Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has made his first key appointment into the Delta State Government cabinet and picked Rt. Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, as the new Secretary to the Delta State Government, SSG.
Governor Okowa made the surprise but highly anticipated announcement to a packed hall filled with well wishers at a post Thanksgiving Service reception, on Sunday May 31, 2015, held at the Delta State Event centre, Asaba, in a dramatic manner, after a short speech thanking Deltans for their support all through the electioneering period and seeking their partnership and prayers as he takes up the mantle of leadership of Delta State.
The hall erupted in a joyous euphoria of singing and dancing immediately the name of Hon. Ovie Agas was announced as the next Delta SSG, by Governor Okowa and he was swamped byan ecstatic crowd and waltzed out of the hall with excitement and fanfare, to the great delight of the Governor, who also congratulated the new Secretary to the Delta State Government on his well deserved appointment.
Speaking exclusively to newsmen shortly after the announcement, Governor Okowa said that there had never been any doubts in his mind whatsoever over the appointment of Hon Ovie Agas as the his SSG, but he had decided to wait for the auspicious moment provided by the Thanksgiving Service reception to test the popularity and acceptance of his decision to the large gathering of Deltans, in order to be sure he had done the right thing.
Governor Okowa, who noted that the position of the Secretary to the State Government was a critical office that required the appointment of a seasoned and level headed personality, described Hon. Agas as a dedicated and committed Deltan who will bring his vast wealth of political experience and sound administrative acumen to bear on the new job, adding that he was quite satisfied with the response of Deltans to the appointment.
“You can see that the appointment was well received by Deltans which means that we have done the right thing with his appointment”, Okowa said.
Okowa then promised that more appointments would be announced very soon and all the appointments would reflect the principles of equity, fairness and justice in line with the three senatorial zones in the state, which he has pledged would be the hallmark of his administration.
Hon. Festus Ovie Agas was a former member and Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, where he represented Ughelli North II constituency. He was then appointed as the Director General of the Delta State Direct Labour Agency, DLA, by the Governor Uduaghan administration.
Hon. Festus Ovie Agas was made the Director General of the Okowa Campaign Organization, in the wake of the electioneering season and the campaign for the PDP Governorship primaries, a position he held, until December, 201 on the day Okowa emerged the PDP’s standard bearer for the April 11 election.
He then became the Director of Publicity in the PDP Governorship Campaign Organization that worked tirelessly and with great courage and resilience to ensure that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa emerged victorious as the Governor of Delta State.
The appointment of the position of the Secretary to the Delta State Government had been shrouded and trailed with a great frenzy of anticipation, immediately after the swearing-in of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as the Governor of Delta State on May 29, 2015.
Nobody was quite sure which senatorial zone would produce the SSG since the position was not subject to such political considerations, but the educated guess on the streets of Delta had been that one of the key figures in the Okowa campaign organization would bag the job.
Word had been rife that three prominent Deltans had already been identified by public opinion to be the front runners for the position, considering the status and stature of their supposed sponsors.
Joseph Otumara, former Delta state Health Commissioner, was said to be the candidate of the Olu of Warri and erstwhile Governor Uduaghan, while former Commissioner of Finance George Orogun and former Commissioner for Economic Planning, David Edevbie, who also contested the PDP Governorship primary with Senator Okowa, were also said to have the backing of former Governor James Ibori, for the job.
Speculations had reached fever pitch when the name of George Orogun had been spread across the Social media as the next Delta SSG, but in a move, which has drawn great similarities and is reminiscent of the appointment of the immediate past SSG, Comrade Ovuozuorie Macaulay in the second tenure of the Uduaghan administration, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, had kept the identity of the person so close to his chest that, it was even hinted that the appointee was not even aware of his choice until the dramatic announcement at the event centre.
The spontaneous outpouring of joy and happiness that erupted when the name of Rt. Hon. Ovie Agas was announced as the SSG was a clear manifestation of the endorsement by Deltans of the very first appointment of Senator Okowa as the Governor of Delta State.
It was also a definitive statement that he has not only done the right thing with the appointment, but has further consolidated his acceptance and reaffirmed the confidence of Deltans that indeed his administration will be fair, just and equitable to all Deltans, just as he had promised in his inauguration speech.