The Leaders Council of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta on Tuesday alleged that the state was experiencing infrastructural decay in spite of its huge resources.
Media Co-ordinator of the group, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, made the allegation at a news conference in Abuja, and alleged that massive fraud was going on in the state by its present government.
Ojougboh, a stalwart of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who recently defected to APC, urged the Federal Government to rescue the state by investigating its activities.
Until early 2016, he was the National Vice Chairman of PDP, South-South. He lost the position to Mr Emmanuel Ogidi in a congress of the zone in Port Harcourt.
Soon after the loss, an obviously aggrieved Ojougboh teamed up with Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the party, where he proclaimed himself National Deputy Chairman and doubled as spokesman.
He was in that position until the Supreme Court judgment which nullified Sheriff’s chairmanship of PDP in July, 2017.
Ojougboh alleged that successive governments in the state had been involved in high profile fraud to the detriment of its people.
He claimed that though expenditure approval limits for the governors was N50 million, this was jerked up to N250 million in 2015 without approval from the state executive.
´´The impact of this fraudulent increase in approval threshold is not lost to the people of the state.´´
Ojoughoh also alleged that contracts were awarded without approval from the Ministerial Tenders Board of the state.
He said that Delta was one of the luckiest states that received enormous monthly allocations from the Federation Account and should therefore, have no business with poverty.
According to him, the state received N14 billion for the month of September which was the highest in the federation, and its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is N10 billion monthly.
´´Looking at the above, one can see that Delta State has no business with poverty, and since the inception of the present government, it has received N840 billion in allocations, loans, IGR and grants.’’
He said that the recent claim by the state´s Commissioner for Finance that 2,203 political office holders were paid N330 million was not true.
Ojougboh challenged the state government to account for the over N840 billion which allegedly accrued to the state in the past two years.
He called the attention of the public to the motion on the floor of the House of Assembly where the governor was purported to have presented the 2018 budget.
According to him, the governor is yet to present the state´s budget of 2016 and 2017 and the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission DESOPDEC) budgets.
He noted that the practice was that as soon as a budget was presented to the house, the Speaker ensured its breakdown and had it circulated to members.
´´We challenge any member to present a copy of the 2016, 2017 State and DESOPADEC budgets.
´´We also encourage members of the house to obtain copies of the 2018 budget and return to their constituencies to discuss the budget,’’ he said.
Ojougboh called on traditional rulers and the clergy in the state to intervene ´´to stop the state from bleeding and to avoid grave consequences´´.
He said that “complete darkness is now enveloping the previously well lit cities of Asaba and Warri while poverty had been on the increase in the state.
He, therefore, called on members of the House of Assembly to stand up to be counted.
He urged the lawmakers to suspend the sale of Delta Line and investigate its handover to private individuals in government.
He added that the APC was waiting to change the narrative in the state to ensure its development in the interest of its people.
´´For us Deltans, change has come to the state and the APC is waiting to change the course of history and bring development to the state,’’ he said.