SPECIAL REPORT.............RE-AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR IFEANYI OKOWA ON THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN DELTA STATE BY CHIEF (DR)E.K CLARK.
It is difficult to understand why Chief E.K Clark chose to write an open letter to Dr Ifeanyi Okowa when he enjoys an unimpeded access to the Governor and has several alternative means of reaching the Governor. Perhaps, the only way to situate Chief Clark's scathing letter is to acknowledge that he had earlier endorsed Peter Obi for presidency as against his own son, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa who is the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP.
It has become a tradition for supporters of Peter Obi like Obasanjo and now E.K Clark to run down the perceived threats to their Principal by engaging in trivia.
It is therefore safe to say that E.K Clark has, in a manner that is diminishing, unfortunately taken to Politics rather than the elder statesman for which he is known.
In Clark's letter he referred to Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as a dictator. How did Pa Clark arrive at such obviously false conclusion?
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is the first Governor to initiate and approve financial autonomy for the state Judiciary and the Legislature. Is that a mark of a dictator?
Dr Okowa runs an all inclusive government and he is the first Governor in the state to appoint as many as 9 opposition Party Chairmen into his Government. Is that dictatorship?
There are some states in the South-South where their Governors do not brood any form of opposition. In such states, any one that dares oppose the Governor will have their houses marked for demolition and their freedom of association and movement severely abbreviated.
Dr Okowa is so liberal as to allow even his close associates to exercise their Political preferences without being molested or victimized.
It is for this reason that Delta state has become a peaceful state and a safe haven for investors and also for neighbouring Anambra citizens wishing to have a safe abode away from the hurly burly of their climes.
Dr Clark therefore needs to do a rethink in his classification of Dr Okowa as a dictator because it certainly does not fit into the Governor's persona.
It would seem that Pa E.K Clark originally known for his originality and indepth analysis, chose this time to rely on the sophistry dished out to the Nigerian reading public by SAHARA REPORTERS on the 19th of April, 2018.
We expected Pa Clark to a due diligence search on the veracity on the sensational SAHARA REPORTERS publication instead of swallowing its contents hook, line and sinker and republishing its odious contents five years later unedited thus reducing our revered statesman to a mere pedestrian Politician.
For sake of the records, the Asaba workers secretariat was initially conceived to be executed under Public -Private Partnership (PPP) but it was the failure of the Private Partners to consummate the deal that prompted the state government to fund the project alone through North China Construction Company.
The project was delivered on record time as it is today, the most ambitious, best equipped and best maintained state secretariat in Nigeria.
It is only busy bodies and idle minds that would be engaging on the profiles of the project consultants of an edifice that has been commissioned and already functioning.
More vexatious of the claims of Pa Clark is the often repeated lie that Dr Ifeanyi Okowa's Government had collected the 250 billion naira 13% derivation fund and misapplied it. Except for purpose of deliberate mischief or outright ignorance every educated Deltan should know that only the sum of 19.6billion naira has been received in four instalments from the 250 billion derivation fund.
Contrary to speculation, Dr Okowa and not Governor Nyesom Wike was the first Governor to acknowledge the existence of a derivation sum owed the state by the Federal Government as far back as April ,2021.
At that time the Delta state Government, worried by the slow pace of remittances of the 250billion derivation fund by the FG decided to request the DTHA to draw down the sum of 100 billion naira on it before inflation catches up with the money. This draw down was intended to fund critical projects like the Delta state film village, Koka fly over and interchange, Mother and child specialist hospital and advanced Diagnostic centre, amongst others.
All the above mentioned projects have been commissioned and put into use.
It is this 100billion bridge finance request that has been twisted by agents of mischief and hirelings of Opposition chieftains to give the erroneous impression that Governor Okowa is taking loans to fund Atiku Abubakar's Presidential bid.
Another deliberate falsehood often sold to the public and now amplified by E.k Clark is that Dr Okowa betrayed his fellow South South Governors by accepting to be running mate to Atiku Abubakar.
