Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.
I can only imagine what will be going through the minds of many Deltans now, as the new governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa (SIAO) has kept his appointees close to his heart, but as always, with those who have nose for investigating such ‘hidden’ names and information, we always dig them out. It was thus no surprise when the name of Rt. Hon. Ovie Agas was revealed to a member of the Secrets Reporters News team as the likely Secretary to the State Government (SSG), another Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and former cabinet member (names withheld) who owns a hotel bearing the name of a bird in Agbor and another in Asaba as Commissioner for Finance and a former publicity secretary of the PDP (name withheld again) as the Commissioner for Information, as well as various other names for positions, with ninety percent of them meriting it. Looking through the list provided by our sources shows that this is a government that will be built on integrity and appointing those who helped to see the prosperity dream come to pass is the best there is to be done. Afterall, na who work dey chop.
The shock absorber in me could not contain the shock when another name was peddled around and told me as SSG, Chief of Staff and Director of Protocol. Without mincing words, while the alleged Director of Protocol is accepted by all Deltans, the others were already receiving knocks, with their past being called to question. Disappointment was not just written on my face but the face of Deltans who wondered how a humane governor with the memory brain of an elephant can forget the sacrifice of our current SSG. As the announcement was made in the event centre, the jubilation reminded one of the biblical saying that ‘when the righteous rule, the people rejoice’. No matter what anyone may say, a strong message has been sent that the Okowa led government will not be hijacked by some unknown cabals but filled with men who are ready to see Deltans prosperous.
The appointment of Agas is a pointer to the few Deltans who stood by the governor during the primaries that hardwork, loyalty and consistence are rewarded when the time comes. It is not only an appointment to Deltans but a clear message to Urhobos and the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) that the man they thought will forget them when elected has made one of their own the engine room of his government. He has permanently sealed the lips of the naysayers that the Urhobos have a place in his government, and a torch to know that many of them who stood by him will be appointed to sensitive positions.
Will Deltans be shocked tomorrow if Hon. Sunny Onosuoke is appointed a Commissioner of a lucrative Ministry or a Board Chairman? No! Apart from Agas and Hon. Reuben Izeze from Urhobo extraction who stood by Okowa before the primaries, the others stood with the former governor candidate until the dying minute substitution was made. It is on record that while the rest went to beg the UPU for forgiveness when they were sanctioned, the stubborn Onosuoke on principle maintained his stand with his undying support and refused to apologize for supporting an Anioma son. Again he remains the only Urhobo man who used the national dailies to sound the prosperity mantra, which those of us from Delta State almost daily received the page number of the various newspaper publication from the famous Nigeria for Good Governance (N4GG). The records speak for itself and more can be expected if the words of Jonas Salk that “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more”.
Again, will Deltans be shocked if Hon. (Dr) Kingsley Emu is appointed the Commissioner for Information? The answer remains No. Among all the former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan commissioners, he alone dared to attend Okowa’s gubernatorial declaration at the Oshimili Arcade, an action that cost him the position. Will Okowa be accused of favoring friends? Again No! Only evil minded men will say a man with PHD in financial matters is not fit for the finance position. Only a man whom heaven has placed a curse on will argue that a man who has successfully built a business empire is not fit to join in the prosperity train, simply because he is from the Governor’s town.
Do I mention the fact that if Dantes Odogwu is named the Special Adviser on New Media, it will amount to rewarding competence? His contributions to the social media using his Deltans Diaspora Facebook page and group as the medium never went unnoticed by Deltans. It will amount to a square peg in a square hole and not just about rewarding a man who worked for the victory before the primaries. Just like the jubilation seen in the appointment of the SSG, Dantes or Alex Okunbor as the Media SA cannot be contested. Again, Okowa will be scoring another A.
Deltans can sleep with two eyes knowing that with Agas, Delta is in safe hands. Deltans can now beat their chest that in few years from now, the State will be compared to Akwa Ibom State and even Cross River States in terms of infrastructural developments. Those who had thought that some evil cabal will decide for the governor on whom to appoint into positions should better go back to their native doctors to look at the mirror again and wonder why the governor has disappointed them. Those who joined the campaign train after the primaries should begin to know that there is a God that runs the affairs of men and decides the tide of destiny, with him saying that ‘the laborer is worthy of his wages’. Those who came in during the campaigns after primaries and have boasted that they will unseat those who fought with their lives to see that Senator Okowa is accepted by the generality of Deltans should be biting their fingers knowing that we have a governor who cannot forget his little beginning. Yes, the appointment of Agas have given us hope again that this government cannot be pushed around neither can he be influenced.
Anyone lobbying for positions should immediately cease to do so, as the Okowa who announced Agas name to the surprise of many but not yours sincerely is not a man who will collect list submitted by the likes of Hon. John Nani and his Cohorts on whom to appoint from Ethiope West. At last, we have a governor that is for all and for none, a governor for the rich and the poor and a servant for all the electorates. All those who have gone to spiritualists to turn the governor’s heart towards appointing them and forget those who stood by him should by now know that the man sitting in government house has been soaked in the pool of the blood with no incantations and divinations able to work on him. All the money they have given to the so called spiritualists should be refunded back to them on demand.
Never again shall few human beings pack charlatans nominated by themselves into government house. Today, with Agas appointment, we have hopes that the Egyptians we see; we shall see no more. Today we have hopes that our expectations of this government shall not be cut short and that once again, the resolve to stand by this government through thick and thin has been renewed.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, an Investigative Journalist, Media Consultant and Human Rights Activist is also the Co-Convener of Coalition of Human Rights Defender (CHORD) and can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Engage him on twitter on @fejirooliver86