By Eseoghene Emuke
The Executive Director, Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged (CENTREP), Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi has berated that those calling Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a tribal bigot over his recent appointment as deluded fellows.
Governor Okowa had last week appointed the former commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie, his kinsman as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
Ebie, a lawyer, hails from Agbor in Ika Nation in Delta North Senatorial District.
The governor also similarly appointed the immediate former commissioner for finance, Olorogun David Edvebie as Chief of Staff; and a former deputy speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Solomon Fukekeme as his Senior Political Adviser.
But, Ikimi while defending the governor, said that Okowa had not done any wrong in his first appointments since those appointed came from the three senatorial districts in the state.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Udu, Delta State, the renowned activist said although CENTREP does not agree with some of the policies of the Okowa’s government, the governor’s appointment of his personal staffers was in order.
According to the statement, “the attention of members of the Centre for the Vulnerable and the Underprivileged (CENTREP) have been drawn to the appellation of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa by a cross section of Deltans as a tribal bigot over his recent political appointments in the State and we condemn the proponents of the above theory as deluded.
“We make bold to say that while we in Centrep do not agree with some of the State policies of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, we however believe that his recent political appointments of his personal staffers are in order as the said appointments cuts across the three senatorial districts of the State.
“Our above position which is devoid of any primordial motive stems from the fact that the political equation in Delta State lies in the offices of the Governor, (Delta North), the Deputy Governor, (Delta South) and the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, (Delta Central) and not in the appointment by Governor Okowa of his personal political staffers as in the instant case.”
He stated that Okowa is at liberty to appoint personal staff such as the SSG, Chief of Staff and Senior Political Advise, adding that, “Without holding brief for the Governor, we believe that as Chief Executive, the Governor has the prerogative to appoint whoever he desires as his personal staff whether or not they are his kinsmen as long as the appointees are eminently qualified to occupy such positions.
“It was therefore unfair and sarcastic for the proponents of the above theory to pontify that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is a tribal bigot trying to Aniomalize the entire Delta State.
“We make bold to say that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa having assured Deltans that further political appointments would be done on the basis of equity and fair play across the three senatorial districts of the State, we call on the proponents of the above tribal theory who are indeed troublemakers to sheathe their swords henceforth, as such inflammatory statements are capable of further dividing and polarizing our beloved State along tribal lines to the detriment of peace, progress and development of our State and her citizenry.”