By Frank Igwebueze
He has now embarked on a one-man riot squad – the arrowhead of a campaign of calumny against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to feed a phantom political rivalry and his vain pursuit of dominance in the politics of Ika nation.
Cairo had ridiculously alleged in a television interview that the Delta State government was operating a non-existent budget. This is inexplicable, laughable and infantile, given the fact that the government has a budget that went through every necessary and rigorous due process before it was passed by the House of Assembly of the State and was duly signed into law by the governor. He laced this puerile allegation with other vacuous claims.
Since Nigerians were able to see through the vacuity of the claims, he changed course. He has embarked on another mission as a human rights campaigner on behalf of Hon. Jenkins Duvie Gwede. Not for any segment of society, but championing the course of someone who has rightly taken the necessary step of pursuing his case through the judiciary. But a close introspection would have informed Cairo, that he is dressing himself with strange robes.
Already, APC members in his Ika South Local Government Area are leaving for the PDP in droves.
Cairo’s recourse to the much-vaunted Paris Club refund did not sail for obvious reasons. In case Cairo does not know, he should be reminded that Okowa came into office to meet a salary bill of N7.44bn and a statutory allocation of, sometimes, N3bn until the state’s finances started looking up a bit. Yet, till date, no state civil servant is owed a day’s pay.
The case of local government and primary school teachers, is too obvious to the informed to suffer further discourse. It’s purely a constitutional matter. No one, especially given Okowa’s inestimable milk of human sympathy, will tolerate a worker going home without his/her pay. If tomorrow, there is a constitutional amendment that places local government workers or primary school teachers directly under the payroll of State governors, Okowa surely will not default.
Okowa’s administration has built or rehabilitated more roads in two years than most administrations did in eight years elsewhere.
He probably has not visited his State capital, Asaba, in a long while. Otherwise, he could have rolled out the drums to praise the Okowa administration. On arrival at Asaba, Cairo should please visit the Cable Point area. A largely forgotten area where the downtrodden live, now has a dual carriage way to the banks of the River Niger.
He should also visit the twelve streets, which the administration constructed and commissioned in one fell swoop.
Two prominent and highly respected traditional rulers have, albeit unintentionally, confirmed that the Okowa administration has etched itself in the minds of Deltans, irrespective of what a million Cairo Ojougbohs will say. Retired Major General Felix Mujakperuo, His Royal Majesty, the Orodge of Okpe, commended Okowa for being the first governor who commenced work on a road and have it commissioned for use within a year. It was at the commissioning of two roads in his domain.
In another attestation to performance, His Royal Majesty, Ogurime-Rime Ukori I, the Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, had to organize a special reception for Governor Okowa to thank him for the impactful presence of his administration in Agbon Kingdom.
Right in Cairo’s place, the Okowa’s administration for the first time in history, has linked Ozanogogo community, a limestone belt, to Agbor Obi, Cairo’s home town and by implication, to the outside world. Okowa’s administration, has rehabilitated and put to use, four technical colleges in the three senatorial districts of the State. Cairo should find time to drive through Nsukwa junction from Asaba to Warri and calculate the man hours gained through the on-going rehabilitation of the Nsukwa – Ejeme – Ndemili road that traverses three local government areas.
Begging the caucus of APC and members in Delta State during their unity meeting in Evwreni to help him stave off attacks from Okowa’s people will not do. They were not moved when he told them that attack on one person is an attack on all. It is doubtful if the APC leaders in the state will trust him enough to join the bandwagon of his wild goose chase.
This admonition of the junior minister of petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, an APC chieftain, to his party leaders that they should place less emphasis on “occupying State House, Asaba” and dwell more on mapping out strategies to improve the lot of the ordinary person on the street, is very instructive!
* Igwebueze, a journalist, lives in Asaba.