…Says gov lacks honesty, transparent administration
BY NOSA AKENZUA
Elder statesman and Ijaw foremost leader, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has described as abysmal failure, alleged betrayal of trust, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration, alleging that in almost eight years, Okowa’s administration had allegedly been soaked in litany of frauds, lies, lack of transparent administration, Including suppressive mannerisms.
In a private letter he wrote to him, a copy made available to journalists in Asaba, Chief Clark alleged that Okowa’s dictatorial tendencies in governance and reign of unaccountability, had over the years contributed to his misrule, adding that Deltans at the moment are handicapped to speak their minds for fear of the unknown.
He said: “Your Excellency, my letter will definitely come to you as a surprise because of my unusual silence over your nearly eight years governance in Delta State. But my unusual silence does not mean I have kept a blind eye over some corrupt and misuse of power by you. This is particularly, having regards to my activities during your predecessors’ reign where I openly criticised them, and I was tagged a trouble maker by my detractors; hence, I did not act for sometime during your administration.
“It is my intention, therefore, to release some of these ugly information to Delta State people by your lack of sincere, lack of honest, and lack of transparent administration.
“This is especially as the Delta people are scared of you and unable to speak out against your government. Most of them have been reduced to mere robots either because of self interest or personal patronage or the allowances they receive from the government. I am indeed very sad that some of our leaders from the state, who betrayed us in Abuja during Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential Primaries in 2010/2011 have relocated to Delta State to perpetuate their evil design again. Let them be warned, otherwise, they will be exposed.”
Betrayal of sacred trust
“Today, I say with certainty that you are more dictatorial than any other Military Administrator that has administered Delta State since its creation in 1991. I can therefore understand why you have deliberately and immorally betrayed your colleagues of Southern Nigeria and the people for your own selfish ambition by wanting to land on a safer ground by accepting to serve as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.”
Noting that Okowa’s alleged devious activities, will certainly spell doom against him, Clark said: “No, by God’s grace your prayer will not be answered. Perhaps, you have forgotten the gravity of the offence you have committed against the people of Southern Nigeria.
“In order to cover your nefarious plot, you voluntarily induced everyone to host a meeting of the 17 Southern Governors in Government House, Asaba, on Tuesday 11th May 2021. You gave them a very good reception and provided them a secretariat that drafted the communiqué under your supervision, which was ably read by the Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
“It was indeed a bombshell, as you collectively demanded for Southern Presidency and insisted that non of you should accept to be a Vice President.
“Shortly afterwards, the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), which I lead, gave the governor’s declaration 100 per cent support and declared that no Southern serving Governors, Legislators or Politicians should accept to be running mate, particularly to Atiku Abubakar.
“The 17 governors later met again in Lagos and Enugu to affirm the decision taken in your Government House, Asaba. Little did we know that you were using this to perfect your secret plan to be running mate to Atiku Abubakar from the very beginning,” part of the letter read.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Government has reacted swiftly to Chief Edwin Clark’s letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, stressing that his excellent performance in Delta justified his nomination as Vice-Presidential candidate of the party.
In a release from the office if the governor, it was stated: “We have read with keen interest the open letter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
“First we accord him his due respect as an elder statesman and a respected father in our state, but we state categorically that his letter is not a true reflection of the state of affairs in Delta State as the massive achievements in infrastructural and human capital development recorded in the state in the last seven years are visible to all and sundry.
“On the allegation of unaccountability and dictatorship, it is on record that Governor Okowa has been very accountable to the people as he has always briefed Deltans on the state of affairs in the state. He holds quarterly media interaction with journalists in the state where issues across the state are discussed and questions asked and relevant answers provided.
“The Governor has had cause to relate with the State House of Assembly on all matters concerning the state finances at all times. How can a Governor that ensured full autonomy for the State’s legislature and the judiciary be said to be dictatorial?.
“On the allegation of misuse of N250billion 13% per cent derivation fund, nothing can be far from the truth because the said fund is being paid in quarterly instalments and as at last record we have only received four instalments totalling N19.6billion.
“Because of the time value of money and inflationary tendencies we decided to discount N100billion. On application to the state House of Assembly, we listed some landmark projects to be completed from the fund and some of them including the Ogheye Floating Market, Koka Flyover and Interchange, Maryam Babangida Leisure Park, Film Village and Zoo, Mother and Child Specialist Hospital and Advanced Diagnostics Medical Centre have been completed, inaugurated and currently operational.
“We are also aware that our leader, Chief Clark has made his own political choice by endorsing a presidential candidate of another political party which we agree and respect as his own fundamental right, but we hold the view that it is not democratically nor constitutionally out of place for other persons to also have right to associate with others which is equally legitimate.”
“We are all aware that the country is so divided and the rhetoric that tends to divide the country further along the line of North and South dichotomy cannot do the country any good hence we urge that persons of all class need not engage in divisive actions or uterances.
“As well meaning Nigerians we expect that senior citizens should promote actions that tends to unite the country and not that which would further divide us.
“The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar won the party’s primary on the account of a free and transparent votes of delegates of the party across the country.
“The constitution of our country is very clear that once a Presidential Candidate emerges, he is duty bound to chose a running mate and by tradition from the other side of the country.
“It couldn’t have been the right thing to say that we should have rejected the nomination because if we had, other persons would have also accepted it.
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“We will continue to respect Chief Clark despite the recent attacks on Governor Okowa and we also put it on record that the highly respected elder statesman had supported us in the past up to 2019 and had cause to commend the Governor for his sterling accomplishments in the state.
“So we will not begrudge him because he has chosen to support someone else this time around.”
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