Okowa's jobs creation myth and other stories Featured

Monday, 21 November 2016 00:00 Written by  Published in Niger Delta Watch Read 344 times
Ifeanyi Okowa: Delta state governor Ifeanyi Okowa: Delta state governor

When the governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa celebrated one year in office, he held a press conference in Government House, Asaba as part of accountability to the electorate. In talking about his achievements, he said that he created 17, 173 jobs through his `smart agenda` programme.



Many Deltans were not amused, as the facts on the ground are contrary. True that some youths were trained in skills acquisitions, but the same people demonstrated against the programme on the streets of Asaba. Their grouse were that the starter packs given to them to start their own businesses were obsolete and that the job creation office of the Okowa administration short-changed them.  Thus, the so-called jobs creation existed more in the realm of fiction. The money used in training such people was just down the drains and wasting the scarce resources of government and also making some officials of the government richer.  Furthermore, when the governor mounted the mantle of leadership on May, 29 2015, many civil servants employed by the Uduaghan administration were sacked under the spurious claims that the appointments were done to favour some senatorial districts.

Deltans had expected the governor, as part of his one year anniversary, to recall such workers instead of weaving tortoise-like fable of creating invisible 17,173 jobs. Governance is not about propaganda or political sophistry. It is about visible democratic dividends to the people of which employment is a critical aspect. The job creation myth is making the government to stand on the credibility gap. It is not too late to right the wrongs.

The Ogoni Environmental Clean Up

President Muhammadu Buhari recently demonstrated unequalled leadership and statesmanship by launching the Ogoni clean up as recommended by the United Nations. Agreed that due to some exigencies, he was not personally present in Rivers State to flag off that epochal event, his administration’s resolve to frontally address the problems of the Niger Delta is iron cast.

The duo of Governor Nyesom Wike and Honourable Rotimi Amaechi tried to make a political capital of the occasion. The advice here is that both men should allow those in charge of the clean up to do a thorough job. The job should be given to experts and not opportunist politicians. It is really unfortunate that both men are in the ugly trenches of partisan politics and would not see anything good in each other. The people of Rivers State should be spared this ugly spectre that led to the death of many innocent souls. Wike as governor should focus on his work and bring dividends of democracy to the people. He should not continue to remind the people of Rivers State of the failures of the Amaechi era. The ball is in his court to correct those ills and write his name in gold. As for Amaechi, he is now a federal minister and on the national stage. He should concentrate on that rather than blame Goodluck Jonathan for not implementing the United Nation’s report.  Constant brooding of past would not advance the progress of the people of Rivers State, the two men have a future before them and should make judicious use of that so that the nation and the people of Rivers State would benefit from their political stewardship.

Bayelsa’s Self Inflicted Poverty

Bayelsa state is one homogenous state with Ijaws in majority and a sprinkling of some Isoko elements. It is the home state of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and is a one-city state as Yenagoa, the capital, is the only major town. Yet the state has no running water and the lecturers of the state university went on strike over unpaid salaries running into months. Civil servants in the state are owed six months salaries. But this is a state with only eight local government areas. In the midst of this self inflicted poverty, the Government House complex is a grotesque display of opulence amidst the stark poverty in the land. During the last governorship elections, violence became the signature tune for the state, with many people losing their lives. The question that staggers the imagination is why are Bayelsa politicians so selfish that they cannot even develop their own state? What is the governor, Chief Seriake Dickson doing with the monthly allocation from Abuja? Why do most politicians in the state have posh apartments in Port Harcout and the state is just a ground for political and business experimentation? Politics in the state unfortunately is in the realm of primitive accumulation of wealth. Meanwhile, the owners of electoral sovereignty continue to gnash their teeth. This is the sad tale of political experimentation in Bayelsa state.

Last modified on Monday, 09 January 2017 15:29
Ajalakpo Oweh

Ajalakpo Oweh, is a seasoned journalist who writes in from Delta state. He covers the southern sub-region of Nigeria for the magazine.