The Isoko Development Union IDU, the apex socio-cultural organization and the mouthpiece of the Isoko nation, over the weekend backed the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and member representing Isoko Federal Constituency, Hon Leo Ogor, over the alleged budget padding scandal rocking the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
This vote of confidence by his constituents was passed on Hon. Ogor during an extra-ordinary town-hall meeting organized by the leadership of IDU, in consonance with the desires of the versatile and dynamic lawmaker, to brief his people and clear the air on the real issues and intrigues surrounding the alleged budget padding controversy rocking the Federal House of Representatives.
Speaking at the meeting, Hon. Ogor, who briefed the good people of Isoko nation at the town hall meeting which took place at IDU secretariat, gave account of his role in the alleged budget ‘padding’ matter, insisting that his hands were clean and he had not committed any crime known to Nigerian law or the constitution.
Stating his own side, the federal lawmaker said, “I had no influence over budget decisions in the House nor did I have access to appropriation. I am surprised my name is coming up at all because I was neither a member of the House Committee on Appropriation nor was I even a member of the Ad hoc Committee set up to restore the supposed ‘mutilated’ budget”
Speaking further, he said that as a principal member of the Green chamber, he is entitled to certain percentage of constituency allocations for the development of his immediate constituency, even as he insisted that the N1.4billion allocated to him was never for his private pocket as was being alleged in some quarters, most especially critics on social media from Isoko extradition, adding that the funds was rather for the development of the entire Isoko Federal Constituency.
Hon Ogor, who promptly highlighted the ongoing construction of the Uzere-Aviara Road which required huge amount of funding, as well as the Isoko ring road approved by the Federal Executive Council in 2014, which is currently under the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in the 2016 Appropriation Act, as projects he has already embraced, ended his brief by expressing dismay over continuous attacks on his person by constituents on social media, even as he cautioned his critics to always get detailed information before rushing to social media, insisting that most of them were not constructive in their criticisms.
The Federal Parliamentarian, who advised his critics to engage the social media as a veritable platform for promoting Isoko unity and progress, rather than using it as a channel to throw insults upon insults on political leaders, then presented the hard copy of the 2016 Appropriation Act to High Chief Iduh Amadhe, the President General of IDU, for his critical appraisal and subsequent identification of the details of the allocation formular, especially the budgets allocated to Isoko federal constituency.
Speaking earlier during the town hall meeting, the President General of Isoko Development Union world -wide, High Chief Iduh Amadhe (Ajuwawa), insisted that contrary to the assertions of detractors, the unity and continued existence of Isoko development was not negotiable, even as he chided those who have been dismissing the oneness of Isoko people with their bogus claims that the IDU leadership had been bought over by the political class.
Iduh described the tumultuous and massive crowd that turned up for the town hall meeting, as a proof that the entire Isoko nation remained united as one and was behind their sons and daughters in government positions.
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress APC and the renowned grand patron of Isoko national youth struggle, as well one of the leading lights of Isokoland, Barr Fred Obe, said the Federal lawmaker has done no wrong by lobbying projects to his immediate constituency, adding that he would be among the first to cry out if the funds released for the budgets were not used for the purpose of executing them, even as he also warned users of social media outlets to desist from insulting elders and be constructive in their criticisms.
Other constituents who spoke during the town hall meeting, all commended Hon. Ogor for his detailed explanation on the alleged budget scandal rocking the green chamber and expressed their satisfaction with the federal lawmaker’s brief, afterv which they also passed a vote of confidence on Hon Leo Ogor, saying his commitment to the development of Isoko nation was commendable.
The motion for the vote of confidence was moved by ALGON Chairman of Delta state, who also doubles as the local Government Chairman of Isoko South, Hon Itiako Ikpokpo (Malik) and was seconded by his Isoko North counterpart, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor. It was overwhelmingly approved by the gathering.
The town hall meeting was a gathering of crème de la crème of Isoko sons and daughters, prominent among whom were: Hon (Prince) Johnson Erijo, member representing Isoko south constituency II at the state house of assembly, Hon (Mrs.) Orezi Esiovo member representing Isoko South constituency I, Honourable commissioner for Urban Renewal Hon Karo Ilolo, Traditional Rulers, Elders, women, youths, among others.
Reported by Akpodhoma Michael