The 20th anniversary for the creation of
Delta state which was celebrated on 27th August, 2011, may have come
and gone but Deltans both home and in Diaspora were greatly disappointed and
highly embarrassed, considering the jamboree and show of unnecessary dramas
that proceded the anniversary without any single project commissioned.
This is quite unfortunate for an oil rich Delta State,
which was created twenty years ago by the administration of General Ibrahim
Badamosi Babangida on August 27, 1991, to be celebrating unemployment of
youths, kidnapping of various degrees, cash-and -carry judgments, stealing of
public funds, infrastructural decay of institutions, naming of death centers as
health clinics and other social & heinous vices, without any landmark
projects that could justify the billions that have accrued into the state
coffers from the federation account. What a shame!
In fact, in Ika land, the only major road linking the
two local government areas is either faced with cloudy dust during the
rush-hour traffic or wet & slippery whenever it rains, thereby endangering
the lives of the road users.
The slow pace of work by Hi-Tech construction firm is
an indication that the firm is grossly inadequate in terms of manpower,
equipment and machineries. As government and local political leaders continue
to trade accusations and counter accusations over the delay of the completion
of the road project. A replica of other abandoned road projects across the
Health & Education sectors are already in a state
of comatose. Most of the public school buildings are on the verge of total
collapse with clear absence of laboratories or standard libraries.
All the necessary facilities required to assist pupils
and their teachers in discovering and nourishing their talents have equally
been eroded from the state’s educational environment. A graphical example of
government negligence that has led to the proposed plan of handing over schools
to missions or private owners.
Medical care at the state owned hospitals is as
expensive as in the private hospitals,
not to mention, the absence of drugs and other life saving devices. Yet the
government proclaimed the theme of the anniversary as “ DELTA NO DEY CARRY
LAST”. What an irony!
Besides, the caricature airport at Asaba is another
laughable achievement of the state government with the use of “GSM phones”
for traffic control mechanism in tracking and monitoring of aircraft without
the usual state-of –the arts equipment needed in the aviation industry.
The State Civil Service is now a mere contract-awarding
institution, instead of being an active and productive force ready for the task
of state building. The past four years of Uduaghan’s administration has no
record of tangible projects in line with his three points agenda of Human
It is better not to celebrate, than to waste huge sums
of money for jamboree, comedies and dramas, considering the challenges
confronting the government especially the infrastructural decay and the abject
poverty of the people.
The Governor should, as a matter of principle, admit to
the poor achievements and the under-development of the state, since the
anniversary was a smokescreen of the realities on ground. The State
Commissioner of Information, Mr. Christopher Ogeah should also retract his
statement 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”, considering the waste
110.7b within the last seven months.
Finally, leadership is not for jamboree, comedies or
show of dramas at government house, but for concrete implementation of policies
and programmes that would impact positively on the lives of the people
particularly the parlous state of infrastructure, unemployment, insecurity,
power problems and poverty. The earlier the Governor stops unnecessary
celebrations the better for the state and its people.
Engr.Ifeanyi Charles Aghaulor, is a Human Rights