Former Governor of Delta State, Mr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has warned
that the use of blackmailers by the seating governor of the state, Mr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa could lead to very serious security challenges if not tamed. Mr. Uduaghan who spoke Tuesday during the Press Week celebration of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council with the theme: “Good Governance, Social Media and Journalists” held at the Labour house, Asaba.
This is coming on the heels of proposed protest and series of attacks and blackmails against the person of the former governor and persons who served under his administration in the social media by some persons allegedly being sponsored by governor Okowa.
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 recalled that his successor went to the state House of Assembly to present the financial status of the state and informed the House of over N700 billion debt profile adding that “I am sure all of you know that immediately I left office, 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”.
Uduaghan noted that even when the state government tried to make corrections on the initial amount, the wrongly carried message was still trending. “Unfortunately, the petitions that are being written by these whistle blowers have no basis. Blackmailing has become a big profession especially in our state, 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, saying that “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 adding that “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”. Uduaghan stated.
Uduaghan however promised that if there was any action threatening the state security he would draw the attention of the state government, revealing that he had discussed with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Festus Ovie Agas over the issue of the blackmailers and the need to caution those behind the act but till date he has not seen the result of the advice hence he brought it to the public domain.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa and his Principal Secretary, Hilary Ibegbulem, have been fingered as those sponsoring the next week mass protest against the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Uduaghan, the past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay and former government
officials who served under Uduaghan’s administration. It was gathered that the mass protest is not unconnected to the 2019 general elections.