The screening and confirmation of Chief Clement Ofuani, as the Director General of the Agency followed a letter forwarded to the state House of Assembly by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Tuesday.
Chief Ofuani, who appeared on the floor of the hallowed chamber had to overcome initial hitches over the where about of his relevant credentials, after which he was accorded the honour reserved especially for former member of the House and asked to take a bow and go.
A mild drama had however earlier ensued shortly after the motion of his screening and confirmation was moved by Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere, and seconded by Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya, to kick start the screening, when it was discovered that copies of his relevant credentials had not been made available to the legislators as directed.
The Speaker at that point had ordered the mace to be stepped down as he sought to find out from the Clerk what happened and following a spirited search, copies of Ofuani’s relevant credentials suddenly surfaced and were distributed to the legislators and the mace was replaced to enable the screening to commence.
An impeccable source close to Ofuani, who lamented the embarrassment which the hitch caused the person of Ofuani and his aides, confirmed that the relevant credentials were actually submitted on Wednesday, a clear 24 hours before the screening scheduled time and that the submission of the credentials was duly acknowledged by the House of Assembly staffs.
With the unexpected hitch properly resolved, Hon. Angela Nwaka, member representing Aniocha South, while performing the mandatory introduction of Ofuani, who was her constituent, described him as her leader and political mentor, as well as one-time special assistant to late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, former Commissioner for Economic planning, former special adviser to former governor of Delta state, and former governorship aspirant in the 2015 elections.
Hon. Nwaka, who echoed the observation of the House that Chief Ofuani deserves the benevolence of the House, having appeared several times at the hallowed chamber for screening and confirmation, then urged the House to grant Ofuani the privilege to take a bow and go and after the initial bungled attempts by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Friday Osanebi to support Hon. Nwaka’s plea for Ofuani’s endorsement, the lot fell on ranking member, Hon. Johnson Erijo who came to the rescue and saved the day and successfully persuaded his colleagues with his brilliant submissions in support of Hon. Nwaka’s plea that the House allow Ofuani to take a bow and go.
The Speaker then put the question and the majority supported the confirmation of Ofuani, and was subsequently asked to take a bow and go.
The motion for his confirmation had earlier been moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Tim Owhefere and was seconded by Rt. Hon. Peter Onwusanya, representing Oshimili South Constituency and the House presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Monday Igbuya cleared Chief Clement Ofuani to resume as the Director General of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency.
Deltans will recall that the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency bill was amongst the first set of three bills forwarded to the Delta Assembly, immediately after Governor Okowa was sworn-in on May 29, and had been speedily passed into law by the 5th Assembly, before it was formally dissolved on June 7, 2015.
The bill had attracted robust criticism from certain quarters which felt that its intention was to marginalize, deny and even strip certain areas of the state from enjoying government presence.
But the firm resolve of Governor Okowa to transform the Delta State capital territory had received some very important backing notably from the Asagba of Asaba, Asagba (Prof.) Chike Edozien and other important voices, who felt that an oil rich state like Delta State, deserved a befitting state capital territory, which will be the first point of contact between Delta State and the visiting global community.