Gov. Okowa Splashes Delta’s N1.5 Billion Paris Club Refund On PDP Special Non Elective National Convention

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Barely 72 hours after the end of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Special Non Elective National Convention, held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Saturday,  HardReporters can exclusively report that chairman of the convention planning committee and Delta State Governor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okowa, allegedly splashed a whopping sum of N1.5 billion from the state N10 billion Paris Club Refund on the convention.

Outside the chartered Arik airline and Dash 8 Q400 Series BKW/BKX, that conveyed the state delegates and some social media propagandists in the pay roll of the state government from Asaba to Abuja and back to Asaba, governor Okowa, it was reliably learnt lavished chunk of the money on the party’s convention just to curry favour from the national leadership of the party as well as to hold grip of the party in the state especially for the forthcoming general 2019 elections.

Confiding in HardReporters, a senior aide to one of the senators representing Delta state in the red chamber, disclosed that “Governor Okowa lobbied for the convention committee chairman, so as to show the national leadership of the party its financial muscles. My boss and other top politicians from Delta state discussed the governor’s financial commitment to the convention.”

According to the aide, Okowa want to have a say as far as the party is concerned in decision making before, during and after the 2019 general elections. “With vital information at our disposal, a whopping sum of N1.5 billion came from the coffers of Delta state for the convention. With this, the governor has been able to bought over the Makarfi led caretaker committee and the substantive chairman that shall come on board after Makarif’s four months extension.”

In a chat with HardReporters, a former member of the state executive of PDP who pleaded for anonymity, said “Yes, that was the classified information made available to us, revealing that governor Ifeanyi Okowa expended N1.5 billion from the state treasury on the convention and chartering of to and fro flights from Delta to Abuja for party members and non delegates. You know former governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan were good at this when both men were in power. It was in Delta state that a sitting governor spent our billions of naira on the campaigns of former late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2007.

“But Okowa forgot that these men were good and smart at their game. Okowa’s plan is to out-smart the two former governors and totally make them irrelevant before the party especially for the forthcoming 2019 general elections because he’s ready to step on so many powerful toes in the state. Governor Okowa want powers by all means. Delta is a cursed state. If nothing is done to stop Okowa’s second tenure, then Deltans should be prepared to see the real true colour of him.” the former PDP state official said.

Reacting to the way and manner the state governor was going about the convention, a Warri based human rights lawyer, Mr. Omemiroro Maxwell Ogedegbe, expressed fears over how much of the state funds that have gone into the convention.

“Everywhere on the web is Okowa this Okowa that at the PDP convention of the Peoples Deception Party in their bid to put flesh to their rotten carcass. The problem with Okowa is not the wastage of public funds in a recession besieged Delta state like no other but the lack of carriage as a governor. The other day the global space was agog as he was going about selling petrol, now the Governor has gone ahead of others to mobilize our state indigenes, officials and non officials of the party the way a presidential candidate won’t do.

“This time he is inspecting the Eagle Square while Delta begs for inspection owing to the grinding infrastructural decay brought by the PDP naked misrule. Why is Okowa inspecting Eagle square was he the contractor or the awardee of the contract. The Paris fund is wasting again and our people are in austerity. The people are patiently waiting as they know they have the power come 2019 election won’t be won in Abuja #nobody did this to us#.” Ogedegbe lamented.

One of the local government chairmen, approached by HardReporters correspondent in Abuja, who does not want his name mentioned, expressed displeasure, saying “Its unfortunate the whopping amount of money running into hundreds of millions of naira governor Okowa has lavished on the convention.”

The council boss who refused to mention any specific figure said to have been expended by the governor, said “We were reliably informed that the money was gotten from the Paris Club Refund since its like a free money that does not really need explanations. Has anyone taken time to check why the governor’s CPS and the state information commissioner made releases on how the Paris Club Refund was spent.? This was done so that Deltans will not raise any suspension since the governor was made the convention committee chairman.”

The council boss who faulted the sincerity of the press releases, said there are a lot of contradictions on the releases made on the Paris Club Refund by the two state government officials. “Pick the two releases, compare and contrast you will see the discrepancies and contradictions showing that a lot of looting actually taken place. By and large, Okowa led administration is what I called crystal clear failure.” the council chairman noted.

It’s no longer news that for over ten months now, local government council workers in the state have not been paid salaries, while primary school teachers are been owed several months and state of infrastructures remain comatose and billions of naira accrued DESOPADEC could not be accounted for by governor Okowa, in a state that is always referred to as oil rich state.

As at press time, calls and messages sent to the state commissioner for information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, were neither answered nor reverted which has been his usual attitude.

 

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