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Delta State Governor and Vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa, has said there was no truth in claims by certain political leaders that he had betrayed the southern part of the country by agreeing to be running mate to the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 general election.

Okowa expressed shock and dismay that the same people trying to feed the people with falsehood about agreement on where President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should come from were silent when the leaders of the PDP, for instance, made declaration that the presidency should be thrown open to enable the best possible candidate emerge as the flag-bearer.

Speaking for Okowa, his Chief Press Secretary,  Olisa Ifeajika,  the governor also wondered why Senator Omo-Agege, the governorship candidate of the Delta All Progressives Congress (APC), has latched onto the baseless claim that he (Okowa) betrayed anybody to add to his bag of lies against his administration and the PDP.

According to him, Deltans were too exposed and informed about the numerous achievements of his government in many areas to be won over by such “cheap Iies and propaganda” being deployed by Omo-Agege.

“The APC governorship flag-bearer had few days ago claimed that Okowa betrayed the people of the South by joining himself with a candidate of northern extraction in the attempt to keep the presidency in the north. The lies and general campaign of calumny against him at the  state and national level will not prevail but fizzle away because the people know the truth, he said.

“After the emergence of the presidential candidate of the party from the North, it was automatic that his running mate would come from the South, and for this, Okowa was found worthy to be selected having met the criteria set by the Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar,” he pointed out.

On claims that the Okowa administration had mismanaged the funds that accrued to the state in the last seven years, Ifeajika noted that development projects under the Okowa government were equitably distributed across the three senatorial districts including Omo-Agege’s Orogun community where the state government executed five important road projects.

He said: “Across his Ughelli North Local Government Area, we have executed no fewer than 20 projects and across his Senatorial District, no fewer than 88 projects have been executed by the Okowa administration. 

“Let him tell Deltans what he has achieved from the Federal Government, where he sits as the second-in-command at the Senate. It is on record that the Senate, where he is a prominent member, has been adjudged the worst since the fourth Republic began. 

 “It is this same National Assembly where he presides over that watched haplessly as President Muhammadu Buhari took our debt stock to over N60 trillion. Most times, the president collected loans, which he has continued to do almost monthly, without recourse to the Senate, in blatant contravention of the law.  

“The injury inflicted on Nigerians by the APC through its maladministration in the country is fresh and tough on the people, yet the party is shamelessly campaigning for another chance to lead.”

On the issues raised by APC’s Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu and former governor of Edo, Adams Oshiomhole, at the party’s rally in Warri on Saturday, he said, “We will not join issues with Bola Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole; they should first clear themselves on issues of identity and scandals before casting aspersions on Okowa, a man with sterling credentials. 

“But, we are not surprised at the way both men spoke at the rally, because in APC, lying and abusing people are in their DNA. And, the reason is obvious frustration.”

He said Okowa consciously avoided mortgaging the future of the people and the incoming administration by refusing to discount (upfront) the N240 billion due to Delta State from the 13 per cent oil derivation fund which the Federal Government agreed to pay over a period of five years on quarterly basis.

While assuring that “work on some of the legacy projects of Governor Okowa administration” has continued despite the “delay in accessing the bridging finance the government sought”, he said, “when we finally accessed N30 billion out of it, the governor, in his transparent culture, personally disclosed it to the media.

“So, we have nothing to hide here in Delta. That is the much that the State Government has collected from the bridging finance it sought and which some persons, including Omo-Agege, had ignorantly dubbed as loan of N150 billion and have continued to peddle it.”

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