News

December 21, 2018

Okowa and OBJ’s second term endorsement

Obasanjo 

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo signed the green tree agreement

By Hugo Odiogor

WATCHERS of the renascent  Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  from the devastation of the 2015 loss of power to All Progressives Congress, APC, into a formidable opposition party,  must give credit to Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Delta state governor for the pragmatic role he played in the entire rebirth process.

ookowa

Okowa

2019: INEC trains staff on election monitoring, support in Taraba

At the time when the party needed a leader with vision, administrative acumen and organisational ability, Dr. Okowa emerged like King Josiah to provide the inspiration and impetus for PDP to rise from the dust and hopelessness of being vanquished after 16 years in the Federal government.

First, he successfully organised two national conventions of  the  party, within a timeline of nine months and shamed his detractors in his own state. In addition, he  firmly established himself as a competent administrator, upright and effective leader, who knows what it takes to manage human and material resources.

The first opportunity came when he  was called upon to organise the national convention of the party to elect members of the National Executive Council and National Working Committee of the party.

The crisis that rocked the party after it lost power to a hostile APC after 16 years  at the centre, had left it rudderless.

It went into the wilderness and got itself trapped by wolves that were maruding in sheep’s clothing.

It spent over two years to extricate itself from the vice grip of Alhaji Ali Mode Sheriff and his team that were shadow members of APC. It took the judicial intervention of the Supreme Court to give lifeline to the Ahmed Markafi led interim NWC of PDP. The National Convention succeeded much to the credit of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

The exercise was transparent, flawless and rancour-free.

The success of that event restored confidence in members of the party, gave a fresh breath and the energy to rediscover itself and its mission.

While his critics were still in the limbo  and gropping in the dark, Dr. Okowa was again assigned to organise the October 7 National Election Convention to elect the presidential candidate of PDP. It could not have been tougher than it did as over 15 highly rated politicians who were eminently qualified for the job vied for this topmost position. The event went smoothly and the contestants accepted the outcome in good faith. There were no accusations of sleight hands of any kind.

Gov. Okowa established himself on the national stage and proved to those who were bent on seeing things from their myopic and prejudiced mindset that he had what it takes to lead.

Obasanjo’s endorsement

Only recently,  former President Olusegun Obasanjo gave a massive endorsement to Dr. Okowa for a second term.

 Olusegun Obasanjo 

Chief Obasanjo was in Asaba to commission some projects executed or completed by the Okowa administration. Notable among them was the dualised old Lagos/Asaba road, from Emuhu junction to Agbor-Obi junction, the dualised Owei-Ekei/Owa-Alero road, from old Lagos/Asaba road to Owa-Alero Round-about and the main bowl of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

Chief Obasanjo provided telling assessement of Dr . Okowa’s stewardship in Delta State when he declared that “the governor is a good product that should not be thrown away, but should be allowed to complete his two terms.

Endorsing Governor Okowa for second term in 2019, Obasanjo said: “As an elder statesman, whatever I see and hear, my mouth will talk about; where I come from, we are always looking for good things and when we have good things, we hold on to it; when you have good leaders, hold on to them; this governor (Ifeanyi Okowa) from what I have seen and from what I have heard, he is a good product and when you have a good product, you don’t throw it away. I know that this governor is a good governor, I will hold on to him because he has started well and we must give him the opportunity to consolidate on his good works.”

Said Obasanjo:“I want to congratulate all of you in Delta State for the progress you have achieved under this administration, we should encourage him to continue to achieve more progress through  the instrumentality of Governor Okowa.” He went further to say: ” I come from that part of the world “where if you have a good thing, you don’t change it because, the known is better, you don’t change the known for the unknown, and Governor Okowa is the known and he is working. “According him, “doing so would mean voting for Dr. Okowa for a second term to continue with his good works in the state.”

From a cautious take off of his administration, Dr. Okowa has been organised and methodical in his governance. He has turned the state into a massive construction site. He is tackling the problem of deflooding Asaba, the state capital during the yearly rainning season. He is constructing huge drainages that would take away the flood water. He has expressed his intention to renovate the stadiums in Sapele and Warri, to give the youths in the state the opportunity to develop their talents in sports.

First, the APC has an uphill task to challenge and  remove Dr. Okowa from office. Apart from the internal crisis within the opposition party, the configuration of the political structure in Delta state would make it a mission impossible for Chief Ogboru to get Delta North Senatorial District, which is Dr. Okowa’s forte, to dump their own.

Political pundict should tell Chief Great Ogboru that he would be playing a modern Don Quixote, fighting the wind millwill to convince an average Anioma son/daughter to vote against Ifeanyi Okowa in favour of Great Ogboru.

If APC had fielded Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Hon. Victor Ochei, that would have divided the Anioma vote and make PDP and  Dr. Okowa jittery.

The crisis rocking APC in Delta state, the  and the jinx factor on the part of Chief Ogboru, would make his quest to unseat Dr. Okowa almost forlorn hope.

* Mr. Odiogor, a journalist, wrote from Asaba, Delta State.