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Okowa: The Promise This Time

By GRANDNEWS on 06/09/2019

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*Gov Ifeanyi Okowa
*Gov Ifeanyi Okowa

By Augustine  Avwode

Beyond the historical significance of May 29, 2019, marking the beginning of the Second Term of Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as the Executive Governor of Delta State, it also offers Deltans, admirers, followers and well-wishers of the Governor the opportunity to mentally imagine what his next four years in office have in stock for Deltans.   

  Yesterday, Thursday, September 5, marked the first 100 Days in the Second Missionary Journey of Mr Governor. It’s a Milestone for public office holders. It therefore offers all the opportunity to assess the approach to governance and the steps taken so far against the backdrop of the promise(s) made. After all, isn’t it said that morning shows the day?

No doubt, Governor Okowa’s first term ended in a flourish. It was simply impressive and massively successful. And, like I wrote then on May 27, in an article titled: “Okowa: Four Years After”, he gave a good account of himself.  An excerpt, here:

“In two days, it would be four years since the era of Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa dawned on Delta State. And, let’s say it here the way it is: Okowa has given a good account of himself as the Governor of Delta State in the last four years.

“He has not only demonstrated abundance of Competence, Character and Capacity, the three Cs all good and great leaders should have, he has added a fourth, – compassion, which together with the first three, makes  him one of the best around.

“A promise keeper and a man of immense humility by every definition, Governor Okowa, in the last four years has walked his talk and kept faith with his electoral promises hinged on the  S.M.A.R.T agenda that came with a likeable chorus: “Prosperity for all Deltans”.

“Okowa’s consuming passion, one can say, has been how to ensure that Deltans, irrespective of differences in ethnicity, gender, faith or political persuasion, come together as one united people, live a good and decent life and ensuring greater good for the greater number. The beauty of Governor Okowa’s SMART agenda is that it is at the heart of people’s efforts to meet their everyday needs.”

But that was ‘yesterday’, and it must be regarded and seen as such.

No serious minded person prides himself on the achievements of yesterday, no. If anything, he only let them be the catalyst for greater exploits. As Apostle Paul would say, “Forgetting the things that are past, I press on towards the mark of high calling”.

Certainly, Governor Okowa is aware of a “Higher Calling”. And he has carefully christened it: STRONGER DELTA. That is the vision. That is the mission. And I dare say that is THE PROMISE THIS TIME.

In his well structured address to Deltans immediately after he was sworn in, Governor Okowa laid bare in paragraphs 35 and 36 the summary of The Promise This Time. Hear him:

“35.   My renewed mandate is a massive vote of confidence for the work we have done in the last four years. As I said in my broadcast to you soon after I was declared re-elected, this mandate is an invitation to raise the bar of good governance even higher and to surpass my achievements in the first term.

“36.   In the next four years, I shall consolidate, strengthen and upscale our wealth creation agenda. The focus remains to liberate the spirit of enterprise in our people through skills acquisition germane to wealth creation and employment generation”, he had declared.

 One hundred days after, everything points to the fact that the “Stronger Delta” promise is on course and realizable. The super structure is being consciously and carefully erected. Every sane builder pays more than a passing attention to his foundation, knowing full well that so much and indeed every other thing rests on its solidity.    

The process began in earnest two days after he was sworn in with the announcement of three key appointments of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), the Chief of Staff and Senior Political Adviser with a promise that “this second tenure promises to be quite busy; every appointment that we make is a call to serve, for us to deliver on our mandate of a Stronger Delta State”.

  Though records has it that about 20 out of the 36 states in the country are without Executive Councils yet, it is gratifying to note that Delta State is among those whose Excos are already formed and functioning.     

Beside a full formed and functioning Exco, many projects have been commissioned after completion. In July, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was in the state to commissioned series of road projects that were executed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa's administration in the creeks of Delta State.

These include 20.29 km  Obotobo 1- Obotobo 11 – Sokebolou – Yokri Road in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu local government area and the Main Axial Road at Okerenkoko in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.

The Vice President has this to say: “It is an honour to be here to visit you, the King of Gbaramatu Kingdom and to commission road projects that were executed by Governor Okowa; I am very pleased that we are able to see this type of development in this axis and I commend Governor Okowa for his efforts,”  

In the last 100 days, other vital government institutions and agencies designed to give fillip to the realization of the Stronger Delta promise have been constituted and inaugurated.

They include but not limited to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Local Government Services Commission, Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Agency, remaining members of the Judicial Service Commission and upgrading the State Orientation Agency to the status of a full Bureau.

To demonstrate his resolve to get the best out of the teeming youth population in the state, Governor Okowa handed the Youth Development Ministry to a high flying youngman and complemented it with the establishment of the Ministry for Technical and Vocational Education, designed to encourage present and future generation of Deltans to compete favourably with their peers in a world where science, technology and innovation provide the framework for living.

 There is also the constitution of the State Waste Management Board and State Rural Development Agency whose membership have been screened and confirmed by the State House of Assembly waiting for swearing-in by the Governor.

We cannot forget the commitment to the realization of the Kwale Industrial Park project with its potential for speedy industrialization of the state. 

Above all, there is an intangible aspect of the Stronger Delta that is visible only to the discerning. Governor Okowa has quietly embarked upon a Leadership Recruitment drive which places premium on the combination of Competence, Youthfulness, Zest and Self Motivation and of course Experience. This, I guess, is designed to bring out the very best of the abundant human capital resource in Delta State. 

And as I conclude this piece, I invite you once more to read part of Governor Okowa’s speech on May 29:

“ 46.   On our part, my deputy and I, we pledge to do our best to be deserving of your trust. Indeed, we are resolute in our quest to leave a legacy of a Delta State that is the frontrunner in the federation. All we need are your prayers and full cooperation. The future that we envision requires that we all open our hearts and minds to the values of love, courage, discipline, cooperation and commitment, which are imperative for growth, stability and sustainable development.

“47.   It behoves us to explore the limitless possibilities that abound in our State and harness them for the greater good of all. In the same token, we must exigently sheath all political/ethnic cleavages, avoid stereotypes, shun prejudices, sustain and strengthen the institutions that enable peaceful co-existence in order to build a State united in our diversity. These values constitute the cornerstone for building a Stronger Delta with the three pillars of Prosperity, Peace and Progress.”

Without a doubt, these and many other commendable steps have been taken so far that space and time will not allow here. But suffice to say that the Promise This Time, to bequeath a Stronger Delta to the state and her people at the end his second tenure has had a smooth take off.

And as Governor Okowa coveted in his inaugural address, Deltans owe him and his deputy prayers and cooperation. That way a smooth and safe landing is assured.


Posted 06/09/2019 2:11:19 PM


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