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Ministry of Information

Between Gov Oborevwori, Demonic Opposition and Compulsive Criticism

By Fred Edoreh

In the understanding that oppositions always have a right to try to cast down a ruling government in order to gain political capital, I usually take their criticisms as expected and normal.

However, it is to be understood that a responsible opposition must try to balance their bid for power and an understanding of the development needs of their state, country or society, to enable them properly situate their criticisms.

I also concede to the freedom of any political pressure group to christen itself by any name, but I am also conscious of the fact that the devil masquerades as an angel of light, which, really, is the height of deception. It is on this score that I construe the crass incontinence of a political group which calls itself “League of Delta Patriots.”

In the course of the celebration of the one year anniversary of Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori in office as Governor of Delta State, they lost all sense of responsibility, reasoning and moderation in their attempt to cast him down.

Feeling that they must compulsively rack mud to attack the Governor, they argued that he is wrong to have committed to the completion of projects inherited from previous administrations rather than initiating and pursuing projects of HIS OWN and in HIS OWN NAME.

To put it mildly, while I sympathise with their terribly warped sense of reasoning, I thank God that Deltans rejected them at the polls because, God forbid, their emergence would have been horrible for our dear state.

How can any group that truly understands governance, development, advancement and progress, ever suggest that a new administration should not pursue the completion of inherited projects in its constituency?

We have tried to educate them that the inherited projects were conceived for the good of our communities, that state funds had been applied to the projects for which abandoning them would amount to waste of resources, and that the completion of the projects is in the interest of people, but it is strange how they seem not to never understand simple logic.

Indeed, what big sense would it make for Governor Oborevwori to abandon the ongoing projects he inherited just to initiate and focus on only HIS OWN initiated projects? Was he elected to glorify himself instead of the overall, collective and harmonised interest of the state?

To be clear, Governor Oborevwori had repeatedly stated that “we are working as a state and I will sustain every ongoing project, complete them and initiate new ones.”

What can be more reasonable than that?

Perhaps, it may be necessary to ask the unpatriotic opposition which of the inherited projects they think should not be pursued to completion?

Let us take the Trans Warri – Ode Itsekiri project which had been on for about 16 years, for instance.

It is common knowledge that the Itsekiri region is a major oil producing area in Nigeria, yet there have been no access roads to their communities for the decades of oil production area.

The Trans Warri project when completed will connect such Itsekiri communities as Ubeji, Ifiekporo, Aja-Etan, Ijala, Ugbodede, Orugbo, Aja-Igba, Innorin, Usele, Ode Itsekiri Olu (Big Warri) and others, from where the nation have been deriving and still deriving economic sustenance.

Long before now, the Movement for the Protection of Iwere Homeland, Development and History, MPIHDH, had been crying over the delay in the completion of the project which truly is with concomitant benefits to the whole of Iwere Kingdom, the state and the nation, in general, in terms of improved social security and order which will guarantee oil exploration and production and escalated industrial, agricultural and commercial activities.

Let us also take the Beneku Bridge which connects Ndokwa East and Ndokwa West and with spurs to various riverine communities in that highly robust economic zone.

As is well known, there has been oil and gas exploration in Beneku and Okpai communities for more than 40 years now. With over 45 wells operated by several oil and gas companies and with an independent gas plant that generates over 450 megawatts of electricity into the national grid, they are one of the highest contributors to the socio economic life of Nigeria, yet they didn’t have an access road before now.

For over four decades, they had been using the pontoon to cross their less than 1km river on the Ase Creek to get to their communities.

The indigenous people coming home from the towns and cities park their vehicles in hotels and other rented places in Kwale and other upland towns, and then ride by boats and canoes to get to their communities. Needless to say that investors in manufacturing had no way to get in there.

Indeed, it was the greatest irony of a nation that when General Ibrahim Babangida went to commission the Okpai gas plant and when President Olusegun Obasanjo went to commission the independent electricity plant there, they both flew in there with helicopters.

It had been like organized slavery, a situation in which the nation and the multinational oil companies could find their way into the communities to exploit resources, but the indigenous people do not have access road into same communities.

It was therefore a big relief to the people when former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa elected to construct the Beneku Bridge to connect the communities with the upland and to create access and inspire greater economic and commercial activities in the whole of that rural and riverine axis.

Agreed that Okowa could not complete the project due to the economic reality of inflationary trend attended by increased cost of construction and building materials which also often necessitated variations and upward reviews in cost, but what is now wrong in Gov Oborevwori understanding the importance and imperative of the project and committing to its completion?

Assuredly, while the opposition, in their evil-mindedness, continues to criticise this commitment, the people of Beneku and Okpai are happy with Oborevwori’s policy on completing the project.

The feeling is the same as on the Orere Bridge project which connects over 16 communities in Ughelli South, as well as the Ayakoromo Bridge which was conceived to connect Burutu and various riverine Ijaw communities. They have been on for years now. The people have been anxious for their completion and Gov Oborevwori has come to bring their expectations to fulfilment.

The same satisfaction is derived from Oborevwori’s commitment to the completion of the Isheagu-Ewulu road and bridge, the storm water drainage projects in Warri, Uvwie, Ika North East and other places.

Most crucially, what should we say about Gov Oborevwori’s commitment to the Ughelli-Asaba Expressway Dualisation Project which has been dragging for over 20 years but in which he has recorded outstanding progress under one year?

How can any sane people suggest, as the unpatriotic opposition critics are suggesting, that the Governor should have ignored it just to focus on new projects to glorify just his administration and his own name?

It is indeed disheartening that an opposition that is inordinately flexing to gain power in Delta State does not understand these issues…

It is not only sad that the band of compulsive critics are pitiably mal-educated, lacking in every knowledge of governance and deficient in the understanding of the development trajectory of our dear state, but indeed also lacking in simple and
common sense.

Their mentality is perhaps why it is said that common sense is not common.

In Igbo language, such people are called “ndiala.”

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