…Says Ojougboh is taking His Politics f Hate Too Far.
The Speaker of the Delta State State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has explained that the increase of the 2018 appropriation bill recently passed by the House by 10 billion Naira was necessitated by the need to capture some critical areas that were left out when the budget was drawn up by the Executive.
He also took a swipe at the former Deputy National Chairman of the Senator Modu Sheriff led factional leadership of PDP, now APC stalwart in Delta State, Dr Cairo Ojougboh who sometime ago alleged that Delta State was operating a blank budget, describing him as one who is taking out his hate on a brother too far.
The Speaker in a statement recalled that the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa had on Thursday, 19 October 2017 presented the Delta State 2018 Appropriation Bill of 298 billion Naira, and the State Assembly on Thursday, November 30 2017, exactly 42 days after it was presented passed the bill and jacked it up to 308.888 billion Naira.
Oborevwori debunked the insinuation that it was an affront on the executive, stressing rather that, “it shows the independence of the Delta State House of Assembly. It shows the extent of the free hand the governor, His Excellency, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, a seasoned administrator and experienced lawmaker has given to the house to do its work in line with the dictates of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I respect him for that and I wish other state governors will emulate such”.
“Let me tell you, from the records, the passage of the 2018 appropriation bill was unique and painstakingly carried out. It went through all the legislative processes of lawmaking. From first reading of the bill to robust debates during second reading before it was subjected to scrutiny by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, with all the other standing committees as sub-Committees. There were some realignment and adjustments. Movement of funds from some heads to areas of more critical needs. And following the submission and receipt of the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, the House resolved into a Committee of Supply to further scrutinize the budget. All the sessions and annexures were accorded critical analysis and considerations with amendment effected by majority votes. In all these processes, there was no single interference by the governor. He allowed us to do our work, while doing his as the state Chief Executive”. Oborevwori explained.
He stated that during the sittings of the committees to scrutinize the budget, a lot was revealed like the case of the ULO and the Asaba Airport Project, adding that recommendations were made and as a House enjoying good level of independence, far reaching decisions hinging on the interest of the generality of the people, were taken.
The Speaker who commended members for their renewed dedication to duty since he assumed the leadership of the House, assured that the state legislature will continue to be on the same page with all critical stakeholders in the Delta State Project to grow the state, stressing that, “every Deltan need to close ranks to move the state forward. The present governor of the state is very prudent in resource management. He has the interest of the state at heart. What he needs is prayers and the support of the people. The recession affected all segments of the Nigerian state. But even at that, the governor was able to navigate through the troubled times to keep the state running. He paid salaries up to date and embarked on projects across the state. He is very experienced in governance and administration. Forget the blackmails, which although sad but is the bad side of politics”.
“I told people that Dr Cairo Ojougboh is taking his hate on the present administration too far. It is sad for Cairo, a former Federal lawmaker to say that Delta was operating a blank budget. How? The 2017 appropriation bill went through all the processes of lawmaking and was passed by the House and was signed into law by the governor. Cairo’s allegation is an indictment on the legislature where I belong by the grace of God and the benevolence of my people. That is why I said he had taken his hate and blackmail on the present administration too far. That he now dragged a whole institution into it, a house that has been adjudged as the most vibrant in the country, is very sad and unfortunate. Cairo should have condemned the statement coming from elsewhere not for him to be making such. It shows that the qualities the people ascribed to him is unmerited. I strongly advise him to retrace his steps. It is not mandatory that he must support a government, but at the same time, he should not exert his energies on blackmails and giving false information to the public”. Oborevwori emphasized.
The Speaker who also commended the media for the support to the state government, said the government is open to constructive criticism and expressed displeasure that some practitioners had allowed themselves as ready tool for blackmailing others, stressing that it was not the best route to take in life.
He said all must support and encourage the nation’s democracy to grow, even as he expressed optimism of the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming local government councils election in the state, stressing that victory was sure for PDP candidates at the polls.