EDITORIAL: Okowa And His Albatrosses

By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board 

For political and socio-cultural identity, Delta North Senatorial Zone is known as Anioma. A loose interpretation of Anioma is ‘good land’. Delta State Governor, Dr.(Senator) Ifeanyi Ekwueme Arthur Okowa is the first Anioma son to assume the governorship of the state.

However, the euphoria with which Anioma people celebrated the ascension of their son to that exalted position is gradually ebbing away.

Anioma people are worried about the below average performance of one of their own, Governor Okowa. Their worry is understandable.

First, having been denied the opportunity to govern the state created over 20 years ago by other amalgams, the Anioma nation felt that their son in the person of the incumbent governor will utilize the opportunity presented by his ascension to power to make a political point by providing quality leadership for the other senatorial district to bear witness.

Secondly, Okowa who has been in politics since the early 1990s and has never gone on political sabbatical ought to have accumulated the needed political and leadership acumen to take the state out of the woods.

This position is based on the fact that he has occupied several political and leadership positions in and outside the state since the middle 1990s.

But to think that Anioma people are alone in this anger will be a visible error as GbaramatuVoice investigative exercise revealed that Deltans of the riverine communities are contemplating on joining forces with the All Progressives Congress (APC) as their marriage with the Okowa’s led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had brought more sorrow than joy.

Some riverine communities listed the following roads that the governor promised but have done next to nothing about them. They are in these order; Okerenkoko road (abandoned), Oporoza road (not started), Ogulagha (not started), Burutu road (abandoned) and Ogidigben road (Not started).

As a media group, we have discovered that, to the people of the riverine communities, Okowa as the Executive Governor of Delta State only exists in the frame.

The entire Deltans are of the opinion that Mr. Governor has nothing to showcase as he has done next to nothing since assumption of office in May 2015. A fate some Deltans described as wasted and catastrophic.

From nonpayment of workers and pensioners salaries to infrastructural decay, project abandonment, and failure of completed projects. The list of his mal-performance also include youths and sports neglect and lack of interest in rural/community development. 

The civil servants are completely not happy with the levity which the governor handle their affairs. What will the state government tell pensioners about their money?

It is the newspaper opinion that all these complaints coming from the people should be enough reality for the governor to worry about. 

Also, the projects executed are not spared of criticism as the people view these projects as shoddy and of poor standards.

Even Asaba, the state capital is not spared of this inactions as a visit to the glorified state capital will present you with a town that is basically lacking in social amenities thereby making it eminently qualified as a slum.

But Deltans are asking, if the governor cannot take good care of a road that is strategically located, and serving the high and mighty, including the governor himself, as it provides a major access to the Government House, we wonder what would be happening in the hinterland and rural communities.

From one community in the state to the other, it is one complaint after the other and all pointing towards one direction -the inactions of the governor.

Even the Delta Ijaw Women Initiatives (DIWI), an umbrella body of Ijaw women in the Niger Delta region recently criticised the governor for paralyzing the activities of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas and Development Commission (DESOPADEC) by making it his appendage and allowing it to exist only in the frame.

While we remain objective in our views, keeping quiet may no longer be considered golden but betrayal. Hence, it is our candid opinion that this administration has on many occasions seen to have taken steps that could be best described as misguided and the resources misdirected.

In like manner, what the governor has failed to realize is, chances are that, his inactions may end up becoming the gains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), come 2019.

Again, based on the arrangement associated with the governor’s office, he is always beclouded by protocol.

As a result, it is through the mass media that government can identify what the people want. So, viewed from this perspective, what we are doing as a media organization is to point out the challenges that are facing this administration in order to find a way of getting them solved.

To fill this gap, the governor must adopt success as a habit in order to disarm the opponent. If not, Okowa may yet make another history by becoming the first governor in the state to be voted out. So, to avoid such, it is time for the governor to come down from the heights and  connect with the people.

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