Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Monday, tasked leaders to always speak the truth to their followers at all times for credibility in governance and their welfare.
The governor gave the charge while receiving the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and members from Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Government House, Asaba.
He said that as leaders, the onus lies on them to speak truth to their followers always and not to tell them lies because of the quest for political power.
Okowa, who reacted to a statement credited to Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, a Chieftain of the APC in the state, expressed disappointment in the lawmaker’s comment over his administration’s performance in Delta.
“There is a lot going on and we thank God for all that we have seen and all that is going on in Delta.
“What I am trying to emphasise is that only recently, one of our brothers sitting very high up there at the Senate, lied to the people of Delta.
“I usually don’t like to talk about people, but for the Deputy Senate President, to make comments that he knows that is not true is a very unfortunate thing.
“The truth is truth and it cannot be hidden; it is only a blind man that will look through Delta and say that under the current circumstance that this administration is not doing well.
“Under the current financial burden that we have in our nation and looking through all the activities of government both in terms of peacebuilding, development of infrastructure and whatever we do in providing services in the health and education sectors, human capital development, and entrepreneurship programmes, “it has been acknowledged that we are doing well. With all that is being done, somebody out there says there is nothing being done?
“It is wrong for people in high offices to send a wrong message to the people.
“I am not going to start comparing myself to the government of APC because whatever I do, I do it out of the fact that the wisdom of God rests upon me and has enabled me to do those things.
“Leaders must learn to communicate right and not to speak lies to their people; even the community he went to speak about in Ughelli South, we are building a bridge across the Orere river.
“That bridge as at the time of the contract award was N10 billion and the bridge is just a stone’s throw from where he went to, construction work is ongoing there day-in, day-out.
“I only wish and pray that rather than make statements that deceive the people that we can all play our roles to attract development from wherever we find ourselves,” Okowa said.
The governor added, “as a governor, I am doing the best that I can, and as Deputy President of the Senate, I also expect that he will attract the levels of development and not deceive our people.
“That is what we are supposed to do – to collaborate with each other to work in the best interest of the people.
“Wherever development comes from to our state, it is in the best interest of our state; whether you are of any political party or not, and for those who do not belong to any party, do your best to attract development to our state because our people will benefit from them.
“Our children will attend the schools developed; so all of us should work hard wherever we find ourselves to strengthen the level of infrastructure and to provide services that will enable our children and our people to live more comfortably.
“That is the kind of thing I expect.”
Okowa said that no amount of mendacious lies would derail or trivialise the rescue mission of the PDP.
“Talking about rescuing Nigeria, we are in a very difficult position and everybody knows that there are issues in this country and I believe that the more we talk about it the better for us.
“The more we think about solutions the better for us.
“I am not a man who will rise to speak with vile words; when I make a comment people should always check my comments and the truth will be found in the comments that I make and it is always in the best interest of our nation, Nigeria and the best interest of our state.
“We need help as a nation because the challenges that confront us are high and when we collectively work, it is for the good of this nation.
“I believe that things will be done much better and the people will heave a sigh of relief so it is my prayer that we all collectively work together as a people.”
The governor thanked and expressed gratitude to the people of Delta for their support over the years, adding that he owed his success to their cooperation.
“I owe my success to the willingness of the people of Delta to work with me and ensure peace and I thank God for providing us with that opportunity.
“I must commend INEC for the introduction of the BIVAS Technology which will, to a large extent, guarantee the credibility of our electoral process and I urge them to develop this technology and upscale it to conduct the general elections.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the President and the Federal Government to give the much-needed support to INEC to develop the BVAS technology to conduct a more acceptable election in the nearest future.
“As a person, I have always believed in the integrity of elections and such integrity would also be brought to bear in our party primaries,” he assured.
Earlier, Mr Sylvester Ogokunu, a leader of the APC delegation, said that the group was established in November 2020, adding that they decided to return to the PDP to contribute their quota to enable the governor to finish strong
He noted that both returning and fresh members of the APC decided to join the PDP because of the governor’s leadership style that has distinguished him across the nation.
The PDP State Chairman, Chief Kingsley Esiso, Delta North Chairman of the party, Deacon Moses Iduh, State Secretary, Engr. Daniel Ossai, and Political Adviser to the Governor, Chief Isaac Anwuzia, were on hand to receive the new members.