Yesterday, hundreds of young people protesting the clearance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to accept more loans with only four months left in his term as governor, blocked the ever-busy Effurun/Agbarho part of the East-West Road in Delta State.

The protesters specifically warned commercial banks in the country to desist from granting additional fresh loans to the Governor Okowa-led government at the peak of political activities in the state, alleging that such loans were being diverted to fund political activities at the detriment of the people of the state.

They condemned the continued “borrowing spree” by the PDP-led government, saying there was nothing to show for the huge loans and federal allocation that the state has received in the over seven and a half years of Okowa’s administration.

The youths under the aegis of concerned stakeholders from several Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) warned that any bank still granting loans to tbe Okowa-led government “is doing so at their peril.”

The protest follows the state government’s recent request for a loan of N120 billion, which the state House of Assembly approved in record speed.

Armed with placards with various inscriptions which included: “Don’t mortgage Delta,” “We say no to N120B loan,” the youths accused the Okowa-led government of mortgaging the future Deltans yet-unborn over the high debt profile of the state.

According to Comrade Kelly Umukoro, National Youth President of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), who spoke to journalists at the protest site; he affirmed the rejection of the facility by the youths of the state.

In his words, “we have observed that the present state government wants to sell us for the future of their children and themselves. You have few months to leave government, and you are borrowing another N120 billion. Is it that we are sponsoring Okowa’s ambition to be vice president of Nigeria with Delta State money?

“Did we have any meeting as Deltans to say we want to use our treasury to sponsor Governor Okowa, who has not been able to improve the lives of Deltans? No infrastructure, for eight years you have been able to do one flyover, and you are celebrating it. What does he need this money for? The answer is simple: he requires it to oil his vice presidential ambition.

“As critical stakeholders, we are saying no, never. We are saying our children cannot pay debt that was not used by their fathers. Okowa should have pity on us. Delta owns a State University in Abraka, school fee was increased. Delta State university is like a private university where students pay N250,000.”

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