On Tuesday, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, shunned the Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Monsur Mohammed Dan-Ali (Rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ete Ekwe Ibas, and other top military brass who were visiting scenes of the oil pipelines vandalization in the State.
A mild drama also played out at the Navy Base Warri as the Federal Government (FG) delegation barred and disgraced the Delta State Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ovie Agas, Director General, Security Matters to the Governor, David Towne, and other government officials from joining the entourage of the delegation to the site.
The Deputy Governor, SSG, and Delta state government officials were said to have already been seated at the boat when FG top officials swooped in and barred them from joining the entourage of the Ministers.
SaharaReporters reliably learned that when the FG delegation were already in the State. However, Governor Okowa, instead of waiting for the team in Warri, decided to shun them and was busy signing into law the 2016 budget at the government house in Asaba.
Condemning the oil pipelines vandalization said to have been carried out by the loyalists of Government Ekpemupolo (AKA Tompolo), Minister of Defence Dan-Ali gave a strongly worded marching order to the military to locate the perpetrators of the heinous crime, saying that more equipment would be deployed to the region to ensure that those behind the attacks were arrested.
According to Mr. Dan-Ali, the military was still searching for those behind the explosions noting that they would definitely locate them. He also explained that the visit was intended to enable the FG to increase the assistance to the military in order to curb the criminal activities in the region.
“I came here to intensify assistance to the armed forces and provide them with the equipment that will help them to bring down these criminals. This is was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion.
"I believe it was well arranged and well planned. You can see the magnitude of the explosion. I believe this will be taken care of by members of our armed forces. We have intensified patrol. We are still looking for them and the Joint Task Force (JTF) commander has assured me that they will get to the root of it,” Minister Dan-Ali stated.
The minister, however, sounded a warning to the military officers who had gathered to welcome him at the 3rd Battalion, Effurun, against laziness and human rights abuses. He also called upon them to desist from working with criminals as the present administration would not pardon anyone caught in such act.
SaharaReporters learned that the barring of the Deputy Governor, SSG, and other State government officials was due to the failure of State government to conduct an on-site last week. It was further revealed that the reason for their absence was due to a relationship between these State officials and the prime suspect in the criminal case.