Since the rebirth of democratic practice in 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has governed Delta State in 20 unbroken years. This has created some degree of discomfort in the camp of opposition political parties including the All Progressives Congress, APC. Instructively, APC has consistently raised concerns over what they believe as mis governance of the oil rich State. Consequently, the party recently punctured the PDP initiated Kwale Industrial ParK, KIP, calling it a white elephant project aimed at enriching few pockets in Asaba Government House. This prompted a reaction from PDP as presented below unedited
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Delta State wishes to debunk unfounded claims by the All Progressive Congress (APC) against the government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the proposed establishment of the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP). The APC insinuates that the KIP project is a “misdirection of resources, Convert (sic) (instead of covert) act of enrichment of few pockets, and a white elephant project in the offing.” We are not in any way surprised at the unfortunate incident that the APC can stoop so low to insinuate what obviously is intended for mischief rather than an altruistic move. Besides, the APC’s stratagem which is to portray Governor Okowa in bad light falls obviously flat on its face when viewed against the background that the party’s innuendo failed to pointedly show that it “is to enrich some persons whose stock in trade is manipulations (sic) and underhand deals for the sake of their pockets.” Yet, the APC wants the unwary to believe its lie.
However, as a responsible and responsive government, the PDP wishes to call the attention of Deltans and observers of the administration of His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa that the APC in its recent statement raised four main points to wit: Misdirection of resources, Covert (not convert) act of enrichment of a few persons, KIP is a white elephant project, and that Government is a continuum. It has become pertinent to point out that the APC and its State Publicity Secretary, Barrister Sylvester Imonina have displayed arrant ignorance and lack of proper understanding of the issues they have raised. And like a lot of people with their kind of obsession never to see anything good in what the PDP administration of Governor Okowa is doing, they have pretended to be completely ignorant and uninformed.
It is a fact that the Okowa administration recognises much more than a lot of governments that government is a continuum. Just to name a few of projects started by previous administration: 1. Okowa completed the Stephen Keshi Stadium. 2. Maryam Babangida Way. 3. Resurfacing the runway and installing ILS and runway lights at the airport.
Again, in their blindness, APC and its officials, have accused Governor Okowa of starting the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) in his Senatorial District while abandoning GRIP (Gas Revolution Industrial Park Ogidigben) and the Warri Industrial Business Park. The truth of course, is that GRIP is a project of the APC-led Federal Government, however not withstanding this, Okowa’s first one-on-one meeting with President Buhari was to push for action on the actualisation of GRIP. Only recently some of the steering committees were put in place. Also, upon assumption of office, Governor Okowa set up a committee to know what was holding up the Warri Industrial Business Park, during which we found out that the land was not properly acquired by the previous administration. As a result, there are currently between 10 and 13 matters in court by the original land owners.
Governor Okowa, as many people know, is not impulsive. He is a meticulous, astute administrator with utmost respect for the rule of law. As any right thinking person would advise in such circumstances, it is best for the court cases to be properly resolved before proceeding further on the project. But the APC people, sad to say, have never been known to be right thinking. Their idea of governance, if you would call it that, is to ride roughshod over the rights of other citizens and clobber them into submission.
It is important to inform Deltans that the Okowa administration has been in talks with the litigants and other land owners affected with the hope of amicably settling the matters out of court. As you would imagine, such a process is often long drawn; it involves lengthy negotiations because colossal sums of money are involved. Suffice it to say that Deltans would have been spared this needless impasse had the right thing been done in the first place. Once the legal issues are resolved, we assure Deltans, particularly those in Warri and environs, that the Okowa administration is committed to the full implementation of the Warri Industrial Business Park project. Let it be known also that the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project; the State government is holding only 25% of the Special Purpose Vehicle (Kwale Industrial Park Limited), and the rest will be held by private investors.
It is similarly important to inform and educate the APC that the land will represent Delta State Government’s (DTSG’s) 25%. The only additional financial commitment of the State is some minimal expenditure to open up the land, gather critical data, while the major infrastructural facilities will be built by the investors. The project is to be driven by the private sector, this is deliberate to mitigate against failure.
Again, it is perhaps necessary also to let the good people of Delta State who have shown unwavering trust in the capacity of His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to lead them to the emergence of a Stronger Delta with the resounding second term endorsement given to him, to know that the reason for the trip to China was because the government is looking at industries that require a lot of gas and energy for either their feedstock or cheaper/assured source of power, which Kwale has in abundance. Currently because of the high cost of gas in China some of their methanol plants are either shut down/producing at lower capacity and looking for new markets. Same for ceramic factories that are suffering from low demands arising from sluggish global economic growth. His Excellency’s visit to China is to convey legitimacy to the numerous prior engagements between the consultants and potential investors, given that key Chinese investors are funded by their home Government. The investors have found KIP very attractive and Dr. Okowa’s visit has galvanised their interest. It is good news that a company with a 400 MT capacity methanol plant is already talking about coming to visit the site in the next two months that definitely does not depict a white elephant project.
Of course, we make bold to state, and indeed, for the proper education of the APC that a project that has the potential of employing over 75,000 persons cannot be said to be a misdirection of resources. The PDP and its government in the State will not relent in working assiduously and remaining focused in the determination to fulfill the Okowa administration’s SMART agenda and covenant of building a Stronger Delta the present and future generations will forever remain proud of. We therefore, urge Deltans to ignore the antics of the APC that is still firmly buried in disorientation and dismemberment; we urge you to remain focused in your love and loyalty to the PDP and not be distracted by the shenanigans of a political party that lacks cohesion, peace and harmony.
PDP! Power to the People! Long Live PDP! Long Live Delta State!
Signed: Dr. Ifeanyi M. Osuoza, State Publicity Secretary, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP), Delta State.