Many Deltans saw it coming. The reason being that as a PDP state, there had existed a cardinal policy of rotational governorship for the three senatorial districts.
Chief Ibori set the pace and race as the first front runner in this governorship relay for the Central, peopled by the Urhobos. In spite of the rough times he went through during his post gubernatorial stint, he stuck religiously to the equity and fair-play home grown formula for ensuring the peaceful co-existence of all Deltans.
When he finished his term he handed it over literally to his cousin, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, from the Southern District. After being governor under the platform of the PDP, he stunned his political associates and Cousin, James Ibori, by decamping to the APC to realise a Senatorial dream which James Manager denied him at the polls. It may have been a miscalculation by him. He underrated the ‘Egbage’ of Delta South Senatorial District who had become permanent members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Despite assurances from Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, Dr. Uduaghan could not fly.
The third leg of the Delta guber rotation was picked by Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur OKOWA, who hails from Owa Oyibo in Ika North East Local government.
Okowa’s track record politically had been impressive. He has been the Chairman of his Council, became a Commissioner many times over in Delta in charge of Agriculture and Health Ministries. He was appointed Secretary to the state government, a posh position in Delta state.
He later proceeded to the Senate and spent just one term with his political trajectory focused on the governorship slot. He won it in style and he later headed for a second term in same position. He introduced the selling slogan ‘Better life for All Deltans’.
It did not end there. He gradually warmed himself into becoming the Road Master where several city and rural roads had received his attention with just three and half years on seat. He is intelligent and loved by the people who also address and regale him with the name ‘Ekwueme’ the man says something and does it without failing.
On a personal level, I wish to recall he ordered a new Toyota Corolla which was approved for me and I have cherished it for a long time. With his second coming it will not be beyond him to recruit old hands like ours to fulfill some assignments in the Media World.
My prayer for the Road Master is to look in the direction of some of the riverine areas of Delta like Bomadi through Akugbene and Ayakoromo road. I am also aware he had set in motion the Igbo-Ide and Ayakoromo Bridge which, according to reports, had reached an advanced stage. There is also the Bomadi – Ojobo road which was truncated at Ogbobogbene, home town to Godsdey Orubebe, a former Minister under Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Like an Oliver Twist who insists on asking for more, Mr. Ekwueme should hasten to stamp his imprints on the sands of time in Delta, just as Chief JAMES IBORI did with the flag staff Bomadi Bridge, which had continued to draw him close to the Izons of Delta state, particularly Bomadi and Burutu indigenes in the aquatic reaches of the lowest parts of Delta state.
Whenever one drives past Ozoro Polytechnic and the development strides in Isoko land because of the institution, it will not be too much for your second coming to complete the Bomadi Polytechnic which former Governor Uduaghan started.
Spread all the development across the whole state so that we will always remember that an Anioma son passed through this way and gave hope to the hopeless and neglected areas of the Delta state.
Apart from his excellent performance in the past four years the people of DELTA deserve good things which ought to be their portion. With overwhelming support from 23 out of the 25 local governments, there is no doubt his approval rating had become difficult to argue or doubt.
If all the gods had spoken with one voice in re-electing Governor Okowa there is not much argument to doubt the landslide or moonslide victory for Okowa. It has neutralised Adams Oshiomhole’s boast to overrun Delta with APC’s federal forces. They could not fly and so we are back to a renewed season for Okowa. Success they say had many fathers while failure is an Orphan.
Dr. Okowa should operate an open door policy and embrace those who contested against him, in Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru. A peoples’ General may have been demystified and this could be the ‘NuncDimitis’ for his political ambition. Only time will tell.