“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” Proverb 29: 2. This passage aptly captured the wind of change blowing in Delta State. When Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa campaigned for the governorship seat of Delta State promising prosperity for all Deltans, many people thought it was one of those political statements. On emergence as Governor, he confused the people the more by disclosing that the civil service was over bloated with more than 70, 000 workforce gulping about N7 billion monthly as salaries. It was no longer discussions in hushed tones but, clear, and loud question about how the Ika-born politician will make Deltans prosperous without employing them into the civil service.
Three years down the line, he has proven that Deltans can be prosperous without working as civil servants. Two days ago, for instance, the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori carried out an empowerment programme for his constituents when he gave out 4 Cars, 20 Buses, 20 Deep freezers, 10 Tricycles (KEKE), 20 Hair Dressing Saloon Components including Generator sets, 40 Grinding Machines, 500 Wrappers and Head Ties, 30 Sewing Machines, Scholarship Scheme for Secondary and University Students, Financial Assistance to Traders, among others.
Though, he did not mention what it cost him to embark on such life-changing programme, the Speaker paid accolades to Governor Okowa for providing an environment for Deltans to thank God for the positive activities going on in different parts of the state.
It is a fact that instead of declaring vacancies, the Governor rekindled the ‘I can do it’ spirit among Deltans by imitating different wealth creating programmes through the Job Creation Office which is the first and possibly, one of its kind in the country.
Through the wealth creation programmes, graduates, none graduates, the old and the young acquired different skills and were given all the necessary assistance including mentoring to enable them become not just self-employed, but, employers of labour. As such, from Asaba to Agbor, Kwale, Ughelli, Warri, Burutu, Patani and in different parts of the state, success stories abounds from those who have benefited from the wealth creation programmes.
Rt. Hon. Oborevwori did not mince words during the empowerment programme, when he said, “to the teeming youths of my constituency, I want to use this opportunity to urge you to take advantage of some of the key programmes of the present administration that are geared towards sustainable wealth creation and development of the economy of our dear State.
These programmes include Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme( YAGEP), Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme( STEP) and Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP). These are the major components of the SMART AGENDA of this administration, which have positively impacted thousands of Deltans.
My constituents have benefited immensely and I urge others to key into this laudable programmes. Two Hundred and Twenty Seven (227) of Okpe sons and daughters have benefited with starter packs presented to them upon completion of the programmes.”
Coming from the Speaker, it was a clear testimony about the success story of the wealth creation efforts of Governor Okowa’s administration as most of those beneficiaries from their testimonies will become millionaires of tomorrow. But, if one can describe the wealth creation programmes as the bedrock of the prosperity for all programmes of Governor Okowa’s administration, a look at massive construction of roads going on around the state that has earned Governor Okowa the nick name, Road Master will make one to take a look at the meaning of prosperity again.
With the roads, vehicles are getting to places that have not witnessed such. All of a sudden, the Capital Territory is wearing a new look with road construction not only limited to Asaba but, Okpanam, Ugbolu, Okwe and Oko. Constructing road in Oko, a coastal community which ordinarily if well handled with financiers from different parts of the world will create a new coastal city all the way to Aboh in Ndokwa East local government area and possibly, give birth to a coastal road that may terminate at Patani will certainly bring a paradigm shift in the development of Delta State. Such road may serve as shore protection too for the communities along the bank of the River Niger.
Constructing road at Oko is really ambitious, but, it is all about prosperity as the people who ordinarily, are part of the capital territory, will have easy means of moving their farm produce to Asaba. Even the Federal Government avoided Oko because of the huge cost that is involved in constructing the road. The terrain so difficult but, Governor Okowa, believing that the people deserve recognition, dared to start the construction of the road.
Road construction was taken seriously by Governor Okowa’s administration that communities that are inside the creeks are seeing earth-moving equipment for the first time. During that empowerment programme, the Governor said, “good roads are very important to the development of any community. ”
Rt. Hon. Oborevwori had said in his address that, “in the face of the glaring reduction of the state revenue, both from federal allocation and internally generated, he (Governor Okowa) was able to manage the state funds to ensure even spread of people-oriented projects across the 25 local government areas of the state.
