THE ritual of 100 days in office had acquired spiritual, political, historical and social toga in our democractic dispenasation. It has become a landmark to measure what the future tells and its impact on socio-political progress of any administration. This culture entrenched by Western democracy began when the prefect of Paris in a speech welcoming Napoleon Bonaparte’s return home on March 20, 1815 from exile, made reference to it, and with time elected leaders celebrate 100 days in office.
Though not enough to assess a government, it has become a reference point, a pendulum of time and purpose.
Governor Okowa who hails from Ika paternally and Ndokwa maternally, parts of the former two Provinces that make Delta State, carries the burden of responsibility and is aware of the historical ties that run in his veins as a child of unity and leader of the state. Okowa represents a new beginning, fresh ideas, and a departure from the past; a stainless page from our past failures to the present with hope and prosperity. Okowa is an opportunity to discard barren ideas, to use our diversity as strength and turn our ears from ethnic bigots, political merchants and economic saboteurs who exploit our vulnerability for personal gains. Okowa is undiluted service and what we can give rather than what we can get from the state.
In the last 100 days, Okowa had repositioned a team, rolling out programmes in fulfillment of his promises to the electorate. The S.M.A.R.T initiative had started and the last discredited civil service recruitment was cancelled because the exercise denied many Deltans the opportunity to serve the state based on merit.
After his inauguration, he came up with the financial situation of the state in furtherance of his promise to entrench transparency and accountability, assuring Deltans that his government will stop profligacy in fulfilling his electoral promises.
Another achievement was sending a bill to the House of Assembly to remodel DESOPADEC after NDDC which he recently signed into law, though political opponents and tribal jingoists made an issue out of this. The State Assembly after modification passed the bill, vindicating the Governor that he had no vested interest other than the good of oil producing communities and the need to develop these areas. The local governments in the state are witnessing accountability and prudence under Okowa’s watch. This is because the Governor understands that corruption brings its corrosive effect on growth and development.
Every person needs an abode as an identity, so do states, local governments and others. Delta deserves a worthy capital that we would be proud of and Asaba as our identity must be given attention. The Asaba Capital Development bill was conceived in this regard to give life to the state capital. The ongoing rehabilitation of the Asaba International Airport to meet international standards and the Sapele Market which was gutted by fire and the EPZ project at Ugborodo near Warri to boost trade and commerce, are all receiving the attention of the Governor in his last 100 days .
The promise of employing six thousand Deltans every six months started within the period and though over 50,000 applied, collation is to reflect the diversity of the state. This will reduce unemployment within his first term in office. Another achievement was weaving an understanding between power brokers, elders, traditional rulers and stakeholders in the state into synergy with his policies, so that all shades of interests are carried along in developing the state. The Governor has equally appealed to the opposition to collaborate with him because the interest and welfare of Deltans should be devoid of political, sectional or parochial interests .
The Governor is organised, methodical and as a scientist guided by facts, he has a unique style that is personal. This he has deployed in the selection of the team to work with him. He is also aware of the burden of responsibility placed on his shoulders. He is equally aware of public expectations and his conduct had made him the major issue.
The rule of law, traditional institutions, youths and women have found an ally in Governor Okowa because he is not insensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. The office has not changed him rather his emergence had changed the office in ideas and efficiency.
Thus,many Deltans are touched by his servant leadership. In the last 100 days, we have learnt that Delta is not all about its resources but the people; the people come first as their welfare is synonymous with prosperity.
Mr. Prince Abugo is SA on Social Adovacy to Governor Okowa of Delta State.