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Okowa, Ibori Relationship, Very Cordial – Gov Okowa’s Aide

My attention has been drawn to a mischievous and misleading news report published by APC Delta news portal www.whistleblowers.com.ng titled: “OKOWA IS NOT YOUR PUPPET, LATIMORE TO CHIEF JAMES IBORI,” widely circulated by APC social media team.

The said piece is a direct opposite of my article titled: “DESIEC DISSOLUTION PROMPTED BY DEFECTS, SHORTCOMINGS, PROPOSED BILL TO ENHANCE PROCESS IN DELTA STATE – DTHA” with a sub-rider; GOV OKOWA, CHIEF IBORI ENJOYS ROBUST FRIENDSHIP, POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERS FOR 2019. My article was a response to SaharaReporters news report alleging that His Excellency the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa is at loggerheads with our amiable leader and 1999 to 2007 Executive Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori. The original version of my article in respect of the subject matter was published on my facebook page and widely circulated to Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

The general public, especially the PDP party faithful, supporters of Gov. Okowa and Chief Ibori should please disregard the mischievous whistleblowers.com.ng twisted version titled “OKOWA IS NOT YOUR PUPPET, LATIMORE TO CHIEF IBORI.

PDP party faithfuls are aware that I wrote several positive and quality articles and news reports about our indefatigable leader, Chief Ibori prior to his arrival in Nigeria and till this very moment. The love that I have for Chief Ibori is age-long and Urhobo Voice Newspapers readers can testify that I used my then column “POLITICAL PANAROMA” from 2012-2013 to substantially discuss the enormous contributions of Chief Ibori to the development of Delta State and by extension the Niger Delta region especially his advocacy for increased revenue derivation, socioeconomic and infrastructure development. APC DELTA will continue to groan bitterly over the return of Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe to PDP for obvious reasons.

For the avoidance of doubt, below is the full text of my response to SaharaReporters concerning the dissolution of DESIEC: “DESIEC DISSOLUTION PROMPTED BY DEFECTS, SHORTCOMINGS, PROPOSED BILL TO ENHANCE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN DELTA STATE – DTHA. …GOV OKOWA, CHIEF IBORI ENJOYS ROBUST FRIENDSHIP, POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS AND PARTNERS FOR 2019”.

By Barrister Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe (EA Communications, GOVDELTA).

It has been observed that some online newspapers, particularly SAHARAREPORTERS recently published a report alleging that the dissolution of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DESIEC); may truncate or delay the forthcoming Council elections in the state and at the same time generate bad blood between major stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) political family. The report went further to allege that former governor of Delta State, His Excellency Chief James Onanefe Ibori is in cold war with incumbent governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, “for Okowa not consulting Ibori before DESIEC dissolution.”

It is the constitutional duty and responsibility of the executive arm of government to ensure good governance of the state through powers, functions and responsibilities assigned to it by the constitution and other enactments. It follows that the executive as part of its functions can initiate executive bills and it is the duty of the legislative arm of government to scrutinise such bills, debate and modify, reject or pass such bill into law. The legislature can always exercise its powers without inference by the Executive arm. In accordance with democratic principles and the constitutional powers vested on the legislature by section 4 (6) (7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA) at a lawful session presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori and based on majority votes dissolved DESIEC, which procedurally set in motion the legislative process for the possible enactment of a new DESIEC LAW 2017. House majority leader, Hon Tim Owhefere moved the motion for the dissolution and was ably seconded by Hon Samuel Mariere.

The process dissolving DESIEC was lawfully completed as required by the constitution and the House Rules. In the light of the above, it will be out of place and at the same time mischievous for any right thinking individual, group or few number of persons to say that Gov Okowa dissolved DESIEC without consultating a former governor in the person of Chief Ibori. It must be stated that Chief Ibori do not interfere with the day to day administration of Delta State as an ex-governor. Gov Okowa is the incumbent governor working closely and in harmony with other independent arms of government for the good governance of the state and may consult major stakeholders and party leaders on some issues where necessary. It will be wrong to insinuate that Gov. Okowa must consult ex-governors in all matters that enhance good governance before doing the needful; after all the governor is not and will never be remote-controlled to do his job and to fulfill his campaign promises to the good people of Delta State, as captured in the SMART AGENDA blueprints.

More importantly, Hon Owhefere while moving the motion for the dissolution of DESIEC cited “Defects and Shortcomings” as some of the vital and critical reasons why DESIEC must be dissolved and referred to section 7 (1) of DESIEC LAW 2012 which gave power to the lawmakers to dissolve DESIEC whenever they deem fit. It is hoped that the lawmakers will speed up the process so as to enable elections hold within reasonable time frame. The governor earlier assured that Caretaker Committees will not be constituted to run the Councils and his decision stands. Okowa and Ibori are enjoying the best of political relationship and healthy friendship without any crack or misunderstanding whatsoever.

The fracas alleged in the online newspaper report is not true and should be disregarded by PDP party faithful and supporters of Gov. Okowa and Chief Ibori. Our findings revealed that the report was largely influenced by the major opposition party in the State. The DESIEC BILL 2017 when passed into Law, according to the majority leader of DTHA, Hon Tim Owhefere will further guarantee credibility and substantially enhance electoral process in the state. This is very important and should be supported and encouraged by all Deltans. DELTA STATE IN SAFE HANDS.

Signed: By Barrister Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe (EA Communications GOVDELTA).

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