There was serious commotion at the Delta State Government House Annex in Warri on Thursday as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa N500,000 Health Insurance largesse dole out to ‘settle’ youth groups led to a free -for -all -fight.
BigPen Online gathered that many youths in the ensuing chaos which erupted at the event, were said to have sustained injuries in the embarrassing incident which occurred owing to alleged fraudulent way the government officials handled the event.
It was gathered that the state government had planned the event to sensitive community youths from Delta South Senatorial Districts on its “Health Insurance Programmes” but the event turned out as political jamboree and not a health program.
Multiple sources told BigPen Online that the youths drawn from the six local government councils that made up Delta South Senatorial district had stormed the Government House in hired buses for the program which ought to hold in their various communities.
A source who preferred anonymity disclosed that during the the programme, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Nicholas Azinge announced that the state government approved N500,000 as honorarium for invited youth groups comprises of leadership of Ijaw Youth Council, Itsekiri National Youth Assembly as well as Isoko National Youth Assembly who had mobilised hundreds of their members from various communities.
The development which said to have agitiated the youths including those who gatecrashed into the event led to a free -for -all -fight with some youths scaling through the fence of the Government House to save their lives.
Sensing danger, the state Commissioner for Health was reportedly ferried away through the back door by security agents who guarded him into his car.
By the time the dust were settled, many had various degree of injuries but later shared peanut from the largesse through their leaders.
A citizen journalist at the event told BigPen Online that the youths and their leaders went on rampage, almost killing themselves when five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) was given to over four thousand youths to share to defray the financial cost of attending the event.
Series of reactions has trailed the whole programme, he said, perceived to be political jamboree orchestrated by the conveners’ and the sponsors to exploit the vulnerabilities of the youths.
“However, it is obvious that the youths from Delta south senatorial district were painfully starved financially”.
Quoting a prominent Ijaw leader King Jerry Prebor of Meibutu, he said “the program is a setup and politically motivated to frustrate the youths and therefore called on the governor to cancel the scheme and create jobs to engage youths in the state.”
“It is a show of shame as the purpose of the program was defeated. Attendees perceived that it was a money sharing party. Youths from Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko extraction were subjected to rigorous name writing and signing of documents without adequate information from the conveners’ of the programme.
“I suspect they want to use the programme to scam an international organisation because it was obvious that the event was not about the Delta state Contributory Health Commission awareness programme alone”, the source added.
Another source at the event however said, “At the end of the scuffle, all local government councils took their shares and there was equitable distribution but before then there was heavy pandemonium mainly because of gatecrashers who see the event as venue to collect their own share of the “national cake”.
“The case of Burutu council was the worst, as the atmosphere was charged, tense and so there was exchange of blows”.
The coordinator of the program Dr. Isaac Akpoveta had during a town hall meeting with supposed presidents and secretaries of towns union in Warri, told journalists that government is interested in the rural dwellers hence all health centres in communities around the state are currently being upgraded in terms of equipment and personnel.
Several efforts to reach the Health Commissioner, Mr. Nicholas Azinge for comment as at the time of filling this report for publication proved abortive.