Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has promised that he will run an open administration and be accessible to all Deltans in a bid to ensure that Government is brought closer to the people during his tenure as Governor of the State, even as he assured Deltans that his new position as Governor will not change him and he will still remain the same man he has always been.
Speaking exclusively to select newsmen in a brief media chat after the thanksgiving reception to usher in the new administration, Governor Okowa said that he was not under any pressure as he prepares to take over the mantle of leadership in Delta State, adding that this new challenge was another divine opportunity given to him by God to continue to provide a better life for the people of Delta State in his new capacity as the State Governor.
Okowa said: “I am just an ordinary man like every other Deltan. I do not feel differently and I will not change who I am now because I am Governor. I have only been chosen from amongst my fellow men to become Governor by the Grace of God.
“I know that there are expectations of power and that certain changes must come with such a responsibility, but I do not feel differently than I have felt all these while because I am now Governor. I am just like any other Deltan and I plead with Deltans to see me like one of them”, he said.
Recalling his admonition to Deltans earlier during the Thanksgiving Service at St. Philips Anglican Church, Asaba, Governor Okowa emphasized once again that Power belongs to God and as such no man or Deltan should deify him by standing up when he appears or kneel down when addressing him.
He had told the congregation in the Church earlier that: “Through the course of my tenure, please do not stand in Church whenever I enter or when I am invited to speak and please whenever you have need to approach me, do not kneel before me. I beg you in the name of God. I am pleading with you because I know that as a Governor it can also sound like a command, but I do not want the Grace of God upon my life to decrease” he said.
The Delta Governor, who expressed delight over the enthusiasm with which Deltans had greeted and accepted the appointment of Rt. Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, as the Secretary to the Delta State Government, SSG, noted that it was a clear indication that his first appointment had been endorsed by the people.
He noted that this show of acceptance has further encouraged him to ensure that all subsequent appointments, which would be made at the appropriate time, would also be handled with the same fairness and equity to reflect a balance amongst the three geopolitical zones, even as he hinted that though not all of them would be announced publicly like that of the SSG, no position was too small or big in the administration of the state and the collective quest to provide a better life for Deltans.
Throwing more light on the intention of his administration to restructure the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC along a similar model like the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Governor Okowa said that the objective was not to shortchange anybody but rather to ensure that the funds accruing to the host communities actually gets to them and are utilized judiciously to initiate and accelerate development in the areas where they have been so designated to be appropriated.
The Delta Governor, who affirmed that the size of his cabinet will neither be”too large nor too small” suggested that the decision on the size of his Executive Council will be made in consideration with thepledge that equity and balance must be established amongst the three geo-poilitical zones in the state and that recognition and opportunity must be given to those who have merited and deserve to be in the cabinet, in order to ensure that a satisfactory arrangement, which is not only acceptable by all, but also has the capacity and capability to deliver on the mandate of the SMART agenda and drive the prosperity for all Deltans vision successfully, will be achieved at the end of the exercise.
He then made another passionate appeal to Deltans to support and partner with his administration, and while calling on the media to exhibit a greater level of professional ethical responsibility and ensure the dissemination of factual and verifiable information, added that though the first few weeks of the administration may not be quite rosy due to the present economic situation in the country, he was confident that with all Deltans working together with him, the state would soon overcome the difficult times and Delta State would soon be positioned as the number one state in the country in the near future.
Governor Okowa thanked all Deltans once again for the confidence reposed in him to lead the state as Governor and pledged that he will be a Governor for all Deltans including those residing in Delta state who, by virtue of their residency, have now become one with the rest of Delta State.