How Ashiedu lost out after betraying Uduaghan

The news of the reopening of the Delta State Shoe Factory at Isselle -Uku gives this nostalgic feeling which pulls strong like the northern wind.  It draws attention to the Directorate which supervised the setting up that Centre and the Iron lady who steered the affairs in the recent past.  Dr Antonia Ashiedu.



The name Ashiedu was synonymous with Delta Micro-credit scheme.  Where did she not go to?  Which award was she not given?


Then Governor of the State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who apparently had a soft spot for her, virtually ‘dashed’ her, the Directorate which he pumped so much money into.  At a time, some even accused him of conniving with Ashiedu to use the Scheme which attracted both local and international recognition, as a conduit pipe.


Before he left office, Dr Uduaghan not minding critics, upgraded her position to that of Executive Secretary and also upgraded the Directorate.  This gave Ashiedu’s position relative permanence.


This did not go down well with critics who felt there should be a change of batons.  Fair judges would say Uduaghan was trying to ensure that his adjudged square peg remained in the square hole.


Recall that the said Ashiedu was also Executive Assistant to former Governor James Onanefe Ibori on the same micro-credit scheme.


She was thought the best for the job.


Politically, she leaned towards Rt. Hon Victor Ochei who is from the same Aniocha North with her for Delta 2015 governorship. This was against her Principal’s preference to former Permanent Secretary, Tony Obuh.  This interest allegedly made her fall out with her media aide who was tilted to Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.  It however, did not affect her relationship with Dr Uduaghan.


When fate played its card in favour of Okowa and he became Governor in May 2015, jittery, Dr Ashiedu started lobbying to retain her position. 


There is nothing wrong in lobbying.  The National Assembly is talking about legalizing it.


What is surprising and discouraging in Ashiedu’s lobbying is that she sought favour at Uduaghan’s expense.  She placed her personal interest far above integrity and loyalty. She was more concerned about the immediate gain, no past no present.


Every reasonable adult would know that Okowa may have reservations about the man who nearly stopped him from becoming Governor.  Ashiedu capitalized on this and betrayed Uduaghan.


Reliable sources revealed that immediately Okowa was sworn in, thinking that her actions and Anioma kinship would help her, she took all documents and transaction papers to him.  While at it, she ran down her principal who she alleged pushed her into some shady deals running into billions of naira.  She presented herself as the timid, naive teat of the cow which Uduaghan expressed milk from. 


“Micro-credit” pledged her loyalty to the new man and offered to “work well”.


The closure/abandonment of some projects of the previous administration was partly informed by this, including the about to be reopened Isselle-Uku shoe factory. 


What she did not fathom in her calculations is that as prim and proper as Okowa appears to be, he does not play with loyalty.  As a good politician he knew the import of what Ashiedu did.  The same cane that was used on the first wife would be reserved for her mate. 


Rationally, Okowa put paid to Ashiedu’s appointment but made use of the classified information she treacherously and tactlessly gave. Some of them have been seen to be false or exaggerated.


Consequent upon this, a new Head was appointed to start afresh at the Directorate.  Grapevine says the person was nominated by the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Kingsley Emu who many believe, has the ears of the Governor. There is no love lost between Emu and Ashiedu. The opportunity was welcomed.


At other quarters, the story is that Uduaghan nominated the lady who is a sister to his bosom friend, when he discovered Ashiedu’s betrayal. 


Head or tail, Ashiedu lost completely, out of her own making.


She lost the job, lost the confidence of her boss of eight years, lost value before Okowa and all other right-thinking observers. Maybe an elective position would be worth her trial.

Irikefe Umukoro,

Public commentator,

Writes from Asaba,

Delta State

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