By Fred Obi
It is regrettable that the PDP led Administration in Delta State for the Past Eighteen Years, has fragrantly refused to be accountable and transparent enough to the over four million people of Delta State. This lack of transparency and accountability has also led to the question of the integrity of the PDP led administration in the State since 1999. The inability of the PDP led administration to explain to Deltans on how every Naira and Kobo from the IGR, federal allocations as well as the huge amount borrowed all these Years reveals that, the PDP led administration has integrity question.
What is more disturbing to us as a Political Party and well meaning Deltans is the fact that when you consider the huge amount of Money that has so far entered the State since 1999 both as Internally Generated Revenues, Federal Allocations and the loans so far taken, and compare it with what we have on ground especially as it relates to development at all levels in the State, the disparity is mind boggling. This is the more reason why right thinking Deltans must join us in the Crusade to chase away this Political Party from Government House as they are grossly incompetent to administer the affairs of our great state.
Gradually the State is sinking as the PDP led administration is piling up a huge debt burden for any successive administration, the People of Delta State and the unborn generations.
According to the estimate as already in the Public domain, that former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had left behind a total debt of more than N773 billion Naira. Following the same source, it was discovered that he (former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan) had accumulated liabilities to the tune of N238.6billion Naira in bounds, bank loans, and another N534.6 billion Naira in contractual liabilities. Deltans will recalled that, on resumption of office, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa had decried the financial situation of the State as he openly stated that, the State had over N636 billion Naira debts to contend with in three years. In his 2016 Budget Proposal of N265.156 billion Naira to the State House of Assembly, no mention was made on how to address the debts hanging on the Neck of Delta State and just recently precisely in the Month of June, Governor Okowa got the Approval by the State House of Assembly to take a Loan from the Zenith Bank to the tune of One Billion Naira to fund the UBE program, he got another approval again in the Month of July for a whooping sum of N8 Billion Naira for a white elephant project of Building another State Secretariat. Now, the questions agitating our minds are:
- That after 18 Years, the PDP led Government is planning for another office Accommodation for workers?
- What happened to the Previous one built by successive administrations?
- If the Space in the existing State Secretariat is not enough, you mean no findings was carried out to find out the number of workers that will require the office accommodation before the Secretariat was built?
- Could it be that between the periods the last Secretariat was built and now, there was massive employment in the State Ministries and Parastatals that requires building a State Secretariat that will gulp this mind boggling sum?
We want to also remind Governor Okowa that, If it will take three years to clear the debt burden left behind by his predecessor and nothing was seen in his 2016 budget to address that, he also, is going for more loans which in our view will also take several more years to clear, to us as an opposition Political Party, our position is that, the said loan ( N18 Billion for State Secretariat) and some others that have been collected in the past requires a lot of explanations to the People of Delta State, for it is not only creating danger for successive administrations, but mortgaging the future of the unborn generations of Deltans.
What is more worrisome to us as a Political Party, is that in spite of the monies received as bailout fund and the Paris clubs refunds which is about N24 Billion Naira now, the PDP led Delta State Government is still bent on going to take more loans. Revealing how reckless, incompetent and corrupt set of people and Political Party they are, the much publicized Asaba Airport which was later condemned and closed up for not meeting up to standard by the Federal Ministry of aviation is now to gulp another N5billion Naira of Delta Peoples Money. As at today, the debt profile of the State has risen close to a whooping sum of well over Two Trillion Naira. Recall that it stood at N700 Billion Naira when Governor Ifeanyi Okowa took over, and he (Governor Okowa) took a bailout fund of over N20 Billion Naira from the Federal Government and another loan of N56 Billion excluding the high interest rate. In all these, the PDP faithfuls in the State, seeing how our State is gradually nose diving are still happy and celebrating mediocrity and maladministration of the State. Because of Hunger they are so afraid to speak the truth, it is on record that during the reign of Chief James Ibori, he had over One Thousand Political Aids, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan had Over One Thousand Five Hundred and Dr Ifeanyi Okowa with just two years into his administration has already recorded over Two Thousand Political Aids and still counting. The Painful aspect of all these is that, over 90% of those with these appointment have no meaningful impact to the running of the State, rather they are all political thugs that the PDP led administration have decided to use the Tax Payers Money to settle. As it is now, the Salaries of these Political Aids is running, while the Primary School Teachers and Local Government Staff are yet to be paid for the Past Fourteen Months or more.
We as a Political Party are more worried, seeing that the much said dividend of democracy is only enjoyed by the Political elites as presently constituted and led by PDP in Delta State. Because of their gross incompetent and lack of capacities, no single policy to improve the lives of Deltans like in the area of Transportation, Education, Health Care and others. Is it not a shame that, the Immediate past Governor and the seating Governor are Medical Doctors yet our health institutions in the State are in comatose? Governor Okowa’s Political Aids without shame went on the Social Media to display the Pictures of he (Okowa’s) visit to London where he had gone to receive his grandchild that was delivered in an overseas Hospital. The other day, Chief Ighoyota Amori a stalwart of PDP in the State, was also proud to display the Picture on social media where he had gone to celebrate with his Daughter that was graduating from an Overseas University. What this means is that, these men will not make any positive contribution to the improvement of our Heath Care facilities and Educational Institutions since they do not patronize the facilities or Institutions?
