Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay: A Great Leader Of Our Time –Egbabor

By Vincent Anikwushe
Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor is not a green horn in the political arena in Isoko North and Delta State in general.
He is a grassroots politician and a loyal member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is the Executive Chairman, Isoko North Local Government Area and an ally to the Secretary to the Delta State Government, (SSG) comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay and as such, he is very close to the SSG.
In the series of interview lined up for some prominent Deltans on the man-Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, Hon. Egbabor bared his mind on how much he knows the SSG and his impact on Isoko Nation and Delta State in general.
Excerpts:
May we meet you sir.
My name is Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor. I am the Executive Chairman, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.
How long have you known comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, the Secretary to the Dalta State Government (SSG).?
When you talk of how long I have known him, it all depends. Either how long I have been close to him or how long I have been hearing of him. I have known him for over 20 years. I know him from a distance as the pioneer chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council. I know him also as the former chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NCC), Delta State Chapter, as a commissioner, Inter-Ethnic and conflict Resolution under the administration of former Governor James Ibori. He was also the Chief of staff, Government House, Asaba and commissioner for Energy under the present administration of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan. He was the arrow head, during Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s campaign in 2007.
When you talk of how long I have known him in terms of relationship that I can speak about him. I have been close to him for over six years. He is a very good man. He is unassuming. He is somebody that keeps his words. He hardly makes any commitment but when he makes any commitment, he will want to abide by it. To me he is somebody I have a lot of respect for. This is because a few things we have done together, we achieved results. When he says do this or that, he will make sure that you do it. And if he ask you in terms of commitment to go and represent him he has always met those promises and commitments.
So I will say that he is someone that you can work with. He is someone you can trust and he is a politician that if you work together, that is when you are in a team with him; you will succeed because he is master strategist.
He plans a lot. He is a great planner. He does not just seat down and allows people to plan for him. Even as a boss and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), if you are doing anything with him, he is always part of whatever you are doing. If you work closely with him, he is on top of his job.
What can you say are his impacts in Isoko Nation and Delta State in general?
When you talk of his impacts in Isoko Nation, this is a man that has the love of Isoko at heart. He is somebody that has added value to Isoko Nation in terms of his contributions even before he went into government and now that he is in government. When he was the commissioner for Energy under the present administration, he provided transformers to several towns and villages in Isoko Nation. He took electricity to many rural communities in Isoko Nation which had never seen electricity before. And when you compare his tenure with other people of Isoko extraction that have been commissioners in the past, we will say that he has done very well and as at today, nobody has surpassed his record. Even as a commissioner then, he was among the top commissioners in the State. He was very vibrant and was well respected by his colleague. He brought development to Isoko Nation as the commissioner for Energy. He is a household name in Isoko nation and Delta State in general. He is a great political leader of our time. As the Secretary to the Delta State Government; he assisted in getting so many Isoko people into positions of authority. So many people who do not have the interest of people at heart will ordinary not do what the SSG is doing. You know human beings, people are only satisfied with their positions but Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay is not that type of person. Even as the SSG, he is very accessible. As far as Delta State government today is concerned, he has paid his dues. He has brought many people into government.
You will not even discuss with him about some of the people, but on his own, he will do something for them that will positively impact on their lives.
He is generous and a man of the people because he has the ears of the governor, that also has paid off and it goes to show loyalty.
The office of the SSG is key to any State government administration just like the office of the Secretary to Local Government (SLG). The office of the SSG is the Engine Room of any Government.
And he has worked closely with the present Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan before he became a commissioner and the SSG. He has been able to show that he can add value and he has added value to governance in Delta State and I am sure the governor is proud of him.
In terms of grassroots empowerment, do you think he has done anything in that direction?
He has done so much to empower our people at the grassroots including the youths, women and elders. We have Elders Council in Isoko Nation.
He is responsible for their monthly salary. He has so many youths also in his pay roll. He pays them monthly from his pocket and not government. The monthly stipend ranges from N20,000.00 to N 50,000.00 and even more. We have so many men, women and youths he pays monthly.
