A Peep Into Three Years Anniversary Of Okowa Administration
By FIDELIS EGUGBO
THREE years after Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa took oath as the Governor of Delta State, the people of the state and event watchers have continued to express gratitude to God for giving the state a man who is focused, determined, and a great manager of man and resources to lead the people.
Two days ago, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu was in the state to commission what can be described as an avalanche of projects. Ekweremadu who is the highest political office holder on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not control his emotions when he saw the reactions of the people at places where the projects were commissioned as he said, “I feel very pleased that you are instilling in the people what purposeful leadership is about, with your performance in Delta State. From what we are seeing, there is a future for our country, there is hope for Nigeria and you (Governor Okowa) represents that hope,”
Some of the projects commissioned by the Deputy Senate President include, the Nsukwa/Ndemili, Agbor-Alidinma roads, that criss-cross Aniocha South, Ndokwa West, Ika North-East and Ika South local government areas of the state; and the Bonsaac, Nze Francis Street/Uche Wenwembu Street/Onwa Nwachinemelu Street in Asaba, Oshimili South local government area of the state. While in Asaba, Ekweremadu also, commissioned a multi-billion naira, ultra-modern library complex that is equipped for 21st century learning environment and also, performed the ground-breaking ceremony for another multi-billion naira Delta State Central Secretariat complex which on completion, will cater for all the accommodation needs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government within the state.
He also, inspected multi-billion naira storm drainage projects embarked on by the Governor Okowa administration in the state. The storm drainage projects will control the flood in Asaba and its adjoining towns.
Looking at projects executed by Governor Okowa administration makes it evident that he is not interested in playing to the gallery. The first anniversary of his assumption of office despite Nigeria been officially in recession saw Governor Okowa commissioning and inspecting projects and since then, the commissioning spree of projects has continued and increasing in tempo. At his second anniversary, town hall meeting was introduced into the process. The governor started moving from one local government area to the other, not only to commission and inspect projects but, to hold meetings with stakeholders in such local government areas where they have the freedom to criticise or applaud the governor without fear of any kind. As at the last count, almost all the local government areas have been visited.
It is really, democracy in action in the state and one unique attribute of Okowa is that he works as if he is a civil servant. Yours sincerely cannot say the exact time he starts his day’s activities but, at exactly 8 am, he takes his seat at the Government House Chapel, Asaba where he worship God for 30 minutes and move to his office. Again, one cannot tell when he closes for the day as most times, he holds series of meetings till the wee hours of the night. Before I forget, it is important to state that the Governor can board his vehicle as early as 6.30 am if work schedule requires that he leaves Asaba as he is very time conscious. Put succinctly, he does not believe in “African time.”
It was no wonder, the Event Centre, witnessed an unprecedented turnout of Deltans for this year’s Democracy Day celebration. It was a way of telling the Governor, “we love you, we appreciate you and with God, by this time next year, it will be the celebration of your second coming.”
Governor Okowa, joined by his wife, Edith; his deputy, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro and his wife, Ebi; former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, his successor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan; former acting Governor of Delta State, Prince Sam Obi, former deputy governors of the state, Chief Benjamin Elue and Professor Amos Utuama; Mrs Cecelia Ibru, top political office holders, traditional rulers, priests, clergymen, industrialists, including Deltans of all walks of life attended the ceremony in their large number.
As a man who believes that his emergence as governor was divinely ordained, singing of praises to God has always characterised the governor’s inauguration anniversaries and this year’s edition was not different as it was christened, “praise worship and thanksgiving” featuring renowned men of God – the President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Rev.d Dr. Felix Omobude, Rev.d Dr Uma-Ukpai, Chioma Jesus, Sammie Okpozo, David G., Samsong, Oyelade Elijah, Prospa Ochimana, among others.
Governor Okowa was full of thanks to God for His blessings and to Deltans for their support. He said, “we believe our God that it will get better and better. As we give thanks to God for what He is doing for us in Delta State, I wish to appreciate every one of you, every Deltan, you have played different roles for things to get better. When you have Jesus as your Lord, nothing can go wrong.
We promised our people that we will create jobs, we have created a lot of it, we have continued to build on the foundations laid by former Governors James Ibori and Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, we will continue to execute projects that will impact on our people. Our state is peaceful and we need the cooperation of everybody to sustain the peace, investors are coming and more investors will still come.
In the next few months, we will create a new Delta State that we all will be proud of, we have encouraged youths participation in sports through the Principal and Headmaster’s football championships, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education will organise athletics competitions, and in August this year, 54 African countries will converge in Asaba for the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships. The Asaba Airport has been opened for business and the airport without sounding immodest, has the best runway in Nigeria,” he stated.
At the commissioning of projects two days ago, the Governor said, “I thank the Senate President for coming to commission projects in Delta State, we have constructed a lot of roads across the state. We have stayed very strong on our youth empowerment programme, we train and equip them to become entrepreneurs. There are lots of success stories that we are moved to do more. We will continue to construct roads, build schools, encourage agriculture, our health insurance scheme have more than 200, 000 registered people as we believe that the state can show example that Nigerians can be beneficiaries of health insurance scheme.”
The governor disclosed that commissioning of projects will continue this week buttressing the fact that as his administration continues to award contracts for the execution of more projects, it is also, completing life-changing projects.
To borrow the words of the governor, all that is required of Deltans, is “to be patient, peaceful and law abiding because, the projects will get to every community.”
(As published on page 10 of today’s edition of The Pointer Newspaper. To God be the glory…)