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Fire In Delta Govt. House: Accident Or Arson? by Simon Ochuko



It was with shock and utter disbelief that I read the story in Vanguard (Thursday 15 Nov. 2007) that a “mysterious” fire had gutted the office of the Delta State’s SSG (Secretary to the State Government); an office that housed vital documents regarding the financial activities of the previous administration that was led by James Ibori.


I firmly believe that I am not alone in thinking that, with the current state of affairs, this incident is too much of a co-incidence especially with regard to the current travails of Ibori. This is more so given the well known hostile stance of the current Administration in Delta State to the ongoing efforts of the EFCC and the UK authorities to investigate the mammoth but unexplained wealth of the former governor.


It would be re-called that the current Administration that is led by (the Ibori-installed/imposed) Dr Emmanuel Udughan (who was also the SSG during the second term of the Ibori Administration) publicly and un-ashamedly led his entire government including all his Commissioners and all the PDP members of the State House of Assembly to render a “Thanks-Giving” service in church when Ibori won a short-lived reprieve regarding the freezing of his $35 Million worth of assets by the UK authorities.


This action by Dr Uduaghan was not only ill-advised but was terribly offensive to the sensibilities of every right-thinking Deltan the world over and it exposed him and his Administration for what they really are and what they stand for. I would further posit that the little credibility or benefit of doubt that Dr Uduaghan had, if any, was irrevocably dissipated by that shameful “Thanks-giving” service and was permanently “extinguished” (pardon the pun) in this recent convenient “mysterious” fire.


Seemingly unsatisfied with his Administration’s chasm of credibility Dr Udughan sponsored an inept and frivolous ex-parte court injunction to stop the investigation of the EFCC and UK Police into the questionable administration of his cousin Ibori; an administration that he (Uduaghan) was a key member of. This act simply compounded and bared his credibility crisis for all to see. To a cynical observer, it would appear that his frivolous injunction could not stop the creeping reality that their dark secrets would be exposed by the ever-deepening investigation of the EFCC so they resorted to the abominable act of arson.


The fact that this incident was apparently “hushed up” and not announced to the press or people of Delta State for “a few days” smacks of an unwholesome conspiracy of a cover-up. It also points a finger of undoubted guilt and complicity firmly in the direction of the Administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and his cabal of usurpers. The silence of the Uduaghan Administration on this most sensitive of matters speaks volumes. Furthermore, if as it apparently appears, that this incident was no accident then it will confirm that the State of Delta has indeed been hijacked by a ruthless cabal of criminals who will stop at nothing to ensure that their wicked and self-serving reign of terror and wanton looting is not interrupted by anything or anyone.


Surely even the most ardent supporters of the Ibori hegemony must accept that this latest attack is provocation of the most extreme and that the interest of the ordinary citizens of Delta should not be subjugated to this level for the selfish interest of a motley crowd of uncouth brigands and leeches led by renegades.



The only thing that will absolve the Uduaghan-led Administration from the odium of suspicion and complicity is for him to immediately mandate the appropriate authorities to conduct an unhindered, independent forensic investigation of the site to yield the cause of the fire and for their findings to be published without delay. If it is found that this was a deliberate arson attack, then the police should be compelled to fish out the perpetrators and ensure that all the culprits (including their sponsors) are visited with the fullest weight of the law.


The good people of Delta State are in desperate need and deserve no less than a satisfactory response to what appears to be a despicable act of state-sponsored terrorism. If Dr Uduaghan is unable or unwilling to meet this simple requirement then the only honourable option for him and his entire illegitimate government is to resign.



Simon Ochuko

London, UK

Nov 16 2007

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