Ibori’s kinsmen in Oghara, Delta state, have faulted media reports alleging that Delta state government is sponsoring his thanksgiving service to the tune of N350m
– Publicity secretary and chairman of the celebration committee, Henry Ofa and Emmanuel Ighomena have said the report was in bad faith
– They said the celebration cannot go beyond N3million and the fund is being provided by Oghara people
Organizers of Chief James Ibori’s freedom thanksgiving service have disagreed with media reports alleging that Delta state government is financing the ceremony slated for Sunday, February 12 with the whopping sum of N350 million.
Publicity Secretary of the thanksgiving committee, Chief Henry Ofa, described the report as false and a deliberate attempt to drag Governor Ifeanyi Okowa into the murky waters of corruption.
There had been reports that Okowa doled out N350 million to float a lavish thanksgiving ceremony and welcome party for Ibori, in whose government he had served as a health commissioner.
Ibori being cheered by friends and associates
The report alleged that the gesture was in acknowledgement of the huge support Okowa had enjoyed from his former boss, including supporting his governorship aspiration in 2015.
But Ofa, who reacted to the report in Oghara, wondered why “some people would just sit in their offices and cook up claims that are false, spurious and malicious”, insisting that “there is nothing like that and the state government has no role to play in the event”.
“I laughed when I read the report. Who received the N350 million? To be specific, the entire process of the thanksgiving service costs less than N3 million and the whole fund is being sourced internally.
It is neither being funded by the state government nor Ibori, it is the community members who are sponsoring the thanksgiving service.
“There is no arrangement for an after service reception. So, for anyone to cook up such cheap lies, I think it is most unfortunate,” Henry Ofa explained.
He described proponents of the report as “those whose only stock in trade is to pull others down”, noting that the claim is another failed attempt of the “enemies” to undermine the celebration of Ibori’s regained freedom.