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Published On: Tue, Feb 19th, 2013

Uduaghan Has Underdeveloped Delta — Chief Omoru

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Chief Omoru

Chief Omoru

Chief David Omoru is a social crusader, journalist, politician and community leader based in Delta State. He spoke with Kola Niyi-Eke, on the state of affairs in Delta State; infrastructural decay, the 2015 gubernatorial election and other contending issues.

What is your take on Federal Allocation to the state?
Almost every time we talk about this issue, but it is like nobody is reacting to our complaints. It is true Delta state is the second largest oil producing states in the Federation Vis-a-vis the federal allocation that comes to us on a monthly basis we have had oil windfall, surplus and on the aggregate, the state receives nothing less than N20 billion every year. And one wonders what the money is spent for; granted that there are few projects on going here and there. Five to 10 kilometers roads across the state but those kind of projects do not reflect the amount of money that comes to the state. So, I begin to wonder who is actually spending the money and what the government is spending it for. I do believe that before Gov. Uduaghan spends eight years, the state would have received close to N1.8 trillion. And a state that receives such amount of money would have turned united Arab Emirate, the Dubai of today. But what we are seeing on ground is shameful to say; that we have a government in place and yet people are not enjoying the dividends of democracy.
So, in a nut shell, this government has actually failed us. The few primary schools they are renovating here and there is just to tell the people, yes we are doing something on education; that is nothing because it is a combined projects with the Federal government. In order words, it is not a project that is solely being carried out by the Delta State government and how many are they? Go to Rivers State, Gov. Amechi said they have about 260 of such projects completed and commissioned. Same with Gov. Akpabio, it is barely 25 months to go in terms of governance and it is now we are commissioning few of these primary schools; it’s a big sign of failure because as I speak, as from 2013 December and there about, nobody is going to talk about governance, but about politics, talking about primaries and all that. So, we have effective 12 months to really work in the state.

How will Uduaghan account for this?

Like I used to say at in several fora, this is not the time to start chasing Uduaghan, because the man is on his way, leaving and he has immunity you cannot force him to do anything now, but a time will come when people will ask what he did with the money and because for now, there is nothing anyone can really do, because he has that immunity, he is the chief executive, the chief security officer of the state that some people are having the feeling that after 2015 election, Uduaghan will be asked to account for the money that have come to this state.
There are hotels and fast food joints owned by government officials? Well, to me I don’t have problems with people building houses, hotels every where, I don’t have problems with that. The only problem I have is that if the money they used in building those hotels belongs to Delta State, if they are businessmen and they built houses nobody can bother.
But one begins to wonder how a commissioner within the period of two, three years or five years built a three star hotel, because we know what a commissioner is supposed to earn. So for a commissioner to build such hotels or houses, you see that is why I have problems with the EFCC and ICPC because these are institutions that are supposed to look into the operations and finances of the state, but these bodies have made it very difficult for somebody to prosecute those who they feel are stealing the money. EFCC will tell you reasonable doubt, you must provide documentary evidence to show that yes this person has really stolen the money, but I do know there was a time a former Chief Protocol Officer, I mean the director of protocol to former Gov. James Ibori, he had millions of naira in his new Peugeot 504 car boot, he parked the unregistered car somewhere in Agbor town and went drinking. He came out from where he was drinking, both the car and money were no where to be found so Delta State is a peculiar state.
A state that anybody can come and do whatever he likes and goes unpunished. Money that belong to people are taken by a few persons and they use it with impunity. These are things that the federal government should do something about. I look at President Jonathan against corruption with reservations because Jonathan himself knows that those that are corrupt, but because he has been in the system, and because Bayelsa and Delta states are very close, he is paying deaf ears to the issues of Delta State.
Infact he doesn’t want to tackle the corruption in the state; otherwise one wonders why the federal government gave the governor an award. Is it as the best governor or the most transparent governor or what? So, you see, Jonathan himself is not helping matters, this issue that is happening here, they steal commissioner’s money in his car boot and is published in the national dailies for those in government to read.
Akpati will read it, and draw the attention of the president to it but he will just look at it and will not bother. But this little thing matters because the aggregate of this small, small corruption across the country gives us the problems we are having today. This pocket of corruption today, commissioners N10M is stolen, tomorrow Board Chairman; N10m is stolen, the Local Government Chairman etc. so all this gives us the problem we are having today so, if we want to fight corruption, we must look downwards to the state level; to look at these governors who are corrupt. Nobody is above the law of nemesis, today you are doing it and tomorrow, somebody will come and say come and pay for what you have done.

But why did you support him then?

Let me tell you this as at 2006, Emmanuel Uduaghan who is now the governor was my very close friend. Each time we discussed, he always assured me that once he becomes the governor of this state, he will perform and do all that. I had confidence in him and I went all round to make sure that the little support I can give I gave to him through the media and through the grassroot. You see, human beings are unpredictable. You know, if the character Uduaghan had in 2006 before he became governor, if that is the character he is still having now, Delta State would have been the best state in terms of inter-social development but the man came and he was influenced by power and bad advisers. He had people feeding him with negative suggestions as if there is no tomorrow, otherwise the quality of the person I know of Uduaghan before he became governor is a very good quality, somebody who is honest, transparent, focused, intelligent and upright.
Once you have somebody who has the interest of the masses, somebody who that is level headed, has the fear of God and has the desire to uplift, solve the problem, of the common man, then we are made but today, the reverse is the case.
Yes at that time, I had series of interviews and then even in the social media all over the world it was those in America who called me and asked, chief what is happening to you? You see, I am a man conscious of the future because my future or my life, my character has a lot of thing to do with my family, children; I have children who are coming up as engineers, lawyers, medical doctors, they are all coming up. But I think they will be proud to have a father who has a good name.
They will be proud to have a father, who one day is not handcuffed and put in jail; they will be proud to have a father who, tomorrow yes they can go to anywhere; I know that several persons today if with their wealth, their children cannot come out and say that person is my father. There are a lot of persons here in this country that their children cannot come to say this is my father. But my children are very proud anywhere they go they will say Chief Omoru is my father.

Sir, why D-PEACE?

Well, like I told you I believe in equity, credibility and justice and this informed the foundation of the D-PEACE. I originated it, I formed the structure and got politicians to work with us. I did that because Delta Central has it when the state was created. Felix Ibru was the first governor and was from central. Later Ibori became governor for eight years from central. Then, this issue of power shift came. My friend Uduaghan called me, Omoru, power shift, what do we do about it? I said I bought the idea because justice demand that since central had it, it is the turn of some other districts, and then Udugahn was lucky to have it from his zone – that is the south. Now Uduaghan is going for his eight years and it will soon be over by then, the south would have had its chance. Now it becomes the turn of Delta North and any attempt to deprive them will show that other districts are wicked, selfish and unreliable.
We are looking for the best candidate who will serve the interest of the state come 2015 and that candidate must come from Delta North who must be an insider, because it is easier for somebody who has been in the system to change the system for good than an outsider.
He has the better understanding of each system, of his people in making a change it will be very easy for him than for somebody to come and break the whole mechanism and start all over again.

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