By Emeke Alexander

The Delta State government has berated the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) for dwelling in the realm of baseless speculations, and for faulting the rating of Delta as the 2nd least poor state in Nigeria, by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, without supporting its position with empirical evidence.

In a statement on Friday, the Executive Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Communications, Mr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, a lawyer, said the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, goofed for doubting or questioning the credibility of the rating which was arrived at after a rigorous research process wherein universally accepted methodology and analytical sequence were applied.

The EAC to the governor opined that narrow personal opinion or mere imagination cannot override conclusions based on rigorous research efforts.

He noted that Delta State government’s remarkable achievements in poverty eradication through result oriented policies and programmes as well as sustained job and wealth creation initiatives, prompted commendations and partial funding of YAGEP and STEP programmes by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, and the World Bank, WB.

He added that the synergy further tripled projected results for which Delta stands out as empowerment colossus and a shining star in socioeconomic remodeling.

Comrade Mulade’s claim he posited, goes to no issue because of the fact that his position is at best a narrow personal opinion devoid of research methodology/scientific investigation, adding that speculations and conclusions not based on universally acceptable research process must of a necessity be relegated to the realm of negative imagination, which can never annul or fracture NBS’s rating that was a solid product of a rigorous research and empirical evidence.

He urged Deltans and indeed Nigerians to ignore Mulade’s narrow minded opinion which was crafted to misinform the public, pointing out that the government and the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, welcome constructive criticisms and not baseless and unsubstantiated claims, as can be seen from the instant case.

“NBS is a reputable federal government agency under the control of the All Progressives Congress, APC, national government which can neither be influenced nor manipulated in favour of Delta State, a state under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

“Mulade neither have the moral nor the intellectual justification to fault NBS’s rating of Delta as the 2nd least poor state in Nigeria, because he  failed woefully to substantiate his claims with empirical evidence obtained from a research process that is universally acceptable.

“In all of these, Mulade’s playful academic exercise cannot stand the test of time due to the fact that it lacked the basic and vital verifiable data to question NBS’s findings and ratings.

“Gov Okowa’s enviable good governance strides are in public domain with tangible results. I therefore urge us to increase the temple of our support and prayers for this administration and for the state governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa,” Oghenesivbe added.