Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the ‘Ekwueme gburugburu’ of the universe, is a man and a leader, who is surrounded by overflowing Grace and has continued to make us proud in the Movement for Stronger Delta, MSD, and indeed majority of Deltans, across the State.
Every time he interacts with the public, the humility, honesty, transparency he radiates, and the candid passion, the painstaking yet comprehensive mastery of his responses, and the gentle, accommodating aura he exudes, will simply take your breath away.
His recent Quarterly Media parley with Delta Journalists, was yet another flawless exhibition of leadership excellence and responsiveness, in addressing critical issues raised by the very constituency, empowered by the Constitution, to hold Government accountable on all counts and areas of administration.
It will not be out of place to say that every Journalist cum media person who attended the Quarterly interface, was quite satisfied with the Governor’s performance and one can even go further to add that Okowa’s succinct, salient and articulate answers, delivered in clear, unequivocal sentences, sufficiently knocked the stuffing out of many of those who came to Government House spoiling for a fight or to engage in some verbal muckraking drudgery.
But of course, there are those who, no matter how hard one tries to be honest and transparent, they must cook up some desperate conspiracy theory to saturate the bitterness in their dark, acrimonious souls.
And so it was that no sooner had the Quarterly Media Interface ended than the detractors-in-chief jumped into their social media theatre, to lay all manner of claims and raise some very ridiculous allegations, which not only exposed their ignorance over matters they know next to nothing about, but sadly exhumed their vile appetite to continue chewing on their own regurgitated tasteless cud of falsehood and manipulation.
It is little wonder, therefore, that when our smart, astute and very cerebral Governor Ifeanyi Okowa pursued the legal process which eventually secured the =N=270.6 billion payment, which the Federal Government owes Delta State and will pay in tranches over five years, the pragmatic approach to access the funds was to deploy it to address short and medium-term projects and outstanding demands, via a bridging finance arrangement, knowing fully that the value of the money would depreciate over five years.
The hullabaloo that has greeted this arrangement, even from people who should know better by virtue of their status and learning, is the comprehension of the compound word ‘Bridging-finance’ (or Bridge-financing), which has gone into the heads of the detractors like intoxicating wine and robbed them of its simple common sense translation.
So, how does Bridge Financing Work? Simple. Bridge financing “bridges” the gap between the time when a company’s (a State in this case) money is set to run out and when it can expect to receive an infusion of funds later on, especially when it has secured the availability and remittance of such funds. This type of financing is most normally used to fulfill short to medium-term working capital needs.
Now, here’s the thing; the Federal Government is financially obliged to Delta State to the sum of =N=270.6 billion, which it will release in tranches or installments. The State Government has decided to source a =N=150 billion facility from a strong financial institution, with the Federal Government’s already settled obligation as surety.
The State Government is not taking a conventional loan from the bank in this case, but is rather spending its own money which is held by the Federal Government. The Bank itself, as a top financial institution, has confirmed that the Federal Government is owing the State and will collect its mandatory bank charges including VAT on the bridge facility, which is 12%, and there’s nothing wrong with this, which is standard practice, after all, bank charges are normal with every transaction, even deposits, and withdrawals with ATM sef.
Besides, the Delta State Government attached a list of projects to the request sent to DTHA for approval, including payment of Local Government and State Pensioners and the execution of major projects which includes ongoing construction projects at the three newly established and fully accredited Universities, payment of contractors and the delivery of other star projects before the administration winds down.
This is an honest, transparent, and verifiable process, but of course, the fact that the bank has enjoyed and continues to be progressively driven by the excellent and unparalleled management expertise of globally renowned and highly respected financial gurus from Ika nation, is the grouse that’s eating up the detractors. How petty.
Another interesting claim was the matter of endorsement over which these same people have given us multiple fake predictions and prophecies, all from sources that they swore can never be doubted.
Governor Okowa has consistently declared that as a leader in the PDP it would be wrong for him to openly endorse anyone. Yet, instead of the detractors to go after those leaders that have openly endorsed an aspirant, they are hell-bent on forcing Ekwueme to make an open pronouncement.
Well, now that he has asked them to wait till May 23rd for his pronouncement, we hope they will be calm henceforth. The real, genuine, committed, loyal, and unwavering PDP members know who is a real party man. They know the aspirant who has traveled up and down the rigorous campaign trail with them and won elections under the big umbrella of the PDP.
The members know their member and the Delegates know a fellow Delegate who has stood on the line with them severally. They will decide who, amongst all the aspirants, that Governor Okowa will unveil on that day. Lion no go leave better meat, come follow goat dey chop modernized grass.
And what is even all this useless noise and alarm over hijacking of Delegates lists? We all know who the statutory Delegates are and we have seen aspirants, including presidential aspirants, consulting with them openly. So, where does hijack come in? Strangers will not come and take over the list because the delegates, including the ad-hoc ones, know themselves. It is only those who want to manipulate the genuine list that are now crying wolf.
Of course, many Deltans still remember what happened in 2011, when a certain PDP State Chairman, who unsurprisingly is now in APC, tried to manipulate the authentic delegates list for the Delta North Senatorial primaries and we know how transparent that primary election turned out to be and how badly that episode ended for those manipulators. It is unfortunate that they still haven’t learned that “Okowa no be their mate”.
Governor Okowa has also assured that the ‘Ibori Political family is still intact’ but added the well-known rejoinder that politics will be played when it is time for politics but in the end, PDP is and will always remain one big, united family. That is the nature of politics; win or lose, the party is still Supreme.
Finally, Governor Okowa has stated once again that the Primaries will be free and fair and those who know Ekwueme can confirm that he is a man of his word and like he has already said with conviction, and barring any last-minute unforeseen situation, the date to unveil his successor is May 23, 2022 and there’s nothing the false prophets and fake predictors can do about it. God is still in full control.
That is the SIMPLE Agenda.
® MOVEMENT FOR STRONGER DELTA, (MSD)