Warri — THE war of words between Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, was re-ignited, weekend, following the shutdown of Robinson Gbagi Shopping Mall, Warri, by the state government.
Uduaghan, who spoke to Vanguard on the matter, said his Commissioner for Environment, Chief Frank Omare, ordered a temporal shutdown of the mall because it was filthy, as he (commissioner) discovered a dumpsite on the premises, while the traders failed to participate in state-declared environmental sanitation on Saturday.
But Gbagi, fired at Uduaghan, saying he was on a vendetta mission because of his (Gbagi's) address at the just-concluded Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, law conference in Warri, where he said the state was under siege by kidnappers and the governor had allegedly failed to provide security for the citizens.
On the allegation, Uduaghan said, "I will not descend to his (Gbagi) level and I am not on a vendetta mission against him." He declined comment further.
Gbagi said: "The Robinson Gbagi Plaza provides employment to no fewer than 3,000 Deltans. It was a swamp and inhospitable surroundings when I acquired and built a shopping mall on it and in the past 10 years, it has remained the cleanest marketplace in the state. The traders carry out sanitation and have an arrangement with a contractor, who picks up waste from the mall daily."
"Have you visited the Effurun, Igbudu and other markets in the state? Do you not see the heaps of rubbish even on the roads?, Why did the government not shut the markets if it was not vendetta mission against me?.
"I have just sent the governor a text message after he refused to take my call, intimating him of my knowledge of his plans to revisit issues with regards to my hotel and cinema in Effurun with a view to finding ways to destroy the investments. Uduaghan activated this plan earlier in the week by calling for the file on my property," he alleged.
Vanguard gathered that the governor and Gbagi had engaged in exchange of intense text messages over the matter.