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Gov Sheriff’s meeting with elders- the insider’s story

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BARRY AGBANIGBI,ASABA

 

The proposed groundswell of activities slated for May this year to mark governor sheriff’s one year anniversary may suffer some hitches following growing crisis in the Delta Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

It was learnt on good authority that this development has led to major cracks and functionalization in the party .

 

Party sources confided that series of meetings held at various levels with a view to moving the party forward through reconciliation ended in a dead lock.

 

One of such meetings held recently in a private residence in warri at the instance of a notable elder of the party, according to an inside source, the meeting was attended by prominent party leaders, politicians of note, major commissioners, law makers both at the national and State levels.

 

Growing crisis in the party was said to top the agenda of the meeting including ways of healing injuries inflicted on the aggrieved members by the administration of Governor Sheriff and the leadership of the ruling party. It was also gathered that one of the crucial issues deliberated on at the meeting was a way to further fine-tune the party’s campaign slogan to endear  it to the people and  enhance it’s chances in the forthcoming local Government election slated for July 2024.

 

It was agreed  at the meeting that the Governor had become unpopular and therefore requires intensive campaign to achieve hundred percent victory in the election. Another area of focus at the meeting was the instability at the third tier of Government which  generated a heated argument among members with opinions divided. While some prominent members of the party blamed the government and leadership of the party for the local Government woes, others held the opinion that the third tier was culpable.

 

It was believed that the frequent face-off between the former chairmen and councilors resulted from greed, disloyalty and insincerity on the part of the councilors. It was also the opinion of the gathering that the crisis quite often were fueled by the undue influence and interference of the government and the party leadership. Worried by series of petitions and complaints from stake holders over imposition of leadership at the third tier ahead of the Forth-coming Election, the forum reportedly warned Governor sheriff against the danger and therefore called for a free, fair and acceptable local government election. They cautioned the governor against the worsening state of affairs under his leadership.

 

The elders at the meeting called on sheriff to urgently address some issues with a view to savaging the state from drifting into a catastrophe. They were said to have pointed out at the meeting that the state was in a dire financial position to the extent that ministries and extra ministerial departments had virtually ceased to function due to paucity of fund’s. According to champion sources scoring the state government low in performance and implementation of the 2024 budget. Internally generated revenue(IGR) is shrouded in secrecy. Neither do we talk about the accrual to the state from the so -called excess crude account. The forum according to an inside source indicted the governor over what they claim to be the state level of indebtedness.

 

They said it remained a matter of conjecture as to  “how much has been repaid and what the balances are, are mere guess work”. A year after assumption of office, governor sheriff was yet to chart his own course accusing him of being “mere pre-occupied with frivolities. On security, the elders at the meeting, champion was reliably informed, pointed out that the situation was worrisome describing it as an indication of mass protest against governor sheriff’s administration. champion sources confirmed that the governor was indicted over rising killings in the state at the meeting which lasted several hours. Crime rate has surged with kidnapping on daily basis added to the spart of killings.

 

Against this background, the elders claimed that the government’s “much advertised effort in peace keeping stands precarious, endangered and signifies virtual collapse of governor sheriff’s peace and security agenda”. Another major issue which was sufficiently addressed at the meeting according to sources was the  hardship imposed on the people by the current administration. Some of the elders, champion was reliably informed argued at the meeting that there were speculations in some quarters that the state current economic situation was a deliberate effort by the sheriff led administration to frustrate some politicians who may be eyeing the 2027.

 

The emerging situation according to an insider has adversely affected the various ministries, parastatals and agencies that have had their subvention drastically cut”complain over these measures by some politicians are often muted but the effects are quite visible to most members of the public who have observed some decline in the hitherto government officials.

 

Some politicians openly admit that there is no more money to help those who assisted during elections and they now resort to various means to of getting money outside their salaries. A very prominent politician who attended the meeting was quoted to have said it has become common to hear a politician tell followers or associates that have business to do with them that “there is no money, please wait for the next subvention. The reality of the situation today is that even commissioner position is no longer attractive as serving commissioners now lobby to take up local government council chairmanship position

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