More facts have emerged on why Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state allegedly ordered the state House of Assembly to suspend the embattled chairman of Uvwie council area, Mr. Henry Baro.
Baro was asked to cease functioning as council chairman in the week of bloody invasion of Uvwie Central Motor Park of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) allegedly by armed thugs led by one Francis Ariyor who reportedly stormed the Uvwie Central Motor Park with guns and chased away the incumbent leadership of the park headed by one Mr. Napoleon Adibu constituted by the council chairman.
The embattled council chairman is said to have been in a running battle with member representing Uvwie/Okpe/ Sapele Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Evelyn Oboro, who enjoys the backing of Okowa since the general election.
Revealing the undercurrent behind the orchestrated suspension of the council chairman, an impeccable Government House source who craved anonymity disclosed that the Governor was embarrassed with the disturbances in Uvwie and the role played by the council boss.
The source alleged that Baro had sent an sms to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) who is said to be his ‘godfather’ trying to implicate the Governor on the Uvwie motor park crisis, alleging that the governor should be held responsible for breach of peace in the council area but the sms leaked to the governor, thus triggering the new twist to crisis.
The source said; “Do know that the council chairman Mr. Henry Baro, sent an sms to the Inspector General of Police who in turn forwarded the same sms to the state Commissioner of Police and being the number one security officer of the state, the Commissioner of Police in turn forwarded the same sms to Governor Okowa. After reading the sms, Okowa was angered by the sms of the council chairman which Okowa sees as an embarrassment to his government.
“Before now, the Governor has not been happy with the Uvwie council chairman because the chairman never supported the governorship ambition of Okowa following his (chairman) close political romance with former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. Moreso, Baro has been arrogant to the governor, you remember how he and Ayiri Emami snubbed the governor during his campaign? Baro has hatred for Okowa otherwise how can a party man, council chairman for that matter be the one to be sending sms to IG to implicate his governor over crisis he couldn’t manage in his domain?
“Baro you know also worked against the re-election of the member representing Uvwie/Okpe/ Sapele Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Evelyn Oboro, who is enjoying the full backing of Okowa.
“Miffed by this development, Okowa had no option than to direct the House Speaker, Monday Igbuya, and other members of the House to slam the council chairman with a suspension order to enable them investigate all the allegations leveled against him. And on Tuesday, without wasting anytime, the House came out with a suspension order on the chairman who is seen as ‘political enemy’ to the Governor.”
Reliable source at the state House of Assembly disclosed that the Governor had allegedly directed the House Speaker to robe in the council chairman with allegation of fraud so as not to be seen as a witch hunt.
“The House of Assembly action was unconstitutional. We overheard one of the lawmakers saying that power from above has given the go ahead to the House to suspend the council chairman under the guise of allegations of fraud so as the suspension will have more weight. It is very unfortunate, because if Okowa continues like this, his government will be seen as a vendetta government. We know Okowa does not forgive and one after the other, he will go after all those who in one way or the other opposed his governorship candidature.” the source added.
The state Assembly had stated that Baro was suspended over allegations of fraud and ordered that the vice chairman should take over the council pending the outcome of investigation on the alleged fraud.
The House immediately constituted a four-man adhoc committee headed by Mr. Oboroh Preye, Eric Oharisi, member, Anthony Elekeokwuri, member and Owosike Austin as committee Secretary.
The House also ordered all council chairmen to submit all their financial records since assumption of office to the Adhoc committee on or before Thursday .
It would be recalled that Secretary to the Uvwie Local Government council, Mr. Uvwie Emete Julius, had shortly after the gun battle last week, stated that the council chairman, Mr. Henry Baro, had on the 20th March 2015 established the Uvwie Public Motor Management Committee through a letter with reference number UVLG/645/TIS/2015.
“The headship and/or chairmanship of the aforementioned committee was placed on Comrade Napoleon Adibu. He is still recognized as such.” the statement had read.
Meanwhile, the legislative arm of Uvwie local government area has condemned in strong terms the action of the state House of Assembly , describing it as ill-conceived , politics of witch-hunting and vendetta.
In a statement issued shortly after the suspension of the council chairman , the legislative arm of the local government area expressed deep surprise that such a far reaching decision could be contemplated by the House of Assembly without following laid-down procedures, due process and the rule of law.thewill.