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Published On: Wed, Jan 15th, 2020

Relationship Between Okowa And Uduaghan Growing Worst?


LAGOS JANUARY 15TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Relations between Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his predecessor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, have broken down, following the former governor’s outburst against Okowa and the traditional institution for not protecting his legacies. Okungbowa Aiwerie examines the successor/predecessor rift.
The relationship between Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa and ex-Governor Uduaghan hit the rocks, shortly before the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary.

It was an open secret that Uduaghan supported the late Tony Obuh’s candidature against Okowa and since then, there has been no love lost between them.
Sources claim that Okowa has always nursed a grudge against Uduaghan for sponsoring Obuh, David Edevbie, current chief of staff and others, against him during the primary.
It was learnt that Okowa was miffed that his predecessor openly campaigned against him at the Event Centre, Asaba, venue of the shadow poll.
On the other hand, the former governor is irked by the fact that Okowa’s public revelations of the gory details of his administration’s finances was with intent to discredit him.
Following his assumption of office, Okowa in an address to the House of Assembly while seeking a review of the 2015 budget, questioned his predecessors’ role in the over N600 billion debt burden
The animosity between Okowa and Uduaghan resurfaced during the 2019 Delta PDP South senatorial elections. Although Okowa never openly supported incumbent James Manager against Uduaghan, the signs were clear that Uduaghan could not count on his support to win the ticket.
So, with the endorsement of Senator Manager by the PDP, Uduaghan defected to the APC to realise his ambition.
Another grouse of the ex-governor is the manner some “legacy projects” of his administration were being handled, for instance , the alleged neglect of Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara where expatriate staff were languishing without pay, amid deplorable conditions.
But, the immediate cause of the violent attack by Uduaghan stems from alleged attempts by his successor “to discredit his achievements”.
He said the infrastructural projects and enduring peace for which the state traditional rulers council were honouring Okowa, his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro and ex-Governor Ibori are some of his administration’s achievements.
Uduaghan’s name was conspicuously missing from the list of awardees at an event organised by the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council for their contributions to the infrastructural development of the state.
Among those that were honoured at the event, which held in Asaba, were Okowa, his deputy, Otuaro and Ibori.
In series of posts on his Facebook account tagged: “I Shall Be Unzipping A Little Today!!!”, the former governor described his exclusion from the list as attempt to rubbish his huge contributions to the state.
According to him, “Julius Caesar, Animal Farm and Things Fall Apart, were some of the books we used in our literature classes at FGC, Warri. The ‘cuts’ did not kill Ikemefuna or Julius Caesar. The shock of knowing who inflicted the ‘cuts’, killed them!
“Any ex-governor has the capacity to ensure that his state is peaceful, or create a platform for crisis. You cannot fund and mobilise traditional rulers to Asaba to spite me. All of us get “smart cunny.””
“In spite of the lies out there, I was on the driver’s seat in 2014/15, to midwife the current Delta State administration. The critical responsibility of any state leader is to ensure that all actions maintain the peaceful nature of the State.
“Today’s power is not in the guns you have acquired. Power is in the handset we are all carrying. In sponsoring an action, do you assess the ethnic and political implications at all? Some actions are just damn silly!!!
“Congrats to those being honoured by “some” Delta State Traditional Rulers today!!! Interestingly, you are being honoured for: Peace and Security, human capital development, and Infra development.
“On the inf. dev, those coming by air will be landing at Asaba airport built & put into use in my administration. Asaba airport had transported 100k+ of passengers including every past & current Presidents/VPs in Nig. b4 I left office.
“I wish you a great ceremony as you use the Event Centre and Government House complex built by my administration.”
Reacting, Delta Information Commissioner Charles Aniagwu said the traditional institution is a crucial stakeholders in the development efforts of the state, and having observed governance since the inception of democracy from a vantage position are better placed to make such assessment.
But, the Ovie of Oghara Kingdom, Noble Eshimetan, Orefe III, who was a member of the awarded planning committee, said Uduaghan was excluded because nobody promoted his cause before the award committee.
Orefe III, who is the paramount ruler of Oghara kingdom from where former Ibori hails, denied claims that the traditional rulers intentionally excluded Uduaghan.
He said: “It escaped me as well, but the intention was not to take him (Uduaghan) out as someone who did not perform. He was a good man to us and the state and it was not a deliberate thing to exempt him.”
The Nation

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