Allegations against Patrick Ukah unfounded, Chief Nicholas retorts

The allegations against the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah by “some disgruntled


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Allegations against Patrick Ukah unfounded, Chief Nicholas retorts
Patrick Ukah

 

The allegations against the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah by “some disgruntled and mischievous elements”, in the state as published in an online media, has been described as “unfounded and untrue with political undertone”, by Chief Okonkwor Nicholas.

This much was contained in a statement released by Chief Okonkwor Nicholas and made available to journalists at Asaba Monday May 20.

According to Okonkwor Nicholas, authors of the report, who alleged that Patrick Ukah claimed in the documents he submitted to the Delta State Transition Committee that he bought 8 cameras for DBS Asaba and Warri for over N18m, “could not tell the Delta State online Publishers how much he expended on the two stations, when he appeared as a special guest to the publishers’ programme tagged ‘Frontline’”.

Nicholas said, “there was never a time such question was raised or asked by the publishers, which the commissioner declined comment and there was never a time before the arrival of the commissioner that a passionate appeal was made to members of the online publishers not to be heard on Patrick Ukah, with critical questions during the interactive session as claimed by the perpetrators of the reports”.

He explained that chairman of Delta State online publishers’ forum, Emmanuel Enebeli,  had made a rebuttal on the allegations as falsehood and untrue, adding that there was never a time members of the association were told not to be hard on the commissioner for explanation on how much he has expended on DBS Asaba and Warri.

He further noted that the authors of the stories tried to malign “the good image of Patrick Ukah, which he has built for long”.

Okonkwor Nicholas argued, “whether Latimore and Head of Service came on live programme in DBS Asaba and couldn’t come up on air due to some circumstances and the TV station couldn’t be powered, was not the fault of the commissioner, because service providers like MTN, Airtel and GLO communication faced challenges or technical faults, which we have been experiencing in our individual handsets”.

He also further disclosed that there are procedures in handling issues as regard to governance.

The release noted that neither the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, nor the Chairman of the Transition Committee, have not summoned the commissioner for explanation on the issue, because the allegations are not correct.

“Nobody has written a petition on the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah for alleged involvement in falsification of figures or document”, Nicholas declared.

He stressed that the freedom of information law stipulates that for individuals or corporate bodies to have possession of public documents, they should write officially to the authority involved, but authors of the report failed in their responsibility to do so.

He maintained that if the commissioner had submitted a handover note to the transition committee and discovered there was error in the document, the commissioner has every right to withdraw it, “because he is not under any law not to retrieve it and make amendments”.

Chief Okonkwor Nicholas pointed that when the Commissioners for Women Affairs, Economic Planning and Finance during a press briefing discovered that the documents made available to journalists had errors, the commissioner quickly pleaded for amendment.

Also, same was applicable to the Former Provost, Federal College of Education Technical, Asaba Dr. Ignatius Nwanze Ezoem, after he released documents to journalists during a press conference, he pleaded that the documents should be withdrawn and corrections were made.

He said, “I see no reason why the commissioner should be castigated for an error discovered in a document submitted”.

He however emphasized that there is no way the commissioner should have been ignorant enough to have awarded contracts to a company or contractor that has no trace of address.

He expressed satisfaction with the level of achievements recorded in the management of information and contributions in sports development by Patrick Ukah in Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.

His words, “among the commissioners of Governor Okowa, Patrick Ukah is the man who has shown an exemplary leadership by bringing a cordial relationship between his Ministry and the Press, Media activities organised by his Ministry, he ensures that every journalists in attendance benefits no matter how small it is”.

It was gathered that Patrick Ukah’s performance in the Ministry of Information, “is a marvelous one in upgrading the conference hall of the Ministry in-spite of the meagre allocation given to his ministry”.

It was learnt that as the Director-General of Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa’s campaign in Oshimili North Local Government, he worked tirelessly to return Okowa for the second tenure by winning his unit, ward and Local Government.

It could be recalled that before the governorship election in the state, Governor Okowa categorically stated that political office holders in the state would be appointed, only if they were able to win their units, wards and Local Government, which Ukah did.

Investigations revealed that some politicians who are afraid of the commissioner’s rising profile in the political power play of the state, have decided to use this medium to tarnish his image before the governor, because of selfish interest.

Chief Okonkwor Nicholas urged Governor Ifeanyi Okowa not to listen to sycophants, because he knows his commissioners better than anybody in the state.

Information available to the press, revealed that majority of Deltans have condemned the false publication on the commissioner and appealed to the governor to ensure he returns Ukah as the commissioner in charge of the Ministry of Information, “based on his good programmes and achievements”.

Efforts to reach the Commissioner or his Special Assistant on Media for comments, proved abortive.


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Hitler Preye Bela
Graduate of Computer Science, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State with over 7years experience in Desktop Publishing.
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