The Delta All Progressives Congress, APC, Campaign Council, has challenged the outgoing governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to explain to Deltans how he acquired a N3 billion mansion in Texas, United States of America; and come clean on the reported plunder of over N250 billion Delta state assets during his tenure.
Quoting yet unrefuted reports published by a leading online newspaper, The New Diplomat, former Presidential Spokesman, and Director, Communications and Media Strategy of the Council, Olorogun Ima Niboro, said Governor Okowa and his “man friday”, PDP gubernatorial candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, as well as the party itself, must of a necessity, tell the citizens of the state that has reportedly been so mindlessly pillaged what they did, how they did it, and how they plan to restitute what was lost.
“Even in the Holy Bible, restitution is a key part of the forgiveness process. Without restitution, there can’t be forgiveness. While we cannot speak for Deltans on whether they will ever forgive Okowa, Sheriff and PDP, it is yet our bounden duty to demand an explanation for reports of heinous financial crimes that have since gone viral, but over which Deltans have received only deafening silence.”
According to The New Diplomat, “Okowa allegedly bought a massive mansion in Houston. Texas, United States, reportedly valued at about N3billion. Sources reveal that Okowa’s mansion, which he plans to move into shortly after May 29, 2023, stems from his resolve to relocate to the United States just like ex-Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State who relocated to the US upon completion of his governorship tenure. The New Diplomat’s checks in diplomatic circles reveal that Okowa might be walking a very tight rope as petitions have reportedly been forwarded to the United States Department of State, Washington DC, as well as the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC, by concerned Deltans in the Diaspora who allege that the funds used in purchasing the N3billion Mansion in Houston, Texas, are illicit funds allegedly stolen from the coffers of the Delta State government.”
The New Diplomat further alleged that “ that the fortunes of the PDP irretrievably plummeted under the poor leadership of Governor Okowa(and) they blame this on the Governor’s reported “greed to corner choice State assets all to himself and his immediate family, including the Delta( Asaba) International Airport inappropriately concessioned to a brief case Consortium hurriedly created by corporate cowboys, as well as Delta Transport Services (Delta Line), multi-billion-naira event centre, Asaba, Delta State government liaison office complex in Victoria Island, Lagos, etc” while alienating crucial political actors as well as leaving the State in very deplorable state despite receipt of over N4.8 trillion in eight years from both the FAAC and Internally Generated Revenue(IGR).”
The online newspaper further alleged that “Okowa’s mis-adventure has caused a big crisis for the PDP which is now seen as a corrupt, bad, visionless party with nobody worth its salt in terms of performance, education, leadership credentials, good background still left in the PDP.”
Quoting their sources, The New Diplomat wrote: ”We told the Governor to work, do something, he didn’t listen to us. We borrowed, borrowed and borrowed until we climbed the N850 billion debt ceiling now…Sherrif, as a lackey, errand boy of Okowa, approved the loans. He also approved all the alleged illicit sale of valuable Delta State assets like Delta State Transport Company to Lawrence(Okowa’s kinsman and key front). He also approved the concession of Asaba International Airport to Okowa’s son-in-law and cronies under the cover of a PPP arrangement and an illicit SPV hurriedly created called FIDC Menzies Consortium. Let Okowa tell the whole world how much the so-called PPP has brought to Delta State. The bitter truth is that Okowa/Sherrif sold the Asaba International Airport to Okowa’s son in-law and some fronts whose identities have been tracked, under the guise of a PPP…We have all the documents and the details of all the transactions and who did what! That airport by today’s standard is valued at not less than N200Billion…There are petitions already with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation including the Public Assets Recovery Unit Office of the AG…Okowa also lied that he didn’t sell the Delta State liaison office complex in Victoria Island hiding under the name of PPP as a guise. Let him tell Deltans who is renovating the place, breaking it down into several office spaces today, etc”.
Said Niboro: “Ordinarily, we would pay scant attention to this reportage were it robustly refuted by Okowa, PDP and Sheriff. What we now find altogether intriguing is the blanket of silence that has followed it. Instead of replying to these allegations, the “triple evils“ of Okowa, PDP and Sheriff, had the effrontery to release their attack dogs against APC and our gubernatorial candidate.
Recently, the triple evils, characteristically foaming in the mouth, had attempted to raise issues relating to the person of the Deputy Senate President and Delta APC Governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. The issues which they hoped would trend, fell apart very quickly as they were thoroughly repudiated by well meaning Deltans.
The first was the effort to impugn the Christian identity of Senator Omo-Agege and label him as an “Igbe” traditional worshipper.
But Rev Fr. Mario Ozele, in his capacity as parish priest, dean and Catholic Pastoral/Episcopal Vicar of Ughelli region, described the claim as fake news aimed at promoting a specific political agenda. In a well circulated video clip that truly went viral, Rev Fr Ozele described Senator Omo-Agege as a baptized Catholic who wedded in the Catholic Church; and a Communicant whose home parish is St Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Ughelli.
Said the respected priest: “When he became a senator that is where he had his Thanksgiving; and after his reelection he had his Thanksgiving at the Mother the Redeemer Catholic Church, Effurun.”
Also in a statement, dated March 11, 2023, the Very Rev Fr Mark Ikeke, parish priest of St Jude’s Catholic Church, GRA, Effurun, said Senator Omo-Agege is a baptized, practicing and dedicated member of the Roman Catholic Church, adding that the purpose of issuing the statement was to uphold the truth about the religious identity of the senator.
Keen watchers also recall that on Friday, November 18, 2022, to kickstart his governorship campaign, Senator Omo-Agege led his political party, Christian faithful, relations, friends and well-wishers, to dedicate and seek divine protection and support for victory at the polls at the St Jude’s Catholic Church, GRA, Effurun.
“The second issue over which the triple evils tried but also spectacularly failed is the ridiculous allegation that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege converted N80 billion meant for the reconstruction of Sapele/Benin Road and the Amukpe/Agbor/Uromi Road in Delta and Edo states to buy a private jet for himself.
“It would be recalled that at an interactive meeting with the Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN, in Sapele late November 2022, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege disclosed that based on his plea, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that N80 billion out of N500 billion of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, that was frozen, be released for the road projects. Is it this N80 billion that the Federal Government has tied to development projects that the PDP now alleges that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has used to buy a private jet? Like the Americans say, what a load of crock!
“It is clear that while the plate of the triple evils is full of allegations and more allegations of open corruption and fiscal misconduct, Senator Omo-Agege’s record, much to their chagrin, remains squeaky clean.
“We urge Okowa, PDP and Sheriff(aka the triple evils) to devote their energies to respond to the earth shaking revelations of The New Diplomat, rather than trying to divert attention with inanities that are neither here nor there!