the party. In each of the endorsement, the governor don’t spend less than N50 million and in some cases he spends more than that. This is just to win back the hearts of the people. Okowa’s government is a one sided government which have been hijacked by his Ika kinsmen.

“The truth of the matter is that so many chieftains of the party are tired of Okowa’s administration but they have decided to remain in the party so that they could smoothly work against his second tenure agenda. You can not fight from outside but when you remain inside you have big advantage. I can authoritatively tell you that all is not well with Delta state PDP. Before now, Okowa has continually cried that no funds, no funds, and the people are asking where are all this millions of naira he is spending now coming from?.” the party leader asked.

In a telephone interview with HardReporters, a founding member of PDP in the state who pleaded for anonymity confided that, “Okowa can not be trusted for anything. If his first tenure is like this, we are experiencing reckless abandonment of people that worked for his victory in 2015. Pensioners and workers are crying and dying of hunger because of his refusal to pay them their entitlements. We see his government already hijacked by his Ika kinsmen and many other wrong things going. Now if you bring in this same man for second tenure everybody will die because he knows its his last tenure and will not beg for your support again and will tell everybody to go to hell and burn to ashes.”

Also speaking in a telephone interview with HardReporters, a former PDP youth leader in the state who pleaded that his name should not be mentioned lambasted governor Okowa’s administration over failure to make the party proud saying that sponsorship of endorsements will not help his second term agenda.

“PDP still remain my party and I will die with PDP but lets say the facts, what projects can Okowa boast of across the state apart from facebook appointments to every dick and harry. Former governor James Ibori has uncountable landmark projects across the state so also the immediate past governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, so what landmark projects can Okowa boast of in two years. Okowa is a monumental failure. Buying of endorsements will not save Okowa if the party do the mistake of feeding Okowa as its sole candidate, bet me the party will fail even with all the ongoing endorsements.

“Governor Okowa claimed to have empower thousands of Delta youths through its Agriculture and Entrepreneurship programme (YAGEP), Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), but I can expressly inform you that that programme is nothing but big scam. It is a big scam and so many of us know how its been used to loot the state treasury and at the appropriate time everything shall be exposed for Deltans to see. This is same programme former governors, Ibori and Uduaghan did with success stories for people to see with their eyes.” former PDP youth leader said.

Irked by the non payment of pensioners and workers entitlements and poor performance of governor Okowa, Deltans took to the social media with pictures depicting infrastructural decay across the state.

HardReporters ICT correspondent who monitored the social media, saw #FixDelta trending on Twitter.

Some of the tweets depicting state of bad roads, schools and health care facilities among others in the state with pictures are here presented below:

@DonTheMerchant “Honestly, Delta State is in a sorry state. We are trending the hashtag #FixDeltaState now Tomorrow, Okowa ‘ll pay for #SeeNewDelta to trend”.

@wede_michaels tweeted; “Ifeanyi okowa is working so hard to be more useless, clueless and very unpopular than Emmanuel Uduaghan..smh for delta state 😞😞” 

@MatthewOttah tweeted; “Before they #FixDeltaState they must fix the mindset of all Delta PDP politicians. Their greed & selfishness has run Delta state aground”

@chinakissme tweeted; “They deliberately killed almost every sector of Delta State economy. Their time is up. #FixDeltaState”

Commenting on governor Okowa many bought endorsement, Mr. Collins Agwam, a political analyst and public affairs commentator, has this to say:

“In 2014, Kayode Fayemi who was then governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Ekiti state when he sort to be reelected believed that having the elites by his side was a sure way to return to government house. He was endorsed by the APC in the state and neglected the people in the streets but never knew the greater voting power lies in the street. At the end, what happened? He failed woefully to his major contender in the PDP who is present governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose.

“We also saw what happened last year, 2016 in Kogi state where the then governor Idris Wada was abysmally swept out of office despite his endorsement by leaders of his political party in the state. Need I remind you of the several endorsements that former President Jonathan enjoined from leaders of his party, the PDP? He was endorsed by the elites but the greater voting power of the commoners spoke at the end of the day.

“In Delta state, it is believed that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is loved by the people that was why he won the 2015 governorship election in a landslide. However, it is pertinent for Governor Okowa to re-assess his popularity with the people as he clocks two years in office. Last month, former governor James Ibori endorsed him and declared that nobody from Urhobo tribe is permitted to contest with him in 2019. Okowa is been endorsed from left right and center and just Saturday here, leaders of the Delta South Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan came together and endorsed the governor as their sole candidate for 2019.

“But the questions to ask are; Did the endorsement reflect the wishes of workers in the state? Did it reflect the wish of the common man on the street? Did it reflect the wishes of indigenes and non-indigenes alike resident in the state? These and many more are questions to ask following the governor’s endorsement. Populism is sweeping across the globe as it happened with Brexit, Trump and other similar events, Delta state is no exception.”

Meanwhile, one of the leaders of Anioma who visited ex-convicted former Delta state governor, Mr. James Ibori last two weeks at Oghara, headquarters of Ethiope West local government area of the state told HardReporters that the Anioma people still insist on the creation of Anioma state, saying “Our problem now is the creation of Anioma state not endorsement of any Anioma son for a second tenure as governor. What we are talking about now is Anioma creation not any endorsement for a second term in office.

HardReporters could recalled that the second term bid of governor Ifeanyi Okowa was last two weeks dumped by the people of Anioma, Delta North Senatorial District when delegates from the district paid a courtesy visit on ex-convict former governor of Delta state, Mr. James Ibori at Oghara, begging him to use all his political contacts to assist them to realise their dream of having Anioma state.

The delegation under the umbrella of Izu-Anioma, led by Okowa’s monarch, the Obi of Owa, Emmanuel Efeizemor had told Ibori how they preferred the creation of Anioma state to endorsements of their son for a second term come 2019, added that their most current pressing need now was nothing more than the creation of Anioma state.

Presenting a speech on behalf of the delegation, a former Federal Permanent Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Okafor had told Ibori that the Anioma people were not interested in the governorship position, saying all they wanted at this point was to see their own state created from the present Delta State.

Stunned by the speech, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah who was also in the entourage and the Special Adviser to Okowa and former state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Edwin Uzoh, walked out of the meeting with long faces and as that was not enough, Mr. Ukah went extra miles and confiscated the video clip of the camera man filming the meeting as well as frustrating all attempts by Journalists to get a copy of the delivered speech.

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