HARD TALK: ON Okowa’s Recent Appointments Few Months To End Of Administration, Acts Of A Clueless Government That Does Not Deserve Reelection

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With regard to the recent reports that Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has nominated Mr. Julius Takeme and Mr. Freeman Fregene for appointment as Commissioners and members of the State Executive Council, and also nominated Mr. Mofe Pirah, Olorogun Talib Tebite, and Mr. Ejaife Odebala as members of the Governing Board of the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), and Dr. Samuel Ossai nominated as Executive Director in the board, and then also nominated Mr. Kelly Oghenekevwe as a member of the Board of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue.

We could not help but surely conclude that the Okowa-led Delta State Government is not only clueless and focus-less, but also practically an irresponsible and unaccountable in the management of the State’s resources. How can a Government that has not been able to pay Delta State pensioners and pay its workforce up to date, still be nominating Government appointees few months to the end of its tenure? All that talk and excuse given, that Governor Okowa is exercising the powers conferred on him by the Constitution and the different Sections of the State Laws concerned, is nothing but rubbish.

And it does not justify such actions, especially at this late hour of his administration. It is few months to the end of the Okowa Government in office, yet he is still busy submitting new names of Commissioners. Is that not an irresponsible State Government that has no defined focus other than to seek for avenues and means to remain in office? It is clearly evident that with the end of this Government drawing close, Governor Okowa surely does not deserve to be re-elected.

This also implies that the Delta State legislators surely do not deserve to be re-elected into the Delta State House of Assembly. This is hinged on the fact that the State legislators are there happy approving these uncalled nominations of the Delta State Governor without raising a brow. Can’t the Delta State House of Assembly call Okowa to order? He has not been able to pay pensioners, but he will have money to pay his new commissioners.

It is a shame on Okowa and those politicians running after him to only focus on their insatiable stomach demands and appetite, without addressing issues affecting Deltans. Shame on all of them. Can we say we really have a Delta State legislature? Are the Delta State legislators not telling us that they are nothing but errand boys/girls of Okowa? They are being controlled by the State Governor.

Whatever Governor Okowa submits to them, they gladly approve without raising any question or showing any resistance at all. What are they legislating in Delta State Government House of Assembly? They obviously do not even know their statutorily roles as legislators. We heard that the Delta State Legislators recently begged Governor Okowa, to urge the Federal Ministry of Transport to prevail on the National Airspace Management Agency to restore air traffic services at the Osubi Airport.

We have written severally on this issue but it has all fallen on the deaf ears of Governor Okowa. And we wonder why the Delta State legislators are just waking up on this issue. Are they hearing about this issue, as well as the state of the Osubi Airport now? Have they not been using the said Airport before it was closed some weeks back? Why are they coming out this late hour to complain about the state of the Osubi Airport? That again, shows how unfocused these Delta State lawmakers are. We have said many times and again that Okowa has not shown any concern about the Osubi Airstrip.

He does not care as far it is not located in the Delta North. We have written several countless letters on the need for Governor Okowa to embark on the expansion project of the Osubi Airstrip to a Standard Airport like we have in other parts of the country. This is hinged on the fact that Warri, being the commercial hub and the oil city of Delta State, it deserves a standard airport. And all that is required of the Delta State Government is to partner with the current owners to expand the Osubi Airstrip to a Standard Airport.

But all of our letters and advice are without any positive response from the Delta State Government. Nobody builds a local airport any more. We wonder why people are thinking that Governor Okowa will do well if he gets re-elected, when he has not been able to do much in four years. The Delta State Governor simply has a stone heart, and he does not care about the yearnings and aspirations of the people. If former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, an Itsekiri man from Delta South, could build an Airport in Asaba in Delta North, we do not see the reason why Okowa should abandon the Osubi Airstrip expansion project with frivolous excuses.

Is it not painful that the Delta State Speaker, Mr. Sherriff Oborevwori is still running after Okowa without paying any attention to the Osubi Airstrip upgrade/expansion project? All these sycophantic statements that “OKOWA IS WORKING”, is not the reality on ground. What work is Governor Okowa doing? Why can’t Governor Okowa pay pensioners and build basic infrastructure across the State, instead of appointing new people in Government?

What he is spending as salaries for appointees, it is supposed to be used for addressing more pressing issues in the State that would uplift the lives of the people. Why waste State funds on appointees that are practically doing nothing? Is this his own way of creating a network-of-supporters in his government that would help his re-election ambition?

Zik Gbemre is the National Coordinator/CEO at Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC).

 

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not in any way represent the official policy or position of this medium.

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