As the eight years tenure of the Delta State governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, CON, winds up on May 29, Gov Okowa will be remembered for his landmark achievements after his tenure.
Prior to his Regime, the state capital was more or less a glorified town, but after eight years after, the good people of Delta State can raise their heads high and boast of an emerging Asaba mega city championed by Okowa administration, and to be improved upon by the incoming administration.
Asaba, the state capital was without a stadium and no befitting State Secretariat, however, Gov Okowa built and commissioned a world class stadium named after soccer star, Stephen Keshi of blessed memory, and also built and commissioned a seven star State Secretariat named after His Royal Majesty, Obi Professor Chike Edozien, the Asagba of Asaba.
Dr. Okowa inherited a downgraded Asaba International Airport, but he worked round the clock to reverse the ugly situation, and practically stepped on toes by terminating the contract awarded by his predecessor and re-awarded it to a more competent contractor…
He rehabilitated the runway, installed sophisticated Instrument Lading Systems (ILS) and other avionics. Today, Asaba is a major commercial hub in the nation’s commercial flight operations.
The hard working Governor also upgraded infrastructure and concession the airport for efficient and professional management of operations, and for future infrastructure development so as to guarantee sustained quality service delivery in the air transportation sector, and in the same token create jobs for Deltans.
Dr. Okowa will also be remembered for raising the stake in good governance by successfully putting to an end the vexed issue of “ghost workers” in the state by introducing Biometric Data capturing of civil servants, clock-in and clock-out attendance monitoring measures.
He blocked financial leakages, introduced fiscal discipline and prudently deployed state resources for better service delivery for the benefit of all Deltans.
Gov Okowa will be remembered for his exemplary moral integrity, superb character and visionary leadership, as well as for providing the conducive atmosphere for civil servants by building, equipping and furnishing a seven star state Secretariat with state of the art facilities; independent power supply, banking halls, creche, mini hospital, et al.
He built nearly 3,000 kilometres of roads, 2,500 kilometres of drains, bridges and flyovers, built a standard Teachers Institute, Road Safety Training School, modern Technical Colleges, upgraded three higher institutions to full fledged Universities; Delta University, Agbor, Dennis Osadebey University, Anwai and the Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, which has greatly expanded space of admission for young Deltans seeking admission into Universities.
Gov Okowa shall also be remembered for his people focused socioeconomic policies and programmes which took thousands of Deltans from the Streets and from the congested labour market, trained and equipped them to become bread winners and employers of labour through the instrumentality of Yagep, Step, Rysa, Girl Child Project and several other skills and vocational training programmes, as well as monthly welfare packages for Widows across the three senatorial districts, and many more achievements.”
“He will be remembered for being the first Deltan who emerged as the Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, since the advent of Constitutional Democracy in 1999; and for his enviable leadership roles in state and national politics.
It is on record that In 2019, Gov Okowa organized the freest and most transparent presidential primary in Nigeria, held in Port Harcourt for PDP, and also ensured that the 2023 Delta Governorship Primary was free, fair and transparent.
He facilitated live national telecast of accreditation to voting and counting of votes, wherein Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, emerged as winner and PDP flag bearer, and now Delta Governor-Elect to be inaugurated on May 29, as Gov Okowa’s successor.
There is no doubt that the incoming governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori, will complete ongoing projects that the incumbent governor was unable to complete and commission before handing over on May 29.
The incoming governor’s M.O.R.E agenda is intended to build on the enviable legacies of Okowa administration, and to do more for Deltans in all aspects of the state socioeconomic and infrastructure development, peace building and social harmony, as well as human capacity development.
Many Deltans are reassured that the policies and programmes of Oborevwori administration will upscale the living standards of the people, expand socioeconomic and infrastructure development across the three senatorial districts in line with his electioneering promises from Ward to Ward, LGA to LGA and other interface with the good people of Delta State.
*Barrister Fred Oghenesivbe is the Executive Assistant on Communications to the Governor of Delta State.