For us in Okpe constituency, it has been harvest of projects. The following are projects executed and commissioned by His Excellency in Okpe local government area during this short period of my membership in the state legislature: Construction of Onomigbo Street, Orerokpe (Completed and commissioned), Construction of Ejinyere/Orodje Street, Orerokpe (Completed and commissioned), Rehabilitation of Warri/Sapele Expressway by Okuovo and Okuijorogu; -(Completed), Construction of Okuovo – Kpokpogri – Iriama junction- (Completed and commissioned), Construction of Okwetolor – Okobia – Arhagba Road, Phase 1; (Completed and commissioned), Resurfacing of 11 kilometers Jeddo/Omadino Road; (Completed and commissioned), Construction of Ultra-Modern Open/lock-up shops, Orerokpe; (Completed and commissioned) Construction of Bethel Oborevwori Crescent in Osubi and James Ovie Street in Okuokoko (Ongoing) and Construction of Okwemogwa to link Okuokoko (Ongoing).”
Governor Okowa had said, 188 contracts have been awarded by his administration for the construction of roads out of which 92 roads have been completed with others at different stages of completion. With such bold steps in the award of contracts for the construction of roads, naturally, some persons will conclude that some of the roads will not be completed, but, two days ago, the Governor reassured Deltans, saying, “we are aware of the numerous projects going on in different parts of the state. For every project that we set out to execute, we will complete it, we will not abandon any project because, every project is a result of well thought out process. I am passionate about the development of the state.”
Rt. Hon. Oborevwori did not forget his primary functions as a law maker as the event was also used to brief his constituency about his activities as the number one lawmaker of the state.
He said, “I was elected on 11th April, 2015 to represent the Okpe State Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly. And by the special grace of God and the benevolence of my colleagues in the House, I was elected Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly on the 11th May, 2017.
The business of every legislature worldwide is to make Laws and perform oversight functions to ensure order, peace and good government. The Sixth Assembly has consciously established a cordial and productive synergy with the Executive arm of government towards ensuring delivery of dividends of democracy to our people. It is worthy of note, that this healthy collaboration has brought the needed atmosphere for the Sixth Assembly to record remarkable achievements. It is pertinent for me to mention here, that before my election as Speaker of the House, I had sponsored and co-sponsored bills and moved motions in the House.
I must specially thank His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Governor of our dear State, for his show of love and support towards me. Sir, your sterling leadership qualities in governance has engendered peace and massive infrastructural development in the State. You are a leader with a difference. I must say this one thing; our dear Governor is a man who respects the rule of Law. There is a synergy between the House and the Executive to promote order, peace and good government in the State, His Excellency, in his dealings with the Legislature has always maintained and upheld the sanctity of the doctrine of separation of powers. Your Excellency, thank you for leading by example”.
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Barr. Kingsley Esiso expressed joy with the level of empowerment the Speaker embarked on. He commended the Speaker for having a large heart and urged other legislators to emulate the Speaker by empowering their constituents no matter the magnitude of such empowerment programme.
Former Minister of Information and elder statesman, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire and others who spoke at the occasion, commended Governor Okowa for providing the enabling environment for people to contribute to the development of the state.
That prosperity for all Deltans is being felt in all nooks and crannies of the state has reflected in the heavy drop in criminal activities in the state. Idleness among the youths have been reduced and it has contributed to the peaceful nature of the state which had also encouraged investors to be competing to take a fair share of the enabling environment that has been provided for them to have quick returns on their investments.
Communal crisis no longer exist in the state and with the high level of redistribution of wealth through the empowerment programmes, the making of the hitherto jobless youths to be wealth creators through the Job Creation office, the massive employment that is taking place through the construction companies that are executing projects in all the nooks and crannies of the state, with the vacancies created by the industries being established in the state and the great boost to the socio-economic life of Deltans through the provisions of necessary infrastructure, it is evident that prosperity for all Deltans is not only evident, but, it will be sustained for years to come in the oil and gas-rich state that can be accessed through the famous Atlantic Ocean, the River Niger, through two airports that are strategically located and by land.
Surely, “when the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” Proverb 29: 2. The godly are really in position of authority in Delta State and God is using them to impact on the lives of the people.
God bless Delta State.

(As published on page 10 of The Pointer Newspaper of today, Sunday, May 6, 2018.)