Late Joe Utomi

By Ovie Okpare

The Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has expressed sadness over the surprised passage of a former commissioner under his first term administration, Mr Joe Utomi.

Utomi, who slumped and died, last Friday in Asaba, served as the commissioner for agriculture and former member of the State Executive Council.

The deceased who hailed from Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area, was also a former council chairman between 1999 to 2002.

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 The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Okowa commiserated with the people of Aniocha South and Ubulu-Uku community in particular, over the demise of the renowned politician and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.

He noted that the departed Utomi was a grassroots politician and administrator, who excelled as Council chairman and worked briefly with him as commissioner in the twilight of his first term.

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The governor described the deceased as “thoroughbred politician’’ whose love for his people led him to contest, and won election as the first elected Chairman of Aniocha South Local Government Area under the PDP.

He said, “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn the passing of a gentleman and grassroots-oriented politician, who passed on after he was reported to have slumped and died before help could reach him.

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“The news of his death came to me as a shock.

 “He was a perfect gentleman-politician who distinguished himself in the service of his people, first, as Council Chairman and later, as Commissioner for Agriculture and member of the State Executive Council.”

Okowa prayed God to accept the deceased’s soul and grant fortitude to the family and friends he left to bear the loss.


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