Senator Okowa’s Victory Is For Christ—Sir Arthur Okowa

Sir, Can we meet with you ?
I am sir (Chief) Arthur Okorie Okowa; by the special grace of God, I am the father of Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor-elect of Delta State. I lived all my life as a teacher and I went through all my life as a teacher, and, as a teacher’s teacher, I retired from teachers training college as a teacher of teachers, I was once first member, Post-Primary Education Board in Asaba, during the period of His Excellency, Senator Felix Ibru, a titled chief in Owa, Ojeanyaegbe of Owa kingdom, Obasieke of Igbodo kingdom, Isama of Mbiri Kingdom and Ojuwe of Ejeme Aniogor, I am also a Knight of Saint Christopher of the Anglican Communion.
Sir, with so many chieftaincy titles, it’s no wonder you a great man?
No; am not a great man. Only God makes people great.
Sir, how do you describe your son, the Governor–elect?
Before the election I spoke about him; Ifeanyichukwu Okowa is Arthur Junior. I gave him my name, because I saw in him attitude towards everything tallies with what I do in life; so, I gave him the name. The name, Ifeanyi, was given to me in a dream before he was born. All through his life I call him a big boy, because all through his primary, secondary and university education, he excelled in everything. He made excellent results, his excellent results tally with the name I gave him, big boy. Ifeanyi has been a quiet, humble, gentle and, calculative person, always calculating, planning, and thinking. He became a medical doctor at the age of about 21. I thank God for his intelligence; When he was in the university, he was always coming home organizing lectures for secondary students in our community. In fact, when he was about entering university, he had many offers from various universities before we chose he should go to University of Ibadan to study Medicine. He was an outstanding student, I love him all along. I can’t remember even as a child using the cane on him; he was very diligent in his ways, and was not difficult to train. He was a nice boy throughout, and was disciplined all his life and never one day gave me problem
He became a doctor and was posted to Igbanke, in old Bendel State, now in Edo State, where he worked and later resigned and went into private practice. One day, he was invited to Owa-Alero Secondary School for an inter-house sports competition; he bought a giant trophy, and as I was driving with him, the whole students, youths rushed to him, saying welcome, welcome,” as they ushered him to his table, in my presence. After I told him it looks as if he would be a politician, given how they received him. Thereafter, youths started one group and they invited him; that was how he entered into active politics. From there, he attempted to be Chairman of Ika Local Government, but he was played out; but then my friend, the present Chairman, All Progressives Congress, (APC), Chief John Oyegun, told me not to worry and that in politics, there are many appointments. Indeed, he was eventually appointed Executive Secretary by the Chairman of the Local Government, before you know it Delta State was created and Ika North-East Local Government Area was created and that was how he stood as the first chairman of Ika North East local government, and people saw all that he was able to do, transformers, boreholes and many things. However, the military took over, but politics was looming in the ground and GDM was formed and he became one of the founding members of the party. From there, we became friends of the former governor
Today, Senator (Dr) Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, will assume the mantle of leadership as the Governor of Delta State, which he has, during his campaign, promised prosperity for all. In this interview with Momah Maxwell, his father, a teacher, a Knight of Saint Christopher of Anglican Communion and a distinguished Chief of Owa, Igbodo, Mbiri and Ejime Aniogo Kingdoms, Sir (Chief) Arthur Okowa spoke on the expectations, challenges and the future of Delta State under his son’s leadership.
of the state, Chief James Ibori, who later won the election on the ticket of the PDP and Dr Okowa was appointed Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources where he did well. Even when the ministry was split in two, Agriculture and Water Resources, he chose Water Resources, where he also did excellently well. So, that was how, later he was appointed Commissioner for Health, which was his own field. Indeed, he made his mark across the state. After that, he contested for governorship, and although he did not win, he still continued with them, and was appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Yet, the struggle continued.
One thing stands out; he is very humble and kings, traditional rulers, top politicians loved him; that was how he was asked to resign and contest for the Senate, but, all of sudden, the fighting started; in fact, even his friends today fought him, but thank God that in politics, there are no permanent friends, or permanent enemies in politics; we are friends today.
Thank God he has won the governorship election; despite the fact that 16 aspirants went for the ticket. Now the election has come and gone, and everybody has seen how it went.
We all have seen the massive support from all corners of Delta State; even the our brothers from the central senatorial district voted massively for the Governor-elect; even some local government areas there voted more than some local government areas in Anioma area. That is to show their love for the Governor-elect; the election was free and fair, no matter what some persons are being tempted to say.
Sir, what can you really say about the governor-elect during his early days?.
As a young man, I can say he was liked by many, largely because he doing very well. But the thing that stirred me up, that made me adjust my glasses well is the way he does things; he organized lectures for students, put them together and ensured it went smoothly. That gave me the impression of things that lay ahead of him.
Sir, with all election related crises; what was going on in your mind?.
What was giving me joy is that he was never ruffled; each time I went to him, he would say, ‘daddy go home and pray, you’re a Christian.’ He kept saying, ‘my God called me, so go and pray? He depended on prayers, and that keeps him and the entire family.
Sir the election has come and gone. How would you describe the victory?
The victory for Senator Okowa is for Christ, the victories from (the power of) God; God, in his infinite mercies guarded him through, and gave him the victory. Senator Okowa is a humble Christian to the core, a lot of people who are politicians, through Okowa victory, will come to Christ, hence I said it’s a victory for Christ; most people will embrace Christ.
Sir, as a father what advice would you give him?.
Not an advice yet; what I am doing now is pray to God to touch his heart in appointing his executives and advisers that will work with him in his cabinet, so that they will be people that fear God, so that it they have N10,000, they will do the work of N10,000, given N100m, they will do work of N100 million. I pray for God to remove fair-weather friends from him but for God to give him people that are focused and prepared to join him to develop Delta TO SHOW THAT PROSPERITY WILL COME TO Delta. I pray that God will give him those with fear of God, people committed to the prosperity of the state and not those self-centred in approach. People are already saying now that Jonathan did not win, let us see how he will do it; my prayer is that God that called him will make the needed provisions so that people will see a new Delta State; I have no fear about his performance.
Sir, talking of people with integrity, sir, what of the usual Nigerian politicians?.
I am praying for politicians with like minds, with the same ideology those that will allow developments to thrive; look at Akwa-Ibom State; it is not too rich, but see what the governor did. I know my son has a more magnanimous mind than the Akwa Ibom State Governor, he will use every little resource for the purpose intended.
Sir, the diversity of Delta State; how do you want him to carry the state along?.
Already, the wisdom that led him to be able to win four local government areas in Delta central, will see him through; he worked with Senator Felix Ibru, Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan. He has been in the system; He will do his best, and appoint those that will assist in giving everyone his fair share.
Sir, as a father, do you have specific areas he should concentrate?.Senator Okowa’s Victory Is For Christ—Sir Arthur Okowa