The characteristic of the man, David Edevbie, is on the realm of the enigmatic. Edevbie, the chief of staff to Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is markedly noticeable even in a crowded hall.
Prefigured with presence, good looks and civil carriage, Edevbie has a pleasant persona.
He is calm, neat and shapely like English Actor, Robert Pattinson of the Twilight Saga box office fame, who topped the list of the 2020 “most handsome man in the world” by Golden Ratio ranking among global celebrity media.
Standing elegant and majestic, with disarming subtlety, Edevbie, born on December 23, 1963, could have been a sensational film star in the mould of Pattinson, “the man with the perfect face” once depicted as Adonis of the modern age.
Adonis was the handsome companion of Aphrodite the goddess of beauty in Greek mythology. Celebrated by first-century Roman poet Ovid, in his stunning narratives called Elegiac couplets, Adonis was endowed with physical charm and eternal youth.
At government circles and events, especially in Delta, Edevbie is a spectacle of cultivated and urbane grooming.
Ever courteous and self-respecting, he is not given to vulgarity or imprudent crudity that are common mannerisms of most political office holders in Nigeria. Far from a stormy petrel, Edevbie is neither a die-hard troublesome politician nor a bullish power monger. He acts more like a genial player, a gentleman in government.
An affable image refined by disciplined parental nurture and cultured
An alumnus of the University of Lagos [where he took a degree in Economics 1982 – 1985, most of Edevbie’s training is birthed in elite education.
He had a masters degree in Business Administration MBA from Cardiff Business School, the United Kingdom with proficiency in International Corporate Finance 1987 – 1988, culminating in advanced management training in Harvard Business School, Harvard University, USA. His world-class tutelage would launch him into multinational corporations
beginning in 1988 in Barclays Bank, London rising as Manager’s Assistant Corporate Lending, Hill Samuel Merchant Bank 1992, Investment Banking Executive and subsequently Commonwealth Development Corporation (now known as CDC Group) also in the United Kingdom as an investment manager. To his credit, he was the head of Asia and Pacific Regions and later established the Philippines office, garnering high profile finance expertise.
Edevbie made a dramatic entry into Nigeria’s political space in 1999 when he flew home to assume office as commissioner for Finance and economic planning under the administration of Chief James Ibori in Delta state.
By the time his tour of duty ended in 2003, he had transformed a lethargic civil service from a slow outmoded bureaucracy weighed down by dusty files into a vibrant technological- savvy, computerized institution, leveraged by speedy and efficient operations in fiscal management.
His pedigree propelled him to national reckoning when he received an invitation to be the Director of Finance and strategy in the campaign of the then PDP presidential candidate, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua now late. He was later appointed principal Secretary when Yar’Adua was elected president in 2007, serving until April 2010 after the death of the head of state, to establish his consulting firm, Avantgarde, reputed with tested portfolio in Power, Oil & Gas, Mining, Health, Telecommunication, Financial Markets and Hotels.
He returned to mainstream politics in 2014 and became a principal actor in Delta PDP gubernatorial race, conceding to Okowa who emerged flag bearer on December 8 primary and ultimately, governor on May 29, 2015.
Political tolerance and love of Delta would bring both men together in power as Edevbie became Commissioner of Finance again after his 1999 debut and got appointed Chief of Staff to Okowa in his second tenure as governor.
Okowa’s accommodating nature and gentle spirit had coalesced with Edevbe’s civilized nurture and competence to helm in the stronger hold, a new Delta, driven by a policy thrust named SMART Agenda.
Edevbie as chief of staff has so far done his bit coordinating key policies and activities of government appointees with matchless focus and fastidious diligence, befitting of his standard management orientation.
The words of Okowa depict Edevbie’s essence:
“Olorogun David Edevbie has continued to blaze the trail by providing and offering leadership at various levels of governance. …You have provided sound and relevant professional advice for the government at different times and we thank you for always being there for us. Over the years, you have carved a niche for yourself….maintaining a charismatic and unblemished leadership style that has endeared you to many Deltans and Nigerians. You have exhibited absolute leadership traits of a man committed to doing things differently as it is in developed and organised climes”
Together, the chief of staff and the governor are working in the seamless mix to address the challenges of an enchanting but complex state, under a precarious economy influenced by the global meltdown of recession and the phenomenon of a novel pandemic.
The Edevbie model – power with purpose and responsibility represents the indomitable spirit of youth and the enduring value of the dignity of man.
* Chiazor is the Special Assistant to Governor Okowa on Media