BARRY AGBANIGBI, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has broken silence over the controversy surrounding the 2023 Governorship.
The Governor, who spoke Tuesday during the Quarterly Interactive session when he was asked whether he would still support the Delta Central producing the Governor in 2023, stated that it was his opinion then which he has right to give and that the matter will be decided “when we get to the bridge,we shall know how to cross it”.
According to him, he made the position based on the rotation policy of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the stakeholders in the state, assuring that it always brings equity and fairness which should be uppermost in 2023 agenda but now that so many people are giving different interpretations, it would be better to wait till then.
“I have the right to express my opinion. So, if people are holding meetings, such people are also entitled to their opinion. I am not God, l don’t make Governor. I can’t enforce a verdict or apply a verdict but when we get to the bridge, we shall know how to cross it”, he said.
While responding to the statement made by the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola on the issue of refund to states that repaired Federal Roads, he said Delta government did not really intervene in the Federal Government failed roads for it to be refunded and that the state sought for FG’s clearance to avoid clashing with them.
He said, “Why we seek FG permission to fix these roads is to avoid what happened last year when we wanted to fix the Asaba-Onitsha road. So, this time, we seek the clearance, and they gave us go ahead. Truly, the projects are deeply eating into our treasury but we have no option because our people are suffering and the economic activities of the state are being affected”.
“Not really because we are looking for refund. We have problem with FG to fix the Asaba end of the bridge head last year. This is to reduce the pain of our people and boost the economy of the state. You notice that the Benin-Sapele-Warri road has been grounded the economic activities of the state, so it became important to intervene not because we have the money but to ensure that our people feel government impact”.
“If the FG says it cannot refund is because it is not captured in the budget. FG says they cannot refund, what do we do?, we can’t fold our hands and seeing people dying, properties destroying as a result of bad road. It is left for state to either intervene or not”
However, the Governor urged the Federal Government to take steps in ensure that these roads constructed over 20 years ago are reconstruct to ease the sufferings of the citizens.
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