The Expensive Joke of Delta APC, By Ifeanyi OsuozaArticles/Opinion, Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News Thursday, February 1st, 2018
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Jokes generally are meant to elicit laughter from members of the public or whoever is the recipient of the joke. In some instances, when jokes sound more toxic it obviously elicits responses or reactions that may not be complimentary.
In the true sense of it, jokes make more sense when it comes from comedians or those who want to lift the spirit of the listener or recipient of the joke. Jokes are meant to be treated as jokes or dismissed outrightly as having no genuine or reasonable effect.
But when a political party, in this instance, the All Progressive Congress APC, that is supposed to be serious in the business of galvanizing public opinion or interests towards the attainment of good for the larger members of the public, turns itself to a mere joker, then there is cause for concern about the mental status of such group or individuals who make up the group.
One of such dry jokes of the APC in Delta State was the tissue of lies dished out in the name of article by one uninformed/deluded character called Erefoluwa Keka, who claimed to be the Publicity Secretary of Warri South West APC on pages 28 and 29 in the January 30, 2018, edition of the Vanguard newspaper, where he painted pictures that are at variance with the realities on ground in Delta State.
The misguided author of the article, while trying to give an over bloated impression of the capacity of Delta APC, clearly demonstrated that he didn’t spare a minute to allow his write up to benefit from a moment of deep thought.
The author of the article and his pay masters in our own thinking could benefit from the services of an ophthalmologist who specialises in the treatment of glaucoma to enable them see and realize that even those who contested against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in the Governorship primaries of the PDP are holding senior and very sensitive positions in the cabinet of the Okowa led administration. Besides, a good number of the foot soldiers of other contestants in the PDP Primaries are today advising and assisting Governor Okowa in various capacities. And so to talk about an attempt to depress or suppress those who contested against him, is to say the least, another dry joke.
The joker called Delta State APC, represented in this instance by Erefoluwa Keka, talked about the mismanagement of the Peoples mandate. We must sincerely thank them for acknowledging for the first time that Governor Okowa indeed got the mandate of the people. For this open acknowledgment, we will forgive them for attempting to distract the government that came to be on account of this freely given mandate of the people when they (the APC) challenged Senator Okowa’s victory up to the Supreme Court. But again, we suggest that the ophthalmologist may need to stay close by, as the author Erefoluwa Keka and his co- travellers may benefit from another clinical examination to see that thousands of young Deltans have now become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.
The attempt to accuse Dr Okowa of running a clannish and nepotistic administration is yet another joke that is not well thought out, as every section and ethnic groups in the state are fully represented in the Okowa administration.
Reading through paragraph seven of the article, we are tempted to believe that the author may not have visited Delta State in the last two years, otherwise, he would have seen the efforts of the Okowa led administration in the area of road construction, aggressive opening-up of rural communities, reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools, revamping of technical colleges in the state, rehabilitation and equipping of hospitals, tackling of flood through the construction of storm drainages and so many other social and infrastructural development projects across the state.
In the last two and half years, the Okowa led administration has awarded contracts for the construction and reconstruction of 150 roads and line drainages out of which over 40 have been completed and commissioned. What makes the article a joke is the fact that the author who claimed to reside in Warri South West is not even aware that road construction is going on in the very remote creek of Okerenkoko in Warri South West as well as 18.7km roads in Ogulaha, Obotobe I & II, Sokebolo and Yokri roads in Burutu Local Government Area. Oporoza, the 2.193km Obitonbon Rigid Concrete Pavement road in Ogidigben, Ode-Itsekiri township roads among others.
The writer also alleged that teachers in the employ of the Delta State Government are being owed salaries, that is another joke! It is on record that the Okowa led administration is one of the very few administrations in the country that have constantly paid the workers in the State employ, including teachers and have also assisted the local government councils in the state to lessen the burden of payment of Primary School Teachers and Local Government workers.
The Okowa administration has also taken seriously the issue of settlement of the inherited pension liabilities which came about as a result of the migration from the old pension scheme to the contributory pension scheme.
The jokers in Delta State APC who are always in the business of equating the serious act of governance with propaganda, are talking about re-introduction of school fees in Delta when primary and secondary education are still free in the state. It is imperative to point out that the scholarship and bursary schemes in the state are still in operation, but the jokers in the APC are looking for ways to have access to the funds and lavish it hence they could not understand the functionality of the reforms introduced to make the initiative result oriented.
The Federal Sports Authority represented by the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barr. Solomon Dalung, has commended the Okowa led administration’s efforts in the area of sports development. The reconstruction of the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba and the assistance in the completion of the Delta Polytechnic Stadium in Ozoro are clear manifestations of Governor Okowa’s commitment to the development of sports in the State.
One other reason why we suspect that the APC members are not seeing clearly, is the allegation of abolition of the free Medicare for under-5 and pregnant women as well as senior citizens of seventy years and above. On the contrary, the Okowa led administration having launched the Universal Health Coverage scheme, undertook the responsibility of paying the premium for this class of Deltans.
Another joke that tends not to agree with the age of the writer is the allegation that the Okowa led administration is building roads in the strong hold of opposition leaders to achieve political points. While we commend them for even accepting that we have built roads in the supposed enclaves of the opposition leaders, we want to set the records straight by reminding them that our roads and programmes are neither initiated nor executed on the basis of partisanship. But come to think of it, the multiple projects they (APC Delta) acknowledged have been executed in Delta North, were they also for the purpose of achieving political points?
One of the first strategic decisions taken by Governor Okowa on assumption of office is the restructuring and repositioning Of DESOPADEC. The decision which necessitated the amendment of the parent act was of the view to getting oil bearing communities to reap adequately from the establishment of the agency. We are not in any way surprised that Erefoluwa Keka and other members of the APC are not able to see the difference and the impact of DESOPADEC because what they are used to is how to short-change the people through phantom contracts.
We are very very convinced that the modest achievements of Governor Okowa in the area of upgrade of infrastructure across the three Senatorial Districts, the all inclusive governance structure, the pursuit for peaceful and harmonious relationship among the various ethnic groups clearly make him the preferred candidate in the 2019 elections.
© IFEANYI MICHAEL OSUOZA , State Publicity Secretary, PDP, Delta State.
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