By Emma Amaze, Regional Editor, Niger Delta
DELTA State government, Saturday, said it was untrue that it was discriminating against Ijaw or any other ethnic group in the state and would never promote ethnicity because the people are one.
Commissioner designate, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, who was reacting to an allegation by former Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, said, “Let me make it very clear that the PDP in Delta State is one strong family under the leadership of the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, and of course, the party leadership. And the party remains committed to the development and empowerment of not only the members, but the entire electorate of Delta state.”
“Our brother, our leader, a very good friend to the governor, Elder Godsday Orubebe, is also a key member of that PDP family, he has contributed to the development of the party in the state and is always given his due respect and we will continue to give him his due respect.”
“We do not emphasize ethnic groups in Delta because we have grown together as one Delta; we try as much as possible not to emphasize those fault lines of ethnicity because it does not and will not take us anywhere.
“So I do not want to believe that what is ascribed to him that a particular ethnic group is marginalized is true because all the ethnic groups in the state are seen as key stakeholders and are respected as Deltans, more so, the governor has same regards for anybody, irrespective of tribe.
“And I can assure you, he will continue to regard everybody, he will continue to take their wise counsel and take steps to ensure that everybody feel safe under the umbrella,” he said.
Also reacting to the allegation, Ossai Success, a former aide of Governor Okowa, condemned Orubebe outburst over marginalization of Ijaw in the state, saying, “Elder Godsday Orubebe is either being economical with the truth or lacks adequate information on the achievements of the Okowa- led government.”
“Despite the recession in the nation, Governor Okowa in the past four years has developed Ijaw communities in Delta State with unprecedented achievements. Elder Orubebe needed to be enlightened because the state government led by Gov Ifeanyi Okowa has successfully constructed standard projects in Ijaw communities.
“They include Ogidigben internal road, Oporoza internal road, Okerenkoko internal roads, Burutu township road, phase one and two, Youbebe – Biniebi-ama road, Obotobo – Sokebolou – Yokiri road, Obotobo I community internal road, Sokebolou internal road, Burutu Modern Market, funding of Ayakoromo Bridge project, Ogbobagbene – Ojobo road and construction/renovation of schools.
“Despite the difficulties in embarking on projects in the riverine communities, Governor Okowa within four years as governor has been able to reach out to Ijaw communities in Delta state by embarking on lasting projects, appointing sons and daughters from the riverine communities into his administration and empowering of youths.
“What about Nigeria Vice president Prof Yemi Osinbajo’s visit to the riverine communities where he commissioned road projects constructed by Governor Okowa,” he said.
While calling on the Ijaw in Delta to disregard Elder Orubebe’s statement, Ossai urged him to be objective in his comments on the assessment of Governor Okowa’s administration by asking relevant to questions, urging him always go back home verify all the government’s achievement.