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Okowa, Ojougboh Rift Continues, As Group Shoots Self

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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The fisticuff between the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and his kinsman, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Cairo Ojougboh, from all available information has degenerated into an uncontrollable situation.

The duo had recently embarked on a media war over allegations and counter allegations.

A Non-Governmental Organization and political pressure group known as Legacy Group, which claimed took out time to monitor and x-ray utterances and actions of stakeholders at a press briefing Wednesday at Chadef Hotel, Asaba, the “supposed NGO and political pressure group” obviously threw its weight behind the governor against the APC stalwart.

Instead of tackling the government on areas of non-performance, the group’sVice President/National Leader, Dr Chris Okobah, shockingly reeled out the achievements of the two years old administration of Okowa.

Hear him: “Those of us in Legacy Group have taken time to investigate the controversy surrounding the deployment of Paris Club Refund across States and we found the Government of Delta State to have scored high.

“In the midst of economic recession and 16 months damage to the Forcasdos Export Trunk Pipeline, Governor Okowa has managed to fare well in the area of Road construction, Schools Rehabilitation, Job Creation and Urban Renewal and to this end, we will confront anybody who will not take steps to encourage the Government to consolidate on these modest achievements.

“Beyond what we have read in the media and facts we gleaned from the different Town Hall Meetings, we have also independently ascertained that inspite of the challenges of economic recession; the Senator Okowa-led administration has completed the construction of 59 roads projects covering over 612 km including 300 km of concrete-lined drains.

“Another 79 roads are currently under construction and, in line with his objective of urban renewal and rural development, the administration has commenced construction of road projects in areas hitherto not attended to, particularly in the creeks such as Okerenkoko, Ogulaha Burutu, Sokebulou among others.

“Another reason why we believe Governor Okowa needs encouragement and not attacks is the bold step taken to reconstruct the State-owned technical colleges in Agbor, Ofagbe, Sapele, Utagba-Ogbe, Otor-Ogor and Issele-Uku. This gesture, no doubt, has helped infused life into technical and vocational education.

“Under the Job Creation Scheme, the administration has trained and established 2, 324 hitherto unemployed graduates and school leavers in their choice enterprises. Many of these enterprises are not only doing well, they are providing employment for other Deltans.

“Some of them are now beginning to train others as well. In addition, over 4, 000 youths have been trained in vocational centre in the States. The administration’s introduction of the Graduate Employment Enhancement Programmes (GEEP), which is designed to cater for unemployed graduates, has also transformed the lives of a number of unemployed graduates in the state”.

“I am sure that most of you here must have read in the newspapers the total sum the State got on account of the Paris Club Refund in the three tranches and how it was distributed. Hence, we consider the alarm raised by Dr Ojougboh in which he alleged improper management of the Paris Club refund as a non-issue. We believe the reason Dr Ojougboh raised this false alarm is to distract the Government and that is our concern as a group focused on the overall development of the people.

Contacted, chairman of Okerenkoko community, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, who doubles as the chairman of communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West local government council said, “The Okerenkoko internal road project is ongoing but it seemed that it has been an abandoned project. Since one year now, we have not seen anything happening there. Otherwise, it is part of state government contract”.