…It is a misplaced priority – CSO
…’It is customary for the state Govt to appreciate prominent Deltans’ – Perm Sec.
By Iteveh Ekpokpobe
An end to financial scandals in Delta State may not be near, as investigation revealed that the State Government purchased golden spoons, towels and assorted coffee for 30 godfathers in the state. Although the list of the recipients are still unknown, a sum of N10,750,000 was expended to secure the items.
The details were contained in a memo with file number No.GHA.782/T18/6 obtained from the Government house which was authored and allegedly executed by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Mr. Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje.
The Permanent Secretary, in the memo stated that, each hamper which sold at the cost of N350,000 would contain, “35 pieces of golden cutlery, wines, coffee, UK Camel Tea-sets, pens, beverages, champagne, honey assorted tea, and set of towels.”
A source within the government house disclosed that the gifts were part of Christmas package for the selected persons.
According to him, while Deltans were finding it hard to secure rice and other commodities to facilitate their yuletide celebrations, such whooping sum was voted for such luxury.
Nevertheless, what he was not sure of was whether the stipulated 30 hampers were eventually purchased and delivered, since there was no proof.
Mr. Ogidi-Gbegbaje refused to respond to inquiries on this report but he had stated in the memo that, “as customary to the directorate, during the festive period, … categories of personalities are provided with giant size hampers on behalf of the state government.”
“The need for the state government to appreciate prominent Deltans in and outside the state during the upcoming Christmas and New Year Celebration for their support and contribution to the development of Delta State.”
Govt Couldn’t Feed Deltans During Lockdown – Activist laments
Reacting to the development, Director General, Young Nigerians Rights Organization, Comrade Victor Ojie, said it was obvious that the Delta State Government under Senator Ifeanyi Okowa had little or no regards for Deltans.
He decried how deficiently the state addressed the needs of Deltans during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“It was difficult for the state to give food to Deltans during the COVID-19 lockdown. We are barely five million people in Delta State but the state could not cater for us despite the huge allocations accrued to Delta State.”
Ojie said, “the Government under Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is more interested in their personal effects. When they want to construct roads, they look for money. When they want to build schools, they look for money. But when it comes to their personal interest, there is always money for them in the Government House, the House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party.”
He urged politicians in the state to look beyond the state by proving their mettle at the national level.
(Story contributed by Iteveh Ekpokpobe, an investigative freelance journalist)