If you go to his compound in Ovhelogbo on the day of payment, you will be surprised on the number of people that his paying monthly stipend.
He pays some through the PDP party Chairman at the Local Government level. And the elders, youth, women are very happy. He has empowered so many people to set up business. If you go to him with an idea that is good; not just asking for money which you will not use for anything reasonable. I know many people that he has assisted in that regard.
He has also assisted so many students. Many of them he does not even know one on one in paying their school fees and giving them scholarship.
There was a time during elections that I introduced somebody to him and he asked the young man what he wanted to do. The boy said he had finished his Ordinary National Diploma (OND). The SSG then asked the boy why he had not gone not gone for his Higher National Diploma (HND), the boy said he had no money for the HND programme. He asked the boy to give me his account number and how much the HND programme will cost him. He did this for this boy whom he does not even know. He has no relationship with the boy. So when you are not close to somebody, you cannot speak of the person well enough. And he is not that kind of person that will come and tell people this is what I have done because he believes that whatever he has done for anybody, he has done it for God not because he is expecting reward from anybody. So in terms of empowerment, yes he has done well. He has brought succour to the people. He has given out cars, Motorcycles, tricycles to so many people.
Sometime ago, himself and. Hon. Leo Ogor empowered Isoko North Youths with tricycles and Starter packs worth Millions of Naira to improve their living standard. I can attest to that. He is somebody that has the fear of God. Most times I have gone out with him to attend Christian Occasions, he will always want to support whatever that has to do with God. If you invite him to any occasion, even if he will not
be there because of his busy schedules, he will send somebody to represent him and it is only a man that has the fear of God that can do that. He built a church and the priest’s lodge which he donated to
Anglican Community in Owhelogbo, his Country home. I have also represented him in Christian Occasions where he asked me to make a commitment or pledge running into Millions of naira which he has fulfilled. He is also part of those that are building a lodge for a Rev. Father at Ellu and some other things in Christendom that he is involved. So if you don’t have the fear of God, you will not be committed to the work of God.
How does an average Isoko person see Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay?
To me he is a very good man and an average Isoko person should see him that way. Whatever position you find yourself today is by the grace of God. John 3v27 says that a man can receive nothing unless it is given to him from heaven.
The PDP Campaign Rally in Osoro and Oleh recorded huge turnout of people. Did the SSG play prominent role in the success of the rally?
Yes, of course. There is nothing you will do with respect to PDP in Isoko North or Isoko nation as a whole that SSG’s name will not be mentioned or he will not play prominent roles.
Don’t forget that he is a political leader in Isoko nation and he is a top member of PDP in Delta State. He is well respected. He has been playing a key role in the affairs of PDP in Isoko Nation and Delta State in general. He has helped in bringing all of us today, even those that were angry for one reason or the other after the primary election. Today, I can tell you that PDP is very strong, especially in Isoko North. It is a PDP controlled Local Government and even before now when we had the local government election, the margin was very wide. It was only in Isoko North for the first time that a candidate was chosen unanimously without primary election for the chairmanship position of Isoko North Local Government Council before others followed suit. This is because we are united. We work as a team. So there is nothing you will do in Isoko North PDP or Isoko in general hat he will not play a prominent role in Isoko North, from the Slate.
House of Assembly to House of Representations, to the Senate, to the Governorship and the Presidency, it is PDP all the way and you will see the results after the elections.
What is your message to the people f Isoko nation?
My message to the good people of Isoko nation is first and foremost to command them for the support they have given to us over the years, (myself, the chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area, Hon. Malik Ikpokpo, PDP leaders) and to PDP as a party. I want to urge them not to relent in supporting PDP. It is a winning party; it is the party in power and we will try as much as possible within the limit of available resources to fulfill our campaign promises by bringing development and dividends of democracy to their door steps.
What is your wish for the SSG?
I pray for him every day. I wish him higher position in his political career and above all, I wish him good health and long life.