By Atevure Princess
Former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei has described the present administration of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the worst since the creation of the state in 1991.
Ochei, an APC governorship aspirant stated this on a “Trend Radio” programme in Asaba, while fielding questions from the panel, he chided the Okowa led government for what he described as ”lack of vision and planning.”
According to him, when compared to the previous administrations, especially since the return of democracy in 1999, the Okowa government is a failure. “The immediate past administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan had star projects within the first three years and they all started and went on at the same time. The Asaba airport was there within the first three years. So was Ughelli/Asaba dualization and Government House Asaba. What is the star project of this administration?”
On what may be the problem, Ochei said, “lack of planning! For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Okowa was part of that administration and knew the policies and strides. Did he plan on how to ensure security and welfare of Deltans? The answer is No!”
Citing examples with states like Anambra, Edo and Lagos which he said had followed long-term plans, he wondered why the present Delta state government could not follow a template, having somebody like Okowa who served under Dr Uduaghan and Chief James Onanefe Ibori his predecessors. “Just like me, he was part of these governments and was even at the senate. Let him bring his experience to bear.”
On the notion that recession and sharp drop in crude oil price have affected the fortunes of the state, hampering execution of meaningful projects, Ochei disagreed vehemently with the governor. “Delta gets higher than Edo and Anambra yet they are carrying out capital projects. Go to neighbouring Edo state where Governor Godwin Obaseki has been in power for less than two years. What money is he using that Okowa does not have.”
He further accused the government of ineptitude and corruption. “Let us not forget that week before Dr Uduaghan left office, the State Accountant-General disappeared and money could not be withdrawn. When Okowa came in, did he bother telling us how much he met in the state coffers to work with”.
Looking back, Ochei said he has no regrets leaving the PDP as he is very comfortable in the All Progressives Congress, APC. “I feel so liberated in APC”, he stated.
Contrary to speculations in some quarters that he may decamp from the party if the forthcoming primary does not favour him, he asserted, “I can assure you that I will not leave the APC even if the primary does not favour me. When I lost to Dr Okowa in 2014, I did not leave the PDP. I worked assiduously to ensure he emerged Governor. In APC, we have internal democracy unlike in the PDP where the names of those who won primaries were swapped with others. If I lose, I will congratulate the winner and work with him because it will be free and fair”.
He expressed confidence in the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari and appealed that he needs the patience of all Nigerians to effect a positive change after 16 years of “impunity and maladministration” by the PDP.