Okowa Blows Hot, Says His Govt Has No Room For Apprenticeship, Nepotism

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State congratulating the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie after swearing-in ceremony on Monday

By Eseoghene Emuke

Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State, on Monday warned that his administration would not tolerate any form of nepotism and sectionalism from politicians seeking work with him in his second term in office.

Okowa particularly stressed that his administration does not have room for Apprenticeship, adding that only persons with knowledge of governance will get appointment to serve in his government.

The governor stated this on Monday during the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie at the Unity Hall, Asaba.

Ebie, a former commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, was appointed on Friday by Okowa in what many political pundits believed was a shocking appointment and clannish in nature since the governor is of the same tribe (Ika Nation) with the new SSG.

The governor has also similarly appointed the former commissioner for finance, Olorogun David Edevbie as Chief of Staff and a former deputy speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Solomon Fukekeme as Senior Political Adviser.

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Okowa told politicians at the event in what seems to be his reaction to the backlash which greeted Ebie’s appointment that, “sectionalism and nepotism must not have a place in the thoughts, choices and actions of those who will work with me.

“I want to assure all Deltans that this administration will continue to run an all-inclusive government whether in terms of appointments or projects distribution. We have only just started, Deltans should trust us to do the right thing, and do it we shall and I wish to emphasize that appointments into this administration will be based on merit and geographical spread, not on emotions, sentiments or for the sole purpose of political patronage.

“We are in a hurry to get things done and cannot afford to lose precious time; therefore, this is not the time for apprenticeship; we shall be going for men and women, who are conversant with governance, understand our policy direction and require minimal supervision to do their work; it shall be a good combination of youth and experience to ensure that governance goes on seamlessly.”

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He specifically urged Mr Ebie to know that as the SSG he should be aware that his office is the engine room of governance and urged him to maintain an open door policy by being fair and just to all.

 “maintaining an open door policy and as much as possible make yourself available to all and sundry and give every citizen the opportunity to benefit from our programmes because, in doing this, you must be tactful, objective, just, resourceful and calm at all times”, he added.

The governor expressed confidence that Mr Ebie will work tirelessly to help his administration deliver on its electioneering promises by reconciling and harmonizing the activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government for effective policy formulation and implementation.

Okowa said, “Mr Ebie is a fine gentleman who served meritoriously as Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the first tenure of this administration. His (Ebie’s) civility, analytical depth, communication skills and diligence are essential qualities needed for the office of the SSG.

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“In addition to these, modern statecraft, with all its complexities and challenges, requires team players, proactive leaders and men with large appetite for work; criteria which I am convinced Mr Ebie is well equipped with to enrich the social, political and economic narrative of our dear State.”

Mr Ebie in his response, Mr Ebie thanked God for the successful inauguration of Governor Okowa and his Deputy, Barr. Kinsgsley Otuaro for a second term, saying that it was God that made his appointment as the new SSG possible.

He, however, thanked Governor Okowa for the opportunity to serve the people as the SSG, he promised to carry out his functions diligently in line with the stronger Delta agenda of Governor Okowa’s administration.


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