The outrage elicited by the revelations from the

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Topic: Opinion


Chevron Nigeria

The outrage elicited by the revelations from the Magugate, the malfeasances attributed to activities of the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Ibrahim Magu is understandable.


We live in a polity where most Nigerians are either thieves or waiting for their turn to be in a position of public trust to loot and help themselves to the National treasury. Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner of Police in the Nigeria Police Force was appointed as head of the EFCC primarily, a body saddled with the responsibility of catching financial fraudsters and those with itching fingers in position of trust. But his tenure has been marred with allegations and counter allegations of involvement in shady deals.


The Bukola Saraki-led Senate declined to confirm his nomination due to damning reports from the DSS over his alleged dubious activities. Politics was read to the stance of the senate then. But things came to a head a fortnight ago when the man was arrested and grilled for over a week before being finally suspended from office and replaced to the delight of most Nigerians, who standing on the podium of self-righteousness have hurled invective at the hunter who ended up being the hunted, despite the fact that Magu is inherent in all.


While the dust generated by the Magugate is yet to settle, another round of allegation of financial impropriety erupted in the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, a body of youths who hitherto has been drawing huge fund from DESOPADEC on behalf of Urhobo youths. What was fed to the public is that the erstwhile National President of the body, Chief Godwin Okporoko was involved in misappropriation of the group’s fund. He was summarily removed and replaced with Chief Vincent Oyibode, whom we learnt has been his deputy over the years.


Since his impeachment, Chief Okporoko has started singing a new song, exposing how money meant for Urhobo youths had been shared amongst a privileged few, whose only advantage is their closeness to the corridor of power. The revelations from Godwin Okporoko are mindboggling and nauseating.


How and why these few elements warm their way into the heart of DESOPADEC to be so patronized on behalf of Urhobo youths whereas there is a valid Urhobo youth body known to the Urhobo Progress Union is one shenanigan that had baffled this writer beyond measure. This development in the UYLA has thrown to the fore the self-serving, treacherous and deceitful tendencies of most Urhobo youth leaders who had been hiding under the cover of public service to sleaze the land of her dignity and honour.


While this writer is not prepared to hold brief for either of the parties to the saga in the UYLA, one is appalled that so much is being paid to a body of self-assembled youth leaders without accreditation and approval by Urhobo leaders particularly the Urhobo Progress Union. Is this how the DESOPADEC is run? Do people just walk into the Commission, get introduced as leaders from an ethnic nationality and money just exchange hands without verification? Who recommended, appointed or provided the platform for this group to be the mouthpiece of Urhobo youths? There are a thousand and one youth groups in Urhobo. What criteria did DESOPADEC used in adopting the UYLA as the authentic voice, foremost and recognized youth body in Urhobo? It is appalling how money is frittered away in the name of Urhobo youths without being accountable to anyone.


According to Chief Okporoko, ‘’I have been accused of embezzlement of the Association funds. I will like to bring it to the General Public how the fund coming from DESOPADEC is being shared. The total money being given to the URHOBO Youths Leader Association is N2millon’’. This is what some youth body get every month whereas, the UPU, the parent body of all Urhobo people worldwide, or even the UPU youth wing gets no such pep from government. That is as far as public knowledge is concerned. And what do they do with it? They go on a sharing spree every month and some of them have the gut to accuse the others of embezzlement of fund. Whose fund? Is this not a case of the kettle calling the pot black?


Now let is look at the breakdown of how Urhobo youth money is shared among the gang of so-called leaders who congregate under the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association. Ewu, Olomu and Ughievwen youth presidents in my Ughelli South LGA get N180,000.00 every month; Chief Vincent Oyibode N550.000.00 (N400,000 direct from DESOPADEC and N150.000 from the Association every month), and this he got on behalf of Udu LGA; Mr Femi Okumagba from Warri South (on behalf of Urhobo in Warri) N100.000.00; Tony Ofoni N110,000.00 on behalf of Uvwie youths; Julius Inyevwe N80,000.00 for Okpe youths; Efe Mafuru N90,000.00 for Sapele youths; and for Ethiope East, Mr Eta Kingsley gets N10,000.00 every month.


Another member of the Alibaba and the forty thieves is one Mercy who gets N20,000.00 as women leader on behalf of our girls, including yours sincerely; Moses Darah (a media consultant) gets N50,000.00; Chief Westham Adehor N50,000.00 (as member of the Board of Trustees of the group); Chief Francis Arhiyor also of the BOT N50,000.00; Vincent Boy Okoloko is N10,000.00; and for Ughelli North, one Mr Olokpa Felix draws N210,000.00 every month; for Ethiope West, Hon Austin Atiti draws N120,000.00; while the National President goes home with N200,000.00 monthly.


There is N20,000.00 set aside for Manager every month while office expenses or running cost which goes to the Secretary of UYLA is N50,000.00. Chief Okporoko added that ‘’All money is being transferred to everybody's own account every month…’’.


First who is the ‘Manager’ that gets N20,000.00 every month and what does he manage? Who is Okoloko that gets N10,000.00 every month and for what purpose? Whose boy is he? Is he a boy to the same Vincent Oyibode that gets N550,000.00 every month from DESOPADEC? How many of these youth leaders, with Hushpupi tendencies give account to youths in their respective LGA? On whose behalf do they collect the money and to whom are they accountable? What manner of embezzlement are the other members of Exco accusing Chief Godwin Okporoko of whereas, it is full-blown looting of money meant for Urhobo youths that goes into their private pocket? Who gave these guys the mandate to collect such money on behalf of Urhobo and who authorize the disbursement in the manner it was being done over the years? Is there integrity amongst looters? Why accuse Okporoko of theft whereas the entire body reeks of inexplicable malfeasance? Is this how these people render selfless services to Urhobo? This is sickening and un-dignifying. These Hush-Urhobo youths have a case to answer.


The question of whether Chief Godwin Okporoko is guilty of misappropriation of fund or not, does not arise at all. The Magu in this group is a full grown man and none should glory in self righteousness. Urhobo has been gang-raped by this set of youth leaders and they need to give account to their respective Kingdoms or LGA. DESOPADEC too must stop this kind of corruption-inducing monthly ATM posture that helps some of our own to the commonwealth without let and control.


This writer is pretty sure this shameful tendency is going on in other ethnic groups in Delta State. This has got to stop. For daring to humiliate Okporoko out of office, the man has decided to spill the beans. But for rebellion against and the impeachment of the National President, nobody will know that Urhobo has another ‘NDDC’ in our backyard where ‘girlfriends’ to political barons supply diesel and money are shared without due process. And for almost one week after the revelations, none of the accused has bothered to refute the allegations or clear the air on what truly transpired. One is compelled therefore to believe that Godwin Okporoko may be right after-all.


This writer insist that all those listed in the sharing of the money meant for Urhobo youths have a case to answer and UPU must rise up to the occasion by inviting the UYLA leadership for explanation and possible query. UPU should also write DESOPADEC to halt the transfer of fund to this group which is just one of many youth-based associations in Urhobo without the authorization of Urhobo leaders.


UPU should be blamed if the rot perpetuated by UYLA continues. A time shall come when, like the NDDC where supposed statesmen and national icons are now singing like canary birds, all those with itching fingers in and around DESOPADEC will have their day in Court. The fraud in UYLA must stop. Urhobo needs youth leaders who would render self-less services to the people and be accountable particularly to the UPU on the altar of transparent service, integrity and accountability.  


Annabel Ogheneganre writes from Garki, Abuja. (09030558731 SMS only orananabel4christ@hotmail.com)        

Chevron Nigeria Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)

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