By Jesutega Onokpasa
Whether wittingly or unwittingly, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has ended up situating himself at a location from which he is remarkably easy to market, even one at which it is not at all difficult for the supporter to defend him. While politics is of course what it is and talk will always be cheap, development, on the contrary, is quite expensive and it is extremely difficult to upstage a man whose mandate, as Governor, has been profusely discharged in clearly visible projects and easily verifiable programs across the length and breadth of the diverse state he governs.
Always soft-spoken, never hasty, ever careful and stoically mild, Governor Okowa, while seldom ever losing his cool, descending into the fray or altercating with anyone, has also managed to emerge as the bulwark of credible and creditable opposition in Nigeria or, as former Cross River Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, recently put it, “the glue” holding the opposition together. One might be inclined to say “come the moment, comes the man”, except that this is an extremely challenging moment for our country, indeed one at which stout and robust opposition is most necessary and desperately required and, Okowa’s ability to have constructively sustained such a role at such a time and, in such a clime, has been truly impressive, to say the least.
Of course, no one, except perhaps the hopelessly sycophantic, would suggest that Delta State is now some sort of El Dorado with streets paved with gold but, there isn’t really any such flawless place anywhere in the world and, while there is and, indeed will always be room for improvement, that does not and, cannot detract from the reality of Okowa’s quite laudable stewardship thus far. As for comparisons, and while it has always been fashionable for people to compare apples with oranges or, wax eloquent about places, situations and circumstances they actually know very little, if not absolutely nothing about, I would at least say, there is no state in Nigeria today that might be factually adjudged to be better governed than Delta. Needless to say, that is more than enough reason to give due credit to its Governor.
I actually once told Governor Okowa that he didn’t have to have done anything for me personally in order for me to acknowledge him and, that he had fully earned his moniker of ‘Ekueme”, even to the extent that he had quite impressively discharged his mandate to the people of Delta, who are and, should always remain his overriding priority, after all. While personal relationships will always be fraught with the peculiarities thrown up by our individual differences quite apart from the ups and downs occasioned by time and circumstance, I am one always minded to give as much credit to my fellowman as is his due. For my part, it quite easily my verdict that Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has more than enough cause to be proud of himself at 62, having come this far in life, through thick and thin and, executed his mandate most creditably well.
Onokpasa, a lawyer wrote from Warri.