By Divramredje Lawrence Efeturi
It is arguably one of the longest running noises in Delta State political kingdom in recent times. Just when you thought the heat of how the recent ten billion naira from the Paris Club Refund misappropriated by the People Democratic Party’s arrow head in Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has run its course and the air is cold again, someone throws a lit of match into the brush. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa auctioned ‘’Delta Line’’ to ‘God Is Good’ Motors!
The flame of the heat engulfed the State’s polity. The Governor’s media aides are back at the market square with the shiny armour of words to defend the ailing policies of the State government over the sale of Delta Transport Services Limited (Delta Line), the State owned Transport Company, to an individual capitalist to exclude our social affairs to offend our sense of fairness. This is a ploy to skate on thin ice of frauds; to create another avenue to siphon and steal public funds. It is a premeditated attempt to reel off the cheap trans-fare that has so far been enjoyed by the travelling Deltans.
Shall I make a case by myth or by starting an argument, but many questions begging for answers here? Why would the Governor not improve and manage the Company efficiently for the benefits of Deltans? Does it mean that he cannot tackle issues of corruption and lack of transparency in its accounting book within Delta Line, perhaps he is himself corrupt? If the People Democratic Party (PDP) led government has the interest of the people at heart, why did he the Governor not make the sale notice public? If yes, did he sell to the highest bidder? Why did he reject the offer of two billion naira from the Delta State wing of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), rather accepted one hundred and sixty one million naira, which is lesser, from God Is Good Motors Transport Company Limited? Or did the Governor really entered into a partnership with it or it is just a lease?
To say the least, this government decision is against the wish of the teeming, but meaningful Deltans if we consider the attendant effects it would breed forth, especially on the employees of the defunct Delta Line. It will amaze you that over seven hundred and thirty workers have so far been laid off without pay. The obnoxious sale of the State’s owned properties left me in no doubt with a sneaking suspicion that Governor Okowa’s administration never meant well for Deltans, which is ironical to his “PROSPERITY FOR ALL DELTANS” slogan.
Last month, ten billion naira from the Paris Club Refunds to Delta State that was benevolently given by the Federal government was cruelly diverted from its original purpose it was meant to service billions of loans owed banks by Okowa’s thieving predecessors from the same Party umbrella. The hopes and sighs of the owed teachers and pensioners in the State were completely dashed and deflated. Stories of maladministration, misappropriation of funds continue to reel off the ears. This is in consonance with Mr President’s satirical description of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as ‘the favourite of the press’ during the former’s meeting with the PDP Governors sometime last week.
Delta State is in a sorry state! I have always imagined that Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is another downward step on our circling road of development. No focussed purpose, no piece of his policies ever quite turned into the growth the people have been yearning for. Delta State would remain in her darkening twilight, if still left in the hands of this vampire and the People Democratic Party, come 2019!
Let us talk. Talking hurts no one. Insensitivity towards the plights of Deltans hurts everyone and we must repel it.
Divramredje Lawrence Efeturi is a member of The Directorate of Media and Communication
Light of APC, Delta State.