By Festus Ahon – Asaba
AS politicians strategize and group up ahead of 2023, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has said only God would direct him on his successor and not man, insisting that he would never take the place of God in deciding who would succeed him.
Okowa who spoke during a thanksgiving service at the Government House Chapel, Asaba, for the blessings of God upon him, his family and the State in 2021 and for greater divine attention on them and the State in 2022, urged Deltans to pray for him to finish strong.
He said; “finishing strong is about being able to reach out to the people to lay the foundation that people can build upon and told Deltans to pray for the Will of God to be done in the state ahead of the 2023 governorship election in the state.
While cautioning political stakeholders on the need to concentrate on governance and not be distracted ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Okowa said: “Let us approach the next few months with oneness of love. Towards the end of every administration, there are usually distractions here and there.
“We are not stopping people from playing politics but we need to realise that there is a purpose and we must remain loyal and committed to governance until May 29, 2023.
‘’This is a year of politics and as politicians we cannot avoid it; pray with us, pray for us and pray about the state.
“Whatever positions we are contesting for, let us seek the face of God because if you genuinely pray, God will reveal His will for you.
“As a man, I will also try to avoid people pushing me to a direction that God is not pleased with because if God has made a choice and we go in the wrong direction, it will not augur well for the state.
“But one thing is sure, whoever will succeed me must be one who keeps the fire in this altar burning, and God must direct me on the choice of the person. I can never take the place of God in deciding who will succeed me; I will pray for God to direct me and not man, so that I don’t go in the wrong direction”.
Speaking further, he appealed to politicians and other stakeholders who love the state to pray for the oneness and unity in the state, particularly for him, to enable God to make necessary revelations to him on the choice of his successor, saying; “we must all pray, including those contesting for positions”.
While enjoining leaders in authority to have faith in God as He alone could direct their affairs, Okowa who was flanked by his wife, Edith, said; “we recognise as a family and as Governor of Delta, that for all the grace of God in the past year and for all the achievements we have made that we must return to say thank you Lord.
“In so doing we are asking for greater blessings and there is no doubt that since 2015 when we assumed office, the hand of God has been strong in this state.
“Going forward, I need no one to tell anyone that the hand of God has been very strong and gracious in our affairs.
“We are now in our seventh year and it is a good thing to give thanks unto God, because if we rest our faith in God we will be able to do all things; we will be able to show love and empathy to the people.
“In governance, until you touch the lives of people you have done nothing and a life in governance without God is a governance for self because it is not for the people.
“Many communities want to honour us and thank us for what we have done for them. But, each time I tell them that you have voted for us and whatever we have been able to achieve we give thanks to God.”
The Governor told those in government to pay special attention to the things of God, saying; “if you are to succeed in what you are doing, you must abide in God. As a family we will continue to abide in God because by His grace we are able to continue and finish strong to His glory.
“It is our belief that God will provide the resources and the men to accomplish all that we have started.”
Earlier in his sermon, Chaplain of the Chapel, Ven. Charles Osemenam told Christians to put their trust in the Lord as God revealed His secrets to those that fear him and urged the people to renew their lives in God.
According to him, being born again was one of God’s secrets that only those in new birth enjoyed, urging people in authority to fear God as citizens could only rejoice when the righteous were in authority.
Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Kingsley Esiso, traditional rulers and other top government functionaries attended the thanksgiving service.