Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa was born on the 8th of July, 1959 at Owa-Alero in the present Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State. He had his early education at the Iroro Primary School, Owa-Alero and later attended the famous Edo College, Benin City between 1970 and 1976. He came out tops, with the second best result in the Higher School Certificate Examination in the then Bendel State in 1976.
Thereafter, he proceeded to the University of Ibadan to study Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa graduated in 1981 with MBBS, BS at the record age of 22. Upon his completion of the National Youth Service Corps in 1982; he worked briefly with the defunct Bendel State Hospitals Management Board as a Medical Officer before he went into private practice as Director, Victory Medical Centre, Igbanke in 1986. Believing later that charity should begin at home, Dr. Okowa later set up the Victory Medical Centre, at Boji-Boji, Owa. He endeared himself to his people through his humanitarian disposition as he often rendered free service to the very poor in his community.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is said to display a highly developed craftsmanship in his work and the evidence of his constructive leadership, according to hios supporters, is seen in his growing political profile. He took interest in the public service and between 1991 and 1993 served with great diligence and outstanding success first as Secretary to the Ika Local Government and later Pioneer Chairman, Ika North-East Local Government Council (1991-1993).
In preparation for the return of the country to democratic rule, he pitched his tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)in 1998. But before then, he had served as a leader and the Delta North Coordinator of the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) and the Delta North Coordinator of the James Ibori campaign organization in 1998 as well as the Secretary of the Transition Committee, which ushered in the James Ibori administration in 1999. Since then, there has not been any turning back for this medical Doctor turned politician and it was not surprising therefore that in recognition of his reported hard work, loyalty, honesty and dedication, Dr. Okowa became a member of the Special Grade of Commissioners who had eight years of unbroken service as Members of the Governor James Ibori-led Delta State Executive Council.
During the period, he served with diligence and outstanding result in the following positions: Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources (July 1999 to April 2001); Hon. Commissioner for Water Resources Development (April 2001 – May 2003) and Hon. Commissioner for Health (September 2003 – October 2006). Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa then resigned honourably to contest the 2007 Gubernatorial election in Delta State and it was said that he demonstrated his clinical understanding of Delta State and politics during the campaigns and mounted one of the most focused and issues-oriented campaign in the state.
After the Ogwashi-Uku primaries, where he placed a very remarkable second to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, after the high wire godfather politics of Chief James Ibori, Okowa, like the tactful achiever that he is, did not sit back at home to sulk over the turn out of events in that primaries. He was immediately appointed as the Director General of the PDP Campaign Organization in Delta State and later the Secretary of the 34- member Transition Committee which prepared the blueprint for the take-off of the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan administration in Delta State.
As a reward for his loyalty and commitment,Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa was appointed as the Secretary to the Delta State Government by the newly sworn-in Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, but inside sources claim that the relationship between the Governor and Dr. Okowa as SGG was sometimes disquiet as certain rumours made the rounds of Okowa’s ambition to challenge Uduaghan in 2011.
However, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa opted to contest for the Senate, but again his relationship with Governor Uduaghan was severely tested, when it became obvious that the PDP in the State had decided to support Mrs. Mariam Ali, wife of the former PDP National Chairman, who lost out contentiously in 2007. Dr. Okowa had to once again employ his astute brilliance and dogged determination to ensure that he got the ticket by arranging to televise the entire primaries on two occasions on national television. He won both convincingly after some dramatic altercations with both the PDP Delta State Chairman, Peter Nwaoboshi and Dr. Mariam Ali, (Enyi Kpakpando) and in the process was said to have secured the blessings of Governor Uduaghan, who inside sources allege, was already neck deep in his own troubles over the re-run elections of January 6, 2011 and did not want to add the potentially dangerous situation of working against Okowa to his plate of worries.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has since after his victory at the primaries, carried out what has been regarded as a very sophisticated campaign, which has taken him to all the Council headquarters of the Delta North Local Government areas and some key communities in the Anioma region.
Part of what has endeared him to the people of Delta North is legendary genouristy and openness, which many say is what a true representative of the people must possess. His supporters claim that of all the candidates who vyed for the coveted Delta North Senatorial seat Dr. Okowa is the only candidate who can represent the people of Anioma with sincerity, honesty and a real sense of purpose in the upper House of the national Assembly, the Senate. He is said to be a truly detribalized man who possess great humility, generousity and a kind heart which does not discriminate against anybody.
He is also said to have served Delta state over the years with a sense of fairness and equity because he believes that Deltans deserve the best at all times and a school of political thinkers in Delta state and beyond see Dr. Okowa as the paragon of what a true politician should be, because according to them, he understands that service is for everybody and not just a few sectional people. They claim that Okowa is aware that whatever projects he will attract to Delta North as a Senator, will be enjoyed by all who reside in the area whether they are Aniomas or not and that is why he will attract quality projects which will enhance the welfare of the people and ensure improved living standards for his constituents and everybody in the area”
The same group hold that the entrance of Okowa into the Delta North Senatorial race was not just for the sake of being addressed as a Senator, but because he genuinely wanted to impact positively on the lives of the people, adding that what Okowa is bringing to the Senate is an articulate and well informed resume which he intends to apply to his legislative responsibilities as a lawmaker representing Delta North in the National Assembly.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is a Knight of St. Christopher, conferred on him by the Anglican Communion and has also been bestowed with the Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club International.
He is also a recipient of the Award of Excellence by NANS, Rotaract Club of Asaba and the prestigious Vice-Chancellor Award of the Delta State University. He has equally been decorated by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) as an outstanding Achiever and recognized as one of the five best Health Commissioners in the Federation, while he was in charge of that Ministry in Delta State. He has was variously acknowledged by the Tell Magazine and Newswatch Magazine for his outstanding leadership in the Health sector which placed the Delta State Ministry of Health, under his management, as among the best ten Health Ministries in Nigeria.
Dr. Okowa is a fantastic orator and has exhibited cerebral excellence in his public speeches and papers. His brilliance was quite evident when he delivered the Annual Lecture in the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, (UIAA Asaba Chapter) Annual Lecture Series, on a topic which revolved around Electoral Reforms and Re-branding in Nigeria.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa is a favorite amongst many Deltans and he enjoys the support Izu Anioma, the umbrella body of all Anioma cultural organizations, amongst other cultural groups.
Today he is the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial zone and there is no doubt that the fortunes of the Anioma People will change for the better now that they have a man who truly believes in serving his people with diligence and dedication as the his primary motivation and the creed of his political philosophy.
Congratulations, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa.