Oshimili North Local Government chairman Louis Ndukwe & his predecessor Hon. Innocent Esewezie

“You be thief (I no be thief)”: Ndukwe & Esewezie Trade Insults Over Alleged 300 Ghost Workers

Forget what you read on social media about Innocent Esewezie and Louis Ndukwe being the best of friends; it is all political hogwash. XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE can report authoritatively that all is not well between the current chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Area Delta State and his predecessor.

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The bone of contention is an alleged 300 ghost workers discovered in the council’s financial books. And the two Oshimili North heavy weights are already pointing fingers at each other and waltzing to the tune of Fela’s evergreen song, “Authority Stealing”:

“You be thief (I no be thief)
You be rogue (I no be rogue)
You dey steal (I no dey steal)
You be robber (I no be robber)
You be armed robber (No be armed robber)
Argument, argument, argue”

Ndukwe claims that the alleged 300 ghost workers were the creation of Esewezie’s government and has vowed to fish out the ghost workers and severely punish them. And to prove that he is not making an empty threat, Chairman Ndukwe has backed his words with action. On Sunday, 20 September 2015, the Ukala-Ukpuno born number one citizen of the LG secretly constituted an investigative committee that includes his Head of Public Management (HPM) and Treasurer to the Local Government (TLG).

He gave the panel of inquiry a strict mandate to probe Esewezie’s Transition Committee Government for cooking up the books and paying salaries to 300 ghost workers during his tenure as Chairman of Oshimili North, and to recommend appropriate punishments for them.

XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE understands that the clandestine move has not gone down well with Hon Esewezie, who got wind of it. A source very close to Esewezie, who spoke to XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE on condition of anonymity as she has no authorization to speak for Esewezie, claimed that Esewezie is furious at Ndukwe’s actions and is waiting for him to go public before he will hit him with facts.

Our reliable source also claimed that Esewezie’s government carried out a thorough staff verification while in the Council and did not find any ghost workers in the financial books of Oshimili North LG.

“Esewezie only discovered that all the Local Government staff had letter of employment from Delta State Civil Service Commission, but the council was short of tables, chairs and in some cases was over-staffed with professionals. There were, for example, 15 Accountants doing the job of 3 people. So most were posted out to areas they were not relevant. These people you can’t stop them from being paid,” the source explained.

Another source dismissed Ndukwe’s allegation against the former chairman of Oshimil North as a witch-hunt, a well calculated smear campaign:

“I can also tell you that this probe is an attempt to tarnish the name of Esewezie and to rubbish what many in Oshimili North see as his enviable track record. It is also a criminal way for Ndukwe to create an alibi to justify his well-orchestrated grand plan to smuggle in 300 names that will be used as conduit for siphoning off money from Oshimili North coffers. What I think Ndukwe plans to do is to replace names of dead staff with his own cooked-up names without due process,” our reliable source said.

XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE has discovered that the Cold War between these two powerful figures in Oshimili North is simmering by the day, and if it is not resolved quickly could degenerate into a messy war that would tear Oshimili North into pieces.

Political watchers have called for a higher political authority to intervene quickly. Ndukwe and Esewezie had a common benefactor in Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, and it is not surprising that it is the name that keeps popping up.

The insinuation from one of the political watchers, however, is that Oracle, as Senator Nwaoboshi is hailed by his numerous political apologists, is using Ndukwe to get his pound of flesh from Esewezie.

“Remember that not too long ago Esewezie jumped ship to team up with Barrister Fred Ajudua and his wife, Princess against Nwaoboshi. This cold war between Ndukwe, who is still loyal to Nwaoboshi, and the renegade Esewezie may be Nwaoboshi’s creation. So only Nwaoboshi can resolve it,” insists the source.

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