2019: Tension looms as Ijaw youths divide over Okowa’s 2nd term ambition

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

*Okowa does nothing to deserve Ijaw votes in 2019-IYC  led by Oweilaemi

*You lied, Okowa has done so much and Ijaws will vote for him in 2019- IYC Western zone Chairman, Akefa

By Cletus Opukeme (Publisher)

Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa

 

WARRI- The recent endorsement of Delta State governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa by a socio-political group, Delta Ijaw Political Assembly (DIPA), umbrella body of all Delta Ijaws in  Oleh has brought a sharp controversy and tension among Delta Ijaw youths ahead of 2019 in Delta state as Ijaw youths council (IYC) led by Barr. Oweilaemi has said that the governor did not deserve the votes of Ijaw people in the state for his second term ambition over his neglect and marginalization of the Jiaw riverine communities without a key project commissioned throughout Okowa’s three years administration.

But in a sharp reaction and jab on Oweilaemi from the faction of the  Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) led by Barr. Eric Omare in a statement signed by the Chairman of the Western zone Comrade Frank Akefa had challenged Oweilaemi that he was not being truthful and sincere to the Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, that the governor (Okowa) deserves commendation rather than vilification for his infrastructural and human capital development in the Ijaw communities in Delta state.

Oweilaemi argued  that  governor Okowa has not done enough to merit Ijaw votes  to secure a second term ticket in 2019, except there is a miracle that would make him to perform wonders to the appreciation of the abandoned and much neglected Ijaw people before the 2019 general election.

 

Omare’s point men, Comrade Akefa and Comrade Ebi Wonzu, Secretary General in a press statement  said ‘‘Considering the wrong impression created by the publication that Ijaw youth in particular and Ijaw people in Delta State are aggrieved with the Okowa administration and would disrupt his re-election campaign in Ijaw land, the IYC western zone wishes to react as follows:

”That the IYC western zone does not recognized the so called Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi as President of IYC. He is just an imposter parading himself. The authentic and recognized President of the IYC is Mr. Eric Omare.

 

‘‘The claims by Mr. Oweilaemi in the said publication are baseless and without any justification. Mr. Oweilaemi only spoke for himself and not for Ijaw youths or Ijaw people in Delta State or beyond. Ijaw people are satisfied with the performance of the Okowa’s administration hence the Delta Ijaw Political Assembly (DIPA), a pan Ijaw body comprising of Ijaw people from across party lines in Delta State on the 7th of June, 2018 at Asaba adopted Governor Okowa and his Deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro for a second term in office.

 

‘‘The IYC western zone has noted that Mr. Oweilaemi is known for making careless press statements on the sponsorship of businessmen and politicians. We are very sure that political opponents of Governor Okowa gave Oweilaemi money to issue the said statement and also to blackmail Governor Okowa to part away with some money for him to take care of his financial needs.’’

Oweilaemi in an online whatsApp  chat with Daily Watch described Barr.  Eric Omare’s led IYC as  a cheap one that goes after any amount of money to carry out any publication, especially in Delta State, many are in the payroll of governor Ifeayi Okowa.

His words ” And their response is expected because they are on Okowa’s pay roll. Omare who claims to be IYC President is Okowa’s aide. So, how will he not support Okowa against the interest of the Ijaw people. Ijaw nation is watching us” he noted.

Oweilaemi in a very frantic attack on the governor’s second term ambition stated  that ”The governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa was among the governors that celebrated mostly by reeling out their so-called achievements. In less than eight months from now, these governors, including Dr. Okowa would start canvassing for our votes. There is nothing wrong about that. It is the constitutional right of Okowa and his colleagues to do so.

”However, the question that readily comes to my mind as an Ijaw man, and leader of the teeming Ijaw youths world-wide, is what has Okowa done in terms of development in Ijaw land to Merit our votes? The answer to this mind-boggling question is practically nothing. Just nothing, yet Burutu Local Government Area alone gave Dr. Okowa the third highest votes in 2015. The reward for this bulk vote from the people is lack of infrastructural and human capital development.

 

‘‘Okowa Has gone round nearly all the twenty-one local council areas in Delta State holding town hall meetings and commissioning projects. The sad story is that he has not been to any of the Ijaw local council to hold town hall meetings because the people will look at him eyeball to eyeball to go out to commission projects if he has any. He has therefore completely avoided going to these areas.

 

‘‘The pain of the average Ijaw person is that the Ijaw nation in Delta State contributes the highest amount of crude oil money to the coffers of the Federal government that makes Delta State to enjoy 13 percent derivation from the federation account. Our reward from Okowa is abandonment in all facets of his administration. If Okowa and his apologists are disputing our claims, we challenge to convene a town hall meeting to tell the people the projects he has done in Ijaw land.

 

‘‘Most the projects he has been using to deceive the people are just on paper. There’s no visible work going on anywhere including the much publicised Ayakoromo bridge project.

”Instead of adding to us, Governor Okowa takes away from the Ijaw nation. The only higher institution in Ijaw, the School of Maritime Technology, Burutu has since been fragmented into bits of campuses to the extent that the students population which was once exploding in Burutu is now depleted. That is legacy project by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, but it’s about to be killed by Okowa.’’ He said

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