Asaba airport contract: My story, by Mrakpor, Reps member


Are you satisfied with the governance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa?

I would say yes and no. No, because I know that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is not satisfied with himself because coming in as governor of Delta State, there were a lot of things that he had planned out. He had this passion for youths, wishing that he would be able to get them off the streets. He had this passion to make sure that women no longer died while giving birth. He had this passion to make sure that elderly ones while sick would be able to get medical attention, regardless of whether their children could afford it or not. He had this passion that Delta villages or communities should be connected to one another through good network of roads. However, because of the economy, he has not been able to achieve it to the level he had thought and told Deltans during campaigns before he was sworn in as governor.

But again, based on the meagre resources available to him, Okowa has done his best. If he had enough, he would have turned the whole Delta into a model state of his dreams, because apart from the state capital, where road construction and drainage works are going on, and other cities, he would want rural communities to be adequately taken care of as well.

Tell us what you know about the Asaba Airport contract?

I will answer to the extent of the facts that I had before I left the Delta State House of Assembly, because that contract issue did not start today, just like the Asaba Stadium issue. I was a member of the House Appropriation Committee then and we severally visited Asaba Stadium then and were not happy with the contractor. As a House, we made it clear.

We had running issues with the way the Asaba Airport was being handled. And when Senator Okowa came in, you know people are different, he is a man who can absorb shocks. People had expected him
to quickly terminate the contract as soon as he became governor, but he did not do that. He went further and had meetings with the contractors and they named their price again, which they said was delaying the job. He went ahead and paid, though there were allegations in the social media that he paid so as to get some cuts, which was not true. He paid because he wanted the airport job to be completed. He became uncomfortable when months turned to years. The project remained unfinished. Of course, as a wife, when there are issues, you cannot disconnect yourself. My husband is from Delta Central, an Urhobo man, and I am an Igbo from Delta North. Some persons connected with that contract are from my area. So, of course, I would get one or two bashings, people are asking, why is your husband doing this? But one question he asked is, do you want me to be the friend of your people or you want Deltans to be happy with the government? I told him that was a tough question. I want you to be a friend of the people and I want Deltans to be happy. In some issues you cannot have the two.

And he went on to say that each time Deltans are coming into Asaba and have to go through Owerri, Benin, Enugu or Warri airports, a lot of issues come up and end with the governor that he is not doing well, he is not doing this or that. He now asked again, do you know the risk involved having to do almost two hours on the road either from Enugu, Owerri or Benin to come to Asaba?

Culled from here


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