OBOREVWORI: HOW NOT TO GLORIFY A ‘ONE CHANCE’ GOVERNOR – Zik Gbemre

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    It is appalling how in desperation to sustain its thieving hegemony over Delta State Government since 1999, Delta PDP drove the audacity to the height of imposing the weakest, most uninformed contender, a local champion as Governor over a state flowing with accomplished men and women of immense capacity.

    Given this unenviable privilege, one would have expected the fortunate placeholder governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, whose only election campaign manifesto was pledging to improve on the failed leadership of Ifeanyi Okowa, his predecessor, to now engage creative minds and men of proven integrity to assist him in making the difference.

    Rather than do the needful, Oborevwori, worsening matters, elected to engage same spent leaders, deadwood and gluttons that have gained prominence is running the state down over successive administrations.

    The result has been a government of mediocre officeholders competing to run the state for their pockets at the detriment of the populace, under a governor popular for attending funerals, marriages, birthdays and sundry celebrations involving political associates, friends and families than demonstrating commitment to the common good of Delta people.

    With the opposition weakened, almost nonexistent, to checkmate the impunity of the PDP hegemony in Delta and the populace so gullible in the face of growing deprivation being meted out on them by the narrowminded government, it is understandable why the goons of Oborevwori in the garb of his bloated appointees and Delta PDP leaders can’t stand me speaking the glaring truth to the shame of a local champion governor.

    It is a deliberate conspiracy to impose a mediocre governor over the far better contenders shoved aside to enthrone Oborovwori. To the cabal sustaining the PDP hegemony over Delta, the state treasury has become a most lucrative farm, huge racket. The weaker the governor in power, the easier he can be manipulated to share the commonwealth to the cabal.

    This is why the ‘goons and attack dogs’ of the governor cry more than the bereaved each time I point to the disgraceful flaws in Oborevwori’s shallow minded governance. A government in which only the rental cheerleaders who get fattened on the ‘one chance” helmsman see him as ‘godsent’.

    Ironically, the more they beautify his imbecilic governance which any lamebrain seated on the Office of the Governor of Delta state can deliver, the more they expose Oborevwori as a ‘counterfeit governor’.

    I point to Oborevwori’s inexcusable ineptitude in the handling of Okuama tragedy and his goons are willfully delusional that he deserves credit. This is a governor who was anonymous while Okuama was being leveled, residents killed and survivors escaped into creek hideouts for a tragedy provoked by doubtful army’s ‘peace mission’ there.

    The prominence the governor gained was the notoriety of being a spectator chief security officer of Delta who was denied access to a community under his rule, yet he chose to remain apologetic to President Bola Tinubu and the military while ordinary citizens of Delta, including Zik Gbemre, push away the malicious military narrative that all residents of Okuama were guilty of murdering over March 14,2024 killing of 17 soldiers.

    Even when the local champion governor finally found his voice on the crisis, in wake of the Nigerian Army withdrawal after accomplishing their vengeful occupation of the community and buried their mess of killings in the destroyed community, Oborevwori still isn’t still being able make sense of interventions to rehabilitate the Okuama IDPs without exposing his ineptitude.

    His PDP goons couldn’t see the mockery in quoting the governor when he said, “With this development, the people of Okuama can now safely return to their homes and begin the process of reintegration and rebuilding their homes.”

    “I express my deep and profound gratitude to Mr. President, the Chief of Army Staff, and the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army for their understanding and cooperation.

    “In my engagements with them, they demonstrated the highest level of concern and care for the plight of the displaced persons. To God be the glory that we have achieved an amicable resolution.”

    What a one chance governor we have in Oborevwori. Just by listening to the army telling him what he wants to hear, he believes they showed compassion on Okuama displaced persons.

    Whereas emerging facts of the saga showed several residents were killed, including the obstinate who refused to leave their homes when the military invaded. Some were buried in the rubbles as their home were collapsed on them by the swamp buggies deployed to level the community. Till today the governor has not acknowledged the fact that several innocent residents were murdered in the Army’s vengeful destruction of Okuama.

    And to just provide relief, rather than prepare an IDPs camp ready to take them in, Oborevwori rushed to Asaba to inaugurate an Ewu IDPs Camp Management Committee, without proper consultation with key stakeholders, least of all, Okuama people.

    Even more shameful, in one breathe, same governor who put the cart before the horse by inaugurating an Ewu IDPs Management Committee without a ready camp, also urged Okuama people to return to their destroyed homes to start rebuilding their shattered lives.

    So now that Okuama people have heeded the call to return to their homeland, all the funds, over publicly declared N10Million released on impulse to prepare the Ewu IDP Camp are wasted. Monies that could have made a big difference in providing relief for Okuama people.

    Consequently, the Ewu Camp Management Committee is in conflict with Oborevwori going forward on resettling Okuamas to their homes. While Oborevwori says they should go home, committee is tacitly threatening Okuamas would lose State Government’s support if they don’t start their resettlement journey from the Ewu Camp.

    Why the Governor and the Committee led by Abraham Ogbodo play the ‘petty mind game’, the Urhobo Historical Society (UHS) deserves commendation for opening the gates for much needed support for the returning Okuama residents with delivery of reliefs materials raging from basic food, utensils, toiletries, plates, pots, cutleries, clothes and many more in a couple of days back.

    Before the freedom to return home, Michael Egi, foundation member of the UHS in US, had first delivered relief materials to the IDPs who had no food, shelter, water or anything while in creek hideouts.

    Dwelling on a N78Bn contract to Julius Berger for remodelling of Effrurun Roundabout to DSC Roundabout, Delta PDP praise singers believe Oborevwori has turned Delta State into a huge construction site. Bogus claims.

    Are we living in a different Delta from that occupied by the Oborevwori’s goons. No road in Warri and environs. No good road anywhere in Delta. In Rivers, after signing a landmark Port Harcourt Ring Road project of over N195Bn within weeks of taking reigns, Governor Sim Fubara has just approved another Trans-Kalabari road for N222Bn, that is aside so many other major projects ongoing.

    They claim, “So far the health institutions of the State are working, the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary
    Institutions are all in top forms; 2,000 school teachers were employed across the State; civil
    Servants are paid as at when due, with pensioners enjoying their pensions.”

    Only a week back, the Niger Delta Peace Coalition led by Zik Gbemre, shared pathetic pictures of the piteous condition of the Orhowhe Primary School, Iwhrekan-Edjophe, Ughelli South LGA where roofs are blown off, students have no desks and chairs, teachers have no chairs to sit. If that is the story in upland in Iwhrekan-Edjophe, one can imagine if public primary, post primary schools still exist in riverine Delta.

    They claim civil servants are being paid as at when due. What a shame. Whereas in far less endowed sister Edo state, Governor Obaseki has increased minimum wage to N70,000, here in Delta, some hungry cheerleaders are citing payment of salaries as Oborevwori’s leadership achievement.

    They claim health institutions in the state are working in perfect state. I challenge Oborevwori and his PDP goons to a facility audit tour of public hospitals in the state, beginning with the Oghara Teaching Hospital. The reality is a direct opposite of the PDP propaganda in Delta. Basic laboratory tools are grounded, medical personnel ‘japaring’ in droves, accredited courses being withdrawn.

    In truth, if the rental praise singers of PDP can term the profound ineptitude of Oborevwori at the helms of Delta State Government as applaudable, then Deltans have a real situation to deal with. Even an imbecile can do better that this Local Champion Governor.

    Zik Gbemre

    May 17,2024

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