Former Ika Federal Constituency House of Representative member and now an All Progressive Congress, APC Delta state chieftain and governorship hopeful in the 2019 general election, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has intensified his criticism of Governor Okowa, this time accusing him of contriving a purported endorsement by Asaba chiefs-in-council and alleging of a plot by the Delta State governor to transfer a whopping $18million slush fund grafted from a bogey new secretariat building project already approved by the Delta state government.
Ojougboh, who spoke to newsmen in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area shortly after flagging off his “One-man-one-Vote” campaign in the area on Saturday, April 14, disclosed that evidence already abound that the project is laced with alleged fraud, including a plan by a bank to wire $18million to Governor Okowa’s foreign account as kickback.
These allegations, which are a follow up on earlier accusations including running the state on a blank budget, claim that the high scale fraud involved in the award of the N13.6 Billion Secretariat Building contract, is meant to enrich Okowa’s offshore account to the tune of $18 Million, adding that the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) have been mortgaged for 4 years in respect of the project.
Acccording to Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, investigators are currently collating evidence against Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the deemed controversial N13.6 billion new Secretariat complex project in Asaba, to reveal alleged shady deals about the contract awarded to North China Construction Group Limited (NCCG) amd a formal press conference would be held before the end of April 2018 to disclose the gory details.
According to him, “We are giving a full press conference next week. We have the agreement signed by the state government and we have the plan by the bank to wire the sum of $18million dollars to the Governor’s personal account abroad and are going to expose and discuss that this new week”, Ojougboh revealed.
Speaking further, the former PDP South South Zonal Chairman who is now an All Progressive Congress (APC), chieftain in Delta state, accused Governor Okowa of exhibiting shameful lack of integrity not only in the award of the Secretariat project but also in the Asaba Airport project in which he accused the governor of ‘bribing’ some Asaba chiefs to endorse him, saying that the alleged endorsement by the Asagba in council was achieved by financially inducements to the chiefs in a well defined plot by Governor Okowa to play politics with the tour of the Asaba International Airport.
“A man who gathered Asaba Chiefs and packaged them to Asaba Airport and when they left, the Governor’s Press said, the Asagba and the Asagba in council has adopted Okowa for a second term but the Council came out and said it was fraud, that they were bribed. Is that a man with integrity?” Ojougboh queried.
Continuing, the APC governorship hopeful and Special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke on his on his “One Man, One Vote Campaign” to Ndokwa Nation, describing it is the weapon to eliminate electoral corruption, saying that the essence of the “One-man-one-Vote” campaign is to raise awareness and stamp out election rigging come 2019 so that the Vote of every Deltan will count in the 2019 general elections.
Dr Cairo Ojougboh said: “It is important that we elect somebody who will stop corruption first and the first corruption to stop is election rigging. If we do not stop rigging, they will out rig us and that is why we are launching the “One Man, One Vote Campaign” all over Delta State. We must first checkmate the rigging carried out by PDP. APC can win over PDP rigging but we must first purge ourselves of indiscipline.”
Ojougboh however expressed worries that APC will have a tough time in defeating PDP in Delta State, even as he noted that if Deltans do not allow PDP to buy them over with money, APC will emerge victorious.
“In Delta state here, if anybody comes and tells you that it is going to be very easy to defeat the PDP the person is not saying exactly the true. The reason why I’m telling you that the person is not telling you exact truth is that; as we gather here do we have one mind? If we don’t have one mind we cannot win.
“Number two reason is that; are we going to allow the PDP people, you know they have a lot of money. If they give some of you money, will you still stand by APC, won’t you say I have taken my own o what’s my business with APC? Even as we are in this meeting, they will come and wanting to buy you over, will you stand firm?”
Ojougboh, however said that the 2019 governorship election for him, is not a “do or die affair” but for the interest of his party APC, he will continue his grassroot structure building and ensure that APC capture Delta state whether he picks the party ticket or not.
“We will win if we work together as one family. I know that some people are working for Cairo, some for Ochei, Ogboru, Utomi and others, but the beauty of APC in Delta State is that, everyone is working and the aim of this meeting is to work as one family.”
While assuring Ndokwa Nation that the marginalization slammed on them by the PDP administration will be history during an APC administration in the State, Ojougboh charged them to speak with one voice in supporting an APC governorship candidate in the 2019 election.
He said that it is only a united force of all gladiators and party faithfuls plus the forces of the deprived people of Delta state that can oust the PDP led government of Okowa and therefore charged APC members to forge a formidable force and stand firm against election rigging come 2019.