While the likes of Chinedu Ebie, Bashorun Askia Ogieh and his three co-looters will forever go into the book of infamy for their inglorious years in service to Deltans and Delta State, six other men decided to stand out and helped Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to deliver on his campaign promises early.
They are the best of their kinds who have proven that in this cash crunch era, they will not soil their hands with the State money but just deliver on what they have been assigned for. They have earned the praises of those they serve and in appreciation have not let the people down.
In no particular order, we bring to the world the seven men of value who have been effective in their duties.
1. Hilary Ibegbulem: His critics says he doesn’t smile or laugh but those who are close to him differed, arguing that he laughs very easily once he’s at home with you, and even let himself loose like a baby, as one without care in the world. By the way, those who laughed and smiled every minute are the ones who have used their laughter to confuse the State and looted their various agencies
Hilary, the governor’s Principal Secretary who is undisputedly the eyes and ears of the governor. No one can challenge the fact that he has not performed meritoriously in one year of Okowa’s ascension to the number one position in the state. He has successfully shouldered the burden of those who need access to the governor and made it easy for those who need to have an audience with the governor to do so.
His greatest virtue is his large heart that accommodates all, and willingly gives out of his lean earning without thinking of the effect it will have on his bank account. Who knows if he goes home to weep later, yet he can’t say no to genuine demands, but that is his personal problem to deal with.
While many Commissioners and appointees go to bed to sleep, he stays late into the night carrying out errands for the governor and making sure that they are successful. The position of the Principal Secretary demands trust and die hard loyalty, and Hilary best fits the shoe at this time of history. Known to hate nepotism which is supposed to be a norm in government, he once ordered for the redeployment of his kinsman from Government House to another Ministry for misbehaving and all pressures to make him reconsider his action never worked. To him, merit comes first before kith and kin, tribe and clan, friendship and familiarity.
Give it to him, he’s the pen which the master uses in writing on the pad and if we were in the master’s shoes, he would also be our pen.
2. Ifeanyi Eboigbe: We are still at shock while scandal is yet to brew from the protocol unit of the State Government House, but then one is made to know that the Governor appointed an efficient man to be his Director of Protocols.
This position currently held by Eboigbe is no doubt tasking as he coordinates the movement of the governor and almost every staff and security men around the governor, and who knows if he has used superglue to gum their lips that dirty tales that happens in government house has not leaked to the press. His efficiency is not in doubt as detailed investigation has proven.
Even his die hard enemies agree that he has a strong point when it comes to giving and helping those in need, just as he’s very accessible despite his busy schedule. Though in government, he hates those who have looted the state and if he has his way, he would prosecute them and make them return what they have stolen. This explains why he’s not in government to steal or joined his six colleagues who have smiled criminally to the bank.
Dependable sources claims that if he vies for any position in his constituency or supports anyone, he will come out victorious as he has succeeded in building trust and loyalty through his good works in the grassroots. Did we tell you that he’s the force of the political pressure group called Out Umunne who championed Okowa’s emergence in Ika land? Now that you know, let your brain do the thinking on who this man is.
3. Ossai Ovie Success: Smallish in nature but has succeeded in being the face of the government, even though there is a Commissioner for Information in the State. Hate to acknowledge it, but Deltans all over the globe do not need to watch the TVs or read the Newspapers to know what their governor is doing; all they need to do is to go to Ossai Ovie personal Facebook wall and all the information will be seen.
Appointed as a Personal Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, but he has functioned best as the Governor’s social media right hand man, breaking boundaries beyond his scope of duties. He has not only boosted Okowa’s image but also defended him wisely, even though his critics will say he’s a sycophant. Hardwork if truly is rewarded by men; this young man deserves the first reward among the Personal Assistants appointed by the governor.
Now that the governor’s Special Assistant on Social Media now the Party Chairman of his Local Government will definitely resign from government to go back to his community, the mantle of such position should naturally fall on Ossai who has been doing the work. His love for his job is obvious and his passion and belief for the SMART agenda rubs off on even the governor’s fiercest critics. He has not only helped the governor to project his one year in office but has outperformed the salary he’s been paid.
4. James Augoye: A former Okpe Local Government Transition Chairman and now the Commissioner for Works. While many Commissioners are looking for ways to collect huge money from contractors as kick back before they can be contracted to do the construction works in government, Aguoye has dedicated his time to seeing that the job is done first.
That the governor is smiling after one year in office is because Augoye has been on the necks of the contractors to deliver as specified on the contract papers and they have not failed. Even though we cannot exonerate him from kickbacks as we have gotten reports on him, the immediate focus is his ability to be a good appointee and not sitting idle in the office while sending boys into the field to go and monitor events.
This is one appointment the governor got so right that even if a cabinet reshuffle takes today, he will still be retained, except the man who dictates thinks otherwise.
5. Kingsley Emu: He’s hated in his community for being ‘stingy’, even though we cannot confirm it. What cannot however be taken from him is his diligence to work and the ability to deliver before the allotted time.
As a Commissioner for Economic Planning, he has planned the state economy well that despite the meager allocation the state receives from the Federal Government, the governor has been able to touch every sector. The empowerment programme under him may not have been a hundred percent successful, but many have become self employed through it.
Jovial and funny; his brain works round the clock thinking on how to help the governor succeed and so far, he has not failed. The pointer that he will succeed is easily seen with how he runs his hotel business to still make it relevant, despite new and better hotels built in Asaba. Okowa appointing his as his head of economic team is one square peg in a square hole.
6. Friday Osanebi: He’s not among the executive but a legislator. When names are mentioned in government as those who have successfully helped the Okowa’s administration in one year, Osanebi as the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly will be mentioned.
The Ndokwa born politician prefers to bear his former title of ‘Comrade’ and not the ‘Honorable’ that his position bequeaths on him. Popularly known as Mr Empowerment, he succeeded in giving out scholarship to his constituents and even beyond as part of the SMART agenda program.
Accessible to his constituents, he has never been far away from their events when it matters. Just like Hilary and Onofiok Luke who is Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, they are the ‘King of the boys’, who interacts with the ‘streets hustler’, contributing meaningfully to their lives. His biggest headache is the N20 million monthly DESOPADEC funds which his critics say has been embezzled by him, even though he’s not a DESOPADEC board member.
7. Charles Ehiedu: As the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Ehiedu started badly and wobbled so much that he faced attack from his own constituency. One is not certain if he was learning the ropes of being a CPS but he quickly learnt and even though he has not delivered eighty percent, he has done so well for his principal in presenting his thoughts and actions, refuting negative reports.
The bow tie wearing journalist is one known to give to his colleagues what they deserve, even though some disagree. What cannot be taken from Ehiedu is his having a good heart and readiness to carry everyone along. With his open door policy, his undoing is his capitalist nature, his critics argued.
NB: It is expected that Emmanuel Ogidi who is an appointee of the governor and now a party chairman for a local government should resign as soon as possible, while the state part Chairman, Kingsley Esiso who claimed to have resigned should show the letter publicly.
Compiled by Fejiro Oliver, Eneh John, Oritse Fidelis, Jerry Ifeanyi and Ochuko Mamode.