By estimation, the PDP led Government in the State had squandered over Six Trillion Naira for the Past Eighteen Years with no tangible thing to show for it. It is a big shame that after over Eighteen Years, the State Capital Asaba is no better than a 1872 Local Government Head Quarters, Warri that was known as the great Oil City is now a shadow of itself, the Presence of Government is absent in Sapele that was known for its Timber Trades. The PDP led administration because of the gross level of incompetence; corruption and lack of capacity have completely refused to tap the economic potentials of these Cities for the overall development of the State, as they only prefer to go to Abuja for the collection of Monthly allocations. Where is Delta State in the Scheme of things when compared with the tons of Monies that has so far entered the State? With the Many Loans so far collected, our health institutions are in ruin, the infrastructures across the three senatorial districts are begging for attention, while the Schools are with dilapidated structures leading to poor performance of the Delta State Students in WASC and other external examinations, and the few roads claimed to have done were poorly executed. We can only know of the Hospital at Oghara and the nonfunctional televisions on some major streets as the achievement of the PDP led administration for 18 years. Out of the 36 States it’s only Akwa Ibom and Rivers States that rival the amount we have received as allocation from the Federal Government and nothing in the entire State to show for it.
As stated above, the huge allocation that has so far entered Delta State was far far more than Lagos and Kano, and still the PDP led Government in Delta State was still collecting Local and foreign Loans, as Kano and Lagos States were busy developing as well as other States like Cross Rivers were building TINAPAS and other projects that are of economics importance to their States. Presently the people of Akwa Ibom State are the proud owner of the best Stadium in West Africa, the Stadium and the State is now the home of the Nigerian National Football Team the Super Eagles. These are States that started the same 1999 with Delta State.
Before now, the PDP led administration in Delta State embarked on a farming project named SONGHAI, model after Benin Republic. Billions of Naira was invested on the project and no evidence of livestocks and nothing was also grown in the SONGHAI to truly confirm the purpose for which it was established. Today, SONGHAI a project that gulps billions of Naira is now a shadow of itself, another confirmation of PDP maladministration of the State. Nobody has been prosecuted or held accountable for that, and yet Governor Okowa has approached and got the approval of the State House of Assembly for loans to fund projects.
The PDP led administration owe the People of Delta State explanations as to what happened to the Monies invested on the so many Abandoned Projects that are scattered all over State. Projects like:
- Effurun—Ughelli—Isoko—Asaba dual Carriage Way
- The Expansion of the Osubi Airport and Second Runway Project as was proposed for an international Airport
- Effurun Eku Road
- Trans Warri Ode Itsekiri Road and Bridges
- The BRT Lane at Warri/Effurun
And many others which some huge amount of money and resources have been invested on, beginning from the Survey Report, Inception Report, Preliminary Engineering design, Preparation of Bill of Engineering Measurement, Award of contract, Advance Payment /Mobilization of Contractors to Project Sites. We seriously demand explanation to all these.
We as a responsible opposition Political Party, have seriously viewed all this and have concluded that, it’s a display of gross incompetent, inefficiency, wastage, and outright stealing of Delta Peoples Wealth by the PDP led Administration since 1999.
Their elected representatives are not left out as one is now battling on how to come out from the case instituted against him by EFCC for defrauding Delta State to the tune of N1.5 Billion Naira.
As a Political Party and as Citizens of the State, we demand that the PDP led Government of Delta should publish audited report of Delta State Financial Situation, if not from 1999 but at least from the Period May 29th 2015 till date. The audited report should be detailed enough to capture the present debt profile of the State as well as the cost of constructions of roads they are claiming to have constructed.
To us as an opposition Political Party, we have continued to show responsible citizenship, hence we have consistently and persistently been putting the State first before our desire of taking over power. We have remained steadfast in our desire to change the face of Delta State to a new and better face for the good of all the people of Delta State and not for selected few, this is why we must at all time pressure the PDP led Government of Delta State to be transparent and give account for every kobo spent. Our duty is to make sure they are on their toes as we abhor stepping on toes. We will continue to show complete resistance to any advances that will dismay us even at the face of any provocation, this is the more reason why all Deltans must rally round us with their support as we will be ready to make sure that the PDP Government is held to provide every kobo they have spent from the Period May 29th 1999 till date.
We are therefore calling on the People of Delta State especially the elites to continue to speak out, and speak against the anti peoples policies of the PDP led Administration in Delta State. The State belongs to all of us, and not for only those in position of authority. The PDP led Administration in Delta State must respond immediately to the demand of the People of Delta State and present to us the true financial status of the State especially as it relates to the loans so far collected since the period May 29th 1999 till date, and stop further collection of loans as they are yet to justify how the sums that has so far entered the State was expended, and it’s positive impact on the life of the ordinary men and women of Delta State.
Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)