The 20th anniversary for the creation of Delta state may have come and gone which was celebrated on August, 27th, 2011. Deltans both at home and in Diaspora expecting to witness the commissioning of chains of land mark projects which always characterized such celebration were all disappointed this time around; rather they witnessed what will look like a jamboree and show of dramas and comedies in place of commissioning of projects.
Oil rich Delta state was created twenty years ago by the administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in August, 27th, 1991 with its capital in Asaba as a way of saying thank you to the people of Asaba where his late wife, Mrs. Mariam Babangida hails from but since Asaba was made the state capital no befitting project whatsoever that can equate it status as in the case of other state capitals across the country where projects that befits a state capital are sited.
Since the creation of Delta state it was observed that more attentions have been given to Warri than the state capital, Asaba leaving it in its own shadow of disarray while major roads in the state capital remain death traps and when it rains the entire place will be submerged while residents scamper for lives and property.
Briefing the press before the celebration in what looks like a child’s play, the committee chairman, for the 20th Anniversary celebration and commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Richard Mofe Damijo told Journalists at the Press centre, government house, Asaba, that the theme of the anniversary is “DELTA NO DEY CARRY LAST”, this, which was interpreted by so many Deltans as ridiculous, however condemned in strong terms the theme as according to them this also goes to say that in both stealing, killing, bribery, armed robbery, looting, corruption and rituals amongst other social vices, Delta state is always at the fore front.
Mr. Damijo flanked by other members of the committee who include, Mr. Christopher Ogeah, (Commissioners of Information), Mrs. Betty Efekodha (Women Affairs), as well as Mr. Ijeoma (Youth and Sports) has this to say “Under the democratic dispensation of the past 12 years, our state has recorded huge leaps forward.
The administration of His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has in the past four years further energized the development of the state with his three point agenda.” But very shocking and laughable, as the Information commissioner rolled out the program for the two weeks event, commissioning of projects were deliberately not included because there were non on ground to be commissioned.
Apart from thanksgiving/interdenominational services and lecture, the remaining days were billed for dramas and comedies and when the committee chairman was confronted on the amount budgeted for what could be described as Delta at 20 jamboree, he declined comment so also when an SMS was sent to the Information Commissioner, Mr. Ogeah on the amount to be spent on the two weeks event he simply replied “Please the chairman of the committee is the commissioner for Culture and Tourism.”
But sources close to the committee however alleged that about N500 million was allegedly earmarked used for the anniversary jamboree.
Meanwhile while explaining the elaborate celebration of Delta state at 20 during a recently in a life broadcast at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Asaba, and monitored by this writer, the state commissioner of Information, Mr. Christopher Ogeah maintained that Delta state had made tremendous progress over the years hence the celebration was to showcase the state’s achievements and developmental strides in the last 20 years.
He said the state has been putting infrastructure and major projects in place to meet the growing need of the people of the state. According to Ogeah, 10 model schools have been chosen by the state government which would be equipped with state of the art facilities, laboratories and other equipment for modern day learning across the three senatorial districts of the state.
Again, the big question is that what has the state government been doing with all the billions accruing the state? It’s a big shame that Delta state at 20 no single project was on ground to commission.
For the past four years, the administration of Dr. Uduaghan could not do anything about the roads in the state capital and the flooding problems in Asaba which has remain a nightmare to residents whereby leaving the people to their own fates.
In some states created the same day with Delta state such as Anambra and others, celebrated their anniversary with commissioning of projects but as always, in Delta state the reverse was the case.
Cross section of Deltans spoken to, noted with dismay that the state has never celebrated its anniversary without commissioning of projects which has been set as a precedent by the Chief James Ibori’s administration.
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