If we must tell ourselves the truth, Atiku Abubakar emerged as the Presidential candidate of the PDP in a keenly fought Primary. It was purely a party matter and the party did not zone the Presidency to any particular place.
After the primary, the onus was on the winner to choose his running mate.
Atiku Abubakar could have chosen his running mate from the South-East as he did in 2019 but this time he chose his running mate from the Igbo speaking area of Delta state based on performance, pedigree and other qualities Atiku Abubakar saw in Dr Okowa.
Chief E.K Clark ought to be happy that Delta state is producing the Vice President for the first time since its creation in 1991.
No one begrudged E.K Clark, a known PDP man, for endorsing Peter obi as his preferred Presidential candidate. It was his constitutional right to do so.
Even when Clark chose to site his Private university in his home town Kiagbodo no one asked him why he didn't site it in Burutu, Patani or Bomadi.
We recall that when Chief James Ibori decided to hand over power to Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2007, Chief E.K Clark fought the Uduaghan Administration almost to a standstill.
His major grouse at the time was that it was morally inelegant for Ibori to hand over power to his cousin.
The question to ask is what Dr Okowa has done wrong to warrant such opprobrium and acerbic remarks from someone Okowa calls father.
Dr Okowa has performed creditably well as Governor, unified Delta state and restored investors confidence in the state. His performance has earned him a Governor of the year award by VANGUARD Newspapers just as he has been given recognition with a national award of the Commander of the Niger (CON).
While Deltans and indeed South South and South East Political stakeholders are savouring the possibility of enjoying the dividends of a Vice President coming from the twin regions, we do not expect E.K Clark to sing in a monologue by throwing spanners in the works instead of supporting the aspiration of his "son" as he describes Dr Okowa.
Whilst no one can question the capacity of E.K Clark as a national figure and a leading light in the South South, he has not been overtly vociferous on the new and potential status of Gombe, Bauchi, Kogi and Anambra states as oil producing States. Why is he now so critical of Ika being an oil producing area? Is he not aware that PAN OCEAN is exploring oil in Obiayima and other neighbouring Ika areas like Akumazi, Umunede, Ute-Okpu, Ekuku-Agbor etc?
We call on all Deltans, South-South and South-East compatriots to take the Vice Presidential bid of Dr Okowa as their own project and their contribution towards the success of the Atiku/Okowa joint Presidential ticket.
Whilst we do not want to join issues with Pa E.K Clark we equally enjoin him to retrace his steps and give his unalloyed support to the Atiku/Okowa project.
The entire Ijaw Nationality are with Okowa. The Itsekiris are with him. The Isoko people are not left out. Some Urhobo people may bicker but majority are with Okowa. Of course the Delta North People are solidly behind Okowa.
Does E.K Clark want to remain in the political wilderness by opposing the popular choice of the people? Mind you, Dr Okowa's name is not in the ballot for Delta state Governorship. He is a vice presidential candidate. What does E.K Clark want?
Atiku Abubakar who is not a Deltan saw potential in Dr Okowa and chose him as running mate.
If a Northerner can see the attributes of Okowa why should Clark turn his eyes away as if he is not aware that Okowa is a star in the Political firmament.
Indeed as the bible says, a prophet has no honour in his own home. After all, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world was seen by the Jews as a mere son of a carpenter.
Chief E.K Clark should be reminded that the State Government is consistent in its policy of briefing the public monthly and as such, should know better in terms of income and expenditures of the Okowa's administration. But, if not satisfied with what the Government has informed the people, he can as well go to court like he threatened.
Take it or leave it the joint Atiku/Okowa ticket is the best for Nigeria at the moment and not even E.K Clark's prayer that "they would not succeed" can stop them.
E.K Clark's wish is coming too late as history will not judge him fairly as a man who tried to work against his own people in an opposite direction when he ought to be spearheading it.
By the grace of God, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the incoming Nigeria's President while Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is the Vice President.
God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Christian Moses Abeh
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