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Immediate past Commissioner for Information in Delta State, Mr Charles Aniagwu has said that the accusations of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark against former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa were at variance with reality in the state.
Speaking on TVC on Monday, Aniagwu said Chief Clark has not been to Delta for a long time and those telling him stories about Okowa’s administration were doing so for political reasons.
He stated that the respected elder statesman was being used to settle political scores by those who lost out in the Governorship contest of the state.
According to him, Chief Clark and some other leaders had a different candidate in the election and they were defeated because of Governor Okowa’s performance and the credibility of the current Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori.
“In the run-down to the general elections, the elder statesman and some other persons had their own candidate and for us in Delta we subjected the gubernatorial contest to the crucibles of democratic process.
“In the course of the contest, our present Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori defeated other aspirants and emerged the candidate of the PDP and after defeating them at the primaries they decided to pitch tent with the APC.
“When we proceeded to the general elections, Deltans across the 25 local government areas specifically 21 out of the 25 voted overwhelmingly voted for Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori on account of two reasons.
“One because of the performance of Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and because of the credibility Oborevwori enjoys having presided over the State House of Assembly for 6 years and has shown indeed that he is a man that can be trusted with the resources of the state.
“These individuals having lost the election decided to throw mud on Okowa believing that he was the reason why they lost and hence they have progressed along that line.”
The former Delta Information Commissioner further remarked that Chief Clark supported the former Governor almost throughout his tenure and did not raise any concerns while he was in office buttresssing the fact that his accusations were politically motivated.
“Let me place it on record that the elder statesman supported us overwhelmingly in 2019 and in the course of giving his support at that time, he was very clear on the performance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
“He was quite specific on the amount of milestones we have recorded in the creeks and of course in the coastal communities where he is from.
“Indeed he was very clear on the amount of successes we have recorded and in the course of two years of our second tenure he was very much with us praising what we were doing.
“At his age we believe that the elder statesman should begin to have discussions that will help advance the state rather than telling stories that he was told by individuals having different intentions,” Aniagwu said.
On Clark’s accusation that DESOPADEC law was amended to accommodate Ika ethnic nationality, Aniagwu said there was no truth in the accusation because Oil Mining Licence OML 147 is located in Obi-Ayima and Owa-Alidinma in Ika Federal Constituency with Pan Ocean as the company drilling from the oil field.
“Chief Clark has led a good life and has contributed immensely to national discuss in the past and we do not want individuals to lead him in a direction that does not suggest he was telling stories that are not indeed in tandem with reality because the issues he raised are at variance with reality.
“We plead with him that being our father he has a responsibility to guide all of us and let me also place it on record that we didn’t send anybody to beg him as alleged.
“The amendment we brought to bare on DESOPADEC was to improve the governance structure of the Commission and today DESOPADEC has been able to construct roads, build bridges and jetties, schools and linked communities like Utonlila, Ogbogoro, Ogheye-Dimigun in Warri North Local Government Area of the state.
“Okowa has visited the creeks much more than any leader in Delta State. We went to almost all the oil producing Communities in the state and we have advanced the construction Trans-Warri Road with 19 bridges to Ode-Itsekiri and am sure the elder statesman is not aware of this,” Aniagwu added.
“The storm drainages we are building in Warri and environs have largely mitigated the ravaging effects of flood thus paving way for the reconstruction of roads along such corridor”.
He said Okowa administration established three new universities to improve access to higher education by upgrading existing three higher institutions.
He said throughout the 8months ASUU strike all four universities of the state were in session because the state government provided for the schools what their federal counterparts were demanding.
“We are very proud of what we did in the 8years of our administration and we are very much willing to give account of that any time, any day,” Aniagwu stated.