By Edjeren Ruke Ignatius
On the 27 of august 1991, Delta state came into existence with a proclamation by the then military president, General Ibrahim Babangida administration. Subsequently a fledging democratic administrative structure gradually unfolded, culminating in the establishment of the first assembly with Rt. Hon Emmanuel Okoro as the speaker.
In 1999, the present democratic dispensation opened up a new experience for deltans, creating a leadership and followership that is unparallel in the annals of political administration in any state in Nigeria. Beginning with Chief James Ibori’s administration and culminating in the nascent administration of his Excellency Dr Ifeanyi Okowa,a unique pattern of governance was thus established. This fostered a distinct vision, hinged on the principle of separation of powers as a vehicle of administrative excellence.
The three arms of government motivated by a unique sense of purpose had a definite goal, one centred on good governance and collective welfare. With the above, the legislature emerged as a balance in this tripartite arrangement, legislating for the executive while making laws to be interpreted by the judiciary.
A historic overview of the legislature in delta state and its attendant leadership issues, reveals a high degree of remarkable success. In a diverse society like delta which play host to sharp ethno-political differences, the means to effectively compose and manage these diversities is indeed a herculean task. As exemplified in the legislature, it has provided a bastion for interrelationship and purposeful leadership.
From the days of Rt.Hon Daniel Young Igrude to the astonishingly renovative days of Rt. Hon Victor Ochei, the assembly has attained an impeccable height, making laws with direct positive Impact on the citizenry. With the inauguration of the sixth assembly in delta state on 6 June 2015, a new chapter of legislative administration commenced.
Comprising 15 new and 14 old members, the 29 member Assembly, ably piloted by Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya is poised to meet and surpass legislative expectations.
Customary with legislative structure and tradition which places the speaker as first among equals in parliament, the mantle of this responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya. As described by a member of the delta state leader of thought (Hon Martins Okonta) the speaker is described as a “focused, visionary and steadfast leader” whose pedigree is unassailable.
Coming from a very humble background, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya’s foray into politics began with his membership of the People Democratic Party, later gaining prominence when he was elected as chairman, Sapele local government area, a position he held until 2007. His tenure as chairman has been adjudged as a period of massive and monumental infrastructural development, confirming an unparalleled urbanization in the history of Sapele Township. This has revitalized the once commercial nerve centre of delta state, bouncing back to reckoning in the socio-economic permutations and calculations. This corresponds with his political vision to develop the people of Sapele, hence restating its illustrious past glory.
With his constituent satisfied with the political and administrative acumen, the electorate catapulted him into the delta state house of assembly in 2007. There, he became a major catalyst in the vibrant assembly, explaining reasons why he became the majority leader in no distant time. Rt.Hon Monday Igbuya remains an admirable figure, one truly worthy of distinction. Overtime he has been variously described as a rare gem, a healing balm and a unifying factor. If there is anybody to be credited with the growing stability and unity of delta state, most definitely it has to be Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya.
Described as a man of wisdom and dedication, he is a passionate advocate for his constituency and a voice for the voiceless. Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya is an astute and respected politician and a sincere confidant to those closest to him, hence justifying the lofty height he has achieved in his political career.
Even before the end of the fifth assembly, ably galvanized by Rt. Hon Victor Ochei and Rt. Hon Peter Onwusanya, tongues were already wagging over the remarkable pedigree exhibited by the majority leader of the fifth assembly. With the above, the leadership of sixth assembly most definitely belonged to no other than Rt.Hon Igbuya. As a delta leader once said: “If succession is about continuity, keeping up the tempo of sustainable development and lifting the state and people to greater heights, Deltans would best find the answer in Igbuya”.
It was therefore not surprising at the inauguration the sixth assembly, when an overwhelming voice vote of unopposed greeted the nomination of Rt. Hon Igbuya at the hollowed chambers on the sixth June 2015.
As the new speaker, the stage was thus set for the commencement of an unrivaled legislative leadership, popularly accepted by all and sundry. This gesture portends prospect which will maximize the dividends of democracy both for those in government and the governed.
In the annals of the state house of assembly, never has there been a leader so accepted by all divides, political parties and ethnic groups. With Hon Igbuya, an astute lawmaker, with a history of dynamic leadership and having a great sense of maturity in addition to an eagle eye vision for development, delta state is now set to witness a vibrant and viable sixth assembly. This in summary rightly describes the speaker as a man of “vision, moral fortitude, zeal, leadership commitment and love for all”.
As he enjoys the friendship of the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party and the confidence of members of the house we can all but congratulate and wish Rt. Hon (Chief) Monday Ovwigho Igbuya a successful tenure. Confident in his triumphant antecedence, Igbuya, will definitely triumph.
Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya is a vastly travelled and experienced man, who carries himself with a lot of self respect and timeless maturity. “Here cometh the first among equals”
Ignatius Ruke Edjeren is an Assistant General Manager with DBS, Asaba