January 26, 2023

Devolution of Power: Okowa has taken lead in restructuring –Atiku


Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lauded Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, his running mate, for taking the lead in restructuring without waiting for the Federal Government.

Abubakar gave the commendation while inaugurating the Koka Flyover and Interchange on Wednesday in Asaba, a project constructed by the Gov. Okowa-led administration on the federal highway.

He noted that the project was executed in line with his proposed agenda of restructuring and power devolution, to enable the state governments to execute projects that would impact their people without having to wait for the Federal Government.

 Abubakar said though, some state governments had taken to such a direction, other governors should emulate Gov. Okowa.

He said in spite of the Federal Exclusive Lists, they impact the people, while urging them to vote and support PDP during the elections.

“Let me thank Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for the invitation to inaugurate the Koka Flyover and Interchange.

“Let me, before inaugurating the project,  speak about the devolution of powers and resources to state governments.

“If you look into the books, you may find out that this is a federal road.

“Now, the Delta Government has taken over this road and built this flyover because it is the closest to the people of the state.

“We borrowed our presidential system from the United  States (U.S.); in the U.S., the only federal roads that you would find are interstate roads; that is, roads that connect states.

“All other internal roads, bridges and highways are the responsibilities of the state governments.”

Abubakar, who blamed the military for giving birth to the type of democracy practised in Nigeria, said as President, he would ensure restructuring and devolution of powers to states.

“Well, it is understandable because it is the military that gave birth to our type of democracy.

“You know how the military accumulates power at the centre, to the detriment of the federating units.

“I believe by the time we take a fundamental amendment to our constitution and restore the autonomy to the states and local governments as far as resources are concerned, we would have done away with this very huge bottleneck.

“It impedes our growth both structurally and otherwise.

” So, let me commend the governor and government of Delta for taking the initiative to start implementing the restructuring even before it is constitutionally allowed.”

Abubakar said the flyover was a huge development, adding that it was a great honour to him to inaugurate the project which would greatly impact the people of the state and Nigerians in general.

Gov. Okowa and the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the party said that the construction of the flyover became necessary to ensure the completion of the 161 Kilometres Ughelli-Asaba Dual Carriage Way being constructed by the state government.

According to him, the Ughelli-Asaba project began by the administration of former Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan.

He expressed hope that with the flyover and interchange completed, the huge gridlocks at the Koka Junction would have been addressed.

The governor thanked the Federal Government for approving the project to be constructed, the construction company and the state ministry of works for the timely execution.

“This is a major highway, and I want to appreciate the Federal Ministry of Works for giving us permission to construct this interchange and flyover,” Okowa said.

The Managing Director,  CCECC Nigeria Limited, Mr David Wang, the Project Contractor, lauded the state government for the opportunity, adding that the work was on specification and completed on recorded time.

Also, Mr Daniel Omodon, State Commissioner for Works (Highways), said the flyover and interchange was borne out of the need to decongest and ease the traffic logjams on Koka Junction, Asaba.

 The PDP Presidential Candidate, Abubakar, who had earlier visited the Asaba traditional ruler, the Asagba of Asaba, Obi Chike Edozien, was also billed to inaugurate four other projects executed by the Okowa-led government.

The projects included the Model Technical College, Asaba; Mariam Babangida Leisure Park; Delta State Film Village; Mother and Child Specialist Hospital, Owa-Alero.