Liberate – Delta People’s Movement condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the speech made by the Governor of Delta State Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan where he made a number of significant threats towards the opposition in the State, civil society activists and journalists. Uduaghan was speaking at Democracy Day thanksgiving held at Ekrejeta, Abraka, where he spoke of personally resisting being more firm with the opposition in the State, activist and Journalists because of his belief in the transient nature of power. He then made the following statements:
“The governor has many powers; he can do whichever thing he likes. The governor has powers to demolish any house and he has power to even kill, whatever you can think of…but when he leaves office, all the powers are gone. I have not used up to ten per cent of my powers.”
He also said that:
“If I have to use my powers, many people talking now will not talk, even the journalists won’t be writing what they write now. But the power is being used cautiously. I can sit and do anything and get away with it humanly, but not with God.”
We are saddened, disgusted and astonished that Uduaghan chose a ‘Democracy Day’ event to make this extremely undemocratic speech. We take his comments very seriously indeed and want to draw the attention of Federal authorities and the International Community to the threats to life and property from the supposed governor of a State in a democratic society. It is more of an outrage as Uduaghan has been previously implicated in acts as threatened. Earlier this year, Uduaghan authorised the demolition of the private business of Mr. Gideon Nwaomu, Giddy’s Place; a popular drinking establishment which had been in existence for more than 10 years; purely because the owner was a strong supporter of the opposition leader, chief Great Ovedje Ogboru. Additionally there was the much publicised case of the killing of Chief Ogbe Onokpite, a former Governorship candidate who was summarily, extra-judicially and arbitrarily killed by the Delta State Police Force believed to be operating under instruction from Ayiri Emami and Uduaghan. Chief Ogbe Onokpite provided a strong opposition to Uduaghan and his activities in the State. The Case of Ogbe Onokpite is still being stalled by the Nigerian Police Force. It must also be noted that this recent threat was made in the home town of Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru who, rightly, should now take steps to bolster his security arrangements.
We also recall that Uduaghan has made similar threats in the past against the leadership and members of Liberate Delta People’s Movement. On 31st October 2011 at 3.00pm, at a meeting held at Delta State Government House Annex, Warri; with members of the public, Uduaghan shocked of attendees when he accused the representatives of Occupy Warri Protest as member of Liberate- Delta People’s Movement whose activities Uduaghan labelled as ‘TREASONABLE FELONY’. In an astonishing turn, he proceeded to name individuals whom he alleged were the leaders of Liberate – Delta People’s Movement, mentioning the specific names of STEPHEN DIESERUVWE, CADRE DRAKE AND JUDE KAKPOVBIA. His employees on Facebook have made it a culture to threaten members of Liberate and we have numerous reports of unwarranted physical attacks on our members.
Liberate spokesperson, Mr. Cadre Drake said that:
Delta State is currently very unsafe and there are killings almost on a daily basis, with many thought to be politically motivated; so you can imagine the shock of Deltans about such statement from Uduaghan. In any democracy, the citizens have a right to challenge and hold the governor accountable, the Press must be free and the opposition free of fear of violence, it is either Uduaghan is naive or very calculating, either way, it is very bad for our State that the Governor can be so crass about matters of such serious nature.
There is no where in the constitution of the Federation where such powers are granted to the Governor and as such we can safely conclude that Uduaghan is sitting powers as he envisages them in his mind; exposing his deep-rooted undemocratic and dictatorial yearnings . These undemocratic actions coming from the Uduaghan administration, his attempts to bully, intimidate, threaten and attack citizens of the State who are protesting the ineptitude with which he has handled the State’s affairs, must be condemned by all. Democracy is not about forcing the citizens to accept how ever they are governed or trying to silence them with threats of violence; and at the very minimum, we do not expect this from the executive governor who is the primary security officer. It is clear that Uduaghan is bent on creating chaos and disorder in the State in order to maintain a hegemony of oppression, failed and uncompleted projects; and a general state of impunity where he can continue to raid the public purse for his private gain.
Liberate – Delta People’s Movement, is asking all democratic forces in Nigeria to converge on Delta State and help us restore the primacy of the rights of the citizenry to challenge authority, challenge corruption and end the grave problem of poor governance. We repeat our call for Uduaghan to RESIGN from office, to withdraw his outrageous statements and apologise to the entire people of Delta State and Nigeria at large.