Okowa’s Attempt To Borrow Early Dangerous – Ariyo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okowa’s Attempt To Borrow Early Dangerous – Ariyo

Posted: Jul 22, 2015 at 12:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Barr. Robinson Ariyo is currently at the Election Petition Tribunal in Delta State, in contention for a seat in the state assembly. In this interview with EMMA ARUBI, he speaks on issues concerning Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, President Buhari, and their administrative styles, amongst other issues. Excerpts…

With persistent shout by the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa government that Delta state is broke, would you support a call for the probe of the Uduaghan administration?

It is important to note that being broke is not something that happens overnight. Take your mind back 10 years from today in the history of Delta that has resulted in this “brokage”, you must also remember that when you point a finger at somebody, your other fingers point back at you. Dr. Okowa has been key dramatis personae in the affairs of the state that has resulted in the financial quagmire the state is in today. He has played key role as either actor or conspirator and is much knowledgeable than any of us as to how the state got to this sore point. If nothing at all, he has been very quiet. He never spoke then, so why shouting now? And because the good person in any society keeps quite, evil thrive. Assuming but not conceding that Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is a good man, what happened to his mouth, his thoughts and even his pen and papers in these past 15 years of locust? Now he has become the Governor and what are we witnessing today? As a known critic of the past administration in Delta, I also believe that justice is a dual way traffic. It has to be justice for Dr. Uduaghan who just completed his tenure and justice also to Dr. Okowa who has just begun his tenure.

Again, we know that in less than two months in office, Dr. Okowa is in the process of borrowing over N90 billion. If in every two month he borrows N90m, if you multiply that figure by his four year tenure, the sum would be very staggering and mind-boggling. In fact, Delta would be in a more critical state that would make Dr. Uduaghan’s alleged debt profile a child’s play. I hope he will be more prudent than his predecessor in office, but that characteristic I currently have not seen in him.


What about a probe?

My concern is not about Uduaghan being probed or not; whoever misappropriates the state’s funds should be brought to book and not using the call of bringing somebody to book as a shield to perpetrate more evil. It is good to probe people, but what role did you play in the entire process or system as the case may be?



What is your opinion about the dissolution of the DESOPADEC Board and the Agency itself?

The dissolution of the DESOPADEC Board is long overdue. In fact that agency has been a veritable source of siphoning state funds to very large extent. I say this because I know the amount of money that goes into that oil intervention agency. That agency is established to bring infrastructural, social and economic succour to the oil and gas bearing communities of the state. But have they truly achieved these goals for the mandate communities? The answer is a capital no. Who can truly tell us the exact amount that is officially supposed to accrue to the agency and what they are actually given? And what amount actually went to these communities in terms of impact by way of projects, services and empowerment? However, I want to say DESOPADEC is rotten and so much surgery needs to be carried out to bring sanity into the agency, if it is to meet its statutory obligations to the oil and gas bearing communities of Delta state. So the board is only a first step towards achieving that goal.


Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is alleged to be anti-Itsekiri. What is your take on that?

He has not only marginalized the Itsekiri people it terms of appointment to key political offices, he has shown himself as not being experienced in the inner workings of governance in the state. He has done the most carefree appointment ever in the history of Delta state. For the first time in our history, we have SSA Media, Chief of Protocol, SSA Protocol, SA Protocol. He has turned appointment into government office into a child’s play. Okowa will go down in history as being worse than Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.


Without particularizing it to only the Itsekiri, the quality of persons appointed into position of authority leaves much to be desired across the board. Deltans have excelled in all ramifications. And if you want to make qualitative appointment, the key positions are: Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Director of Protocol (DOP) and Chief of Staff and none of these persons are of Itsekiri extraction. The truth is that if Delta state is Dr. Okowa’s private company, are these the quality of persons he will engage to run it successfully for him? In the Judiciary, there is no Itsekiri person occupying any strategic position as well as in the Legislature. So, in the three arms of government in the state, no Itsekiri person can be found to be occupying any sensitive position, and yet they have the highest oil and gas resource that feeds the state’s economy. In other words, from the very beginning, there appears to be a grand conspiracy by Dr. Okowa against the Itsekiri nation.  And the Itsekiri persons so far appointed are mediocre. How can Okowa appoint an Itsekiri that has been tested and failed as a Commissioner before into his cabinet to represent Itsekiri again. It is a design to kill the Itsekiri nation. Even then, of all the important positions for Commissionership, you gave the Itsekiri nation Transport and Women Affairs. Two very weak positions. By their fruits you shall know them. Okowa has shown us who he is and the Itsekiris in the ruling PDP are to blame because they failed to carry themselves high enough by fighting for their private pockets instead of the interest of the tribe. They constitute the biggest grace to the Itsekiri people. And they are not even talking because they are still pursuing their selfish agenda, appeasing Okowa.