My Brother Is Gentle In His Approach To Issues –Ezinne Ngozi Ebegboni

The Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa no doubt is a grassroots man who has over the years identified with his people and his humble beginning speaks volumes, a caring and humble man who started his of life giving so much to people around him. In this interview with Maxwell Momah, his elder sister Ezinne Stella Ngozi Ebegboni, spoke extensively on the governor growing up, life challenges and faith in God.
Madam, can we meet you?
By the special grace of God, I’ am Ezinne Stella Ngozi Ebegboni a nurse by profession and I have being practising Nursing since I left school. Nursing gives me joy and I’ am happy being a nurse. By the special grace of God, I; am the elder sister of the state governor, His Excellency Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa.

Ma, how will you describe your brother, the state governor?
The governor is a God-sent man to his generation; he is humble, gentle, God-fearing, a father to many. He is always there to attend to other people’s problems with deep joy: in fact, he is a very loving brother, one that you would pray to have, I love him so much and he is quite caring.

How will you recount your childhood?
I remember clearly that he was very clever at schooled, and gentle in his approach to issues; even at home, he was always keeping the peace with whoever he comes in contact with.

Did you fight as siblings or did you witness someone fighting him?
No, he doesn’t look for trouble, I never fought with him and that is the binding love between us. Moreover, he is too kind and gentle to have issues with anybody in whatever circumstance: in fact, within us as a family and even at school, I can’t say exactly if he has ever fought with anybody. He is always reading his books or the Bible. He kept asking us to read our books; in fact very gentle and humble to the extent that whenever issues crop up, he will be there to make peace and settlement.

When he was about going into politics, did you advise him against it, considering his gentleness and humble attitude?.
No; actually, I encouraged him to go forward. I quite agree he is a medical doctor, but politics was part of his life and because of his sympathetic nature, he needed an opportunity to assist people. Even as a doctor in his private clinic, people came for various treatments and after which they were allowed home without payment. Do you know that some will beg to be discharged promising to come back and pay, but almost always, they never showed up; still when they would come and he will attend to them; that is his kind of person. Even some will come for surgery without payment, yet he will do his job. In fact; joining politics is better for him so that he can assist and reach out to more people.

How About the early challenges he faced in politics?
The challenges were too many, but for the grace of God, he would have ran back, it was not rosy at all for him. The challenges were enormous, but because of his faith in God and prayers, he climbed the ladder gradually till this very time; by the grace of God too, he has become the governor of the state.

You have mentioned the grace of God severally, how would you describe God?
He is a mighty God, who has stood by us all through the years, and even with or without anything, the Lord has remained very faithful. In fact there is no word to describe this God, we were all born into a Christian family and we were taught to always go to God in prayers and it has always been our strength, in fact, we can not do anything without God.

Madam, what can you say about his youthful days?
Just as I said before, his gentleness makes him outstanding and his approach makes it difficult for you to resist whatever he asked of you, because the very way he will put it across will compel you to give him. I quite remember when he followed his mates to fetch palm frond for broom and he stepped onto nails, the pain was terrible but he still insisted that he must be taken to school, to prove his love for books. I carried him daily to school with my mother’s bicycle, drop him, then return it to my mother before I will go and join them in school. There was a day, because of too many activities I delayed take him back home, it was very late when I went for him with the bicycle and when I got to school, I met him reading. What he said was that he knew I would come for him and that he was not scared knowing fully he was with his God. he was very calm.

Why does he call you mummy?
Not only him; all of them call me mummy. I was about 24 years old when we lost our mother. It was the day he went for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) materials / clothes that we lost our mother, and since then I have stood in the gap for them. In fact, when my suitor came, I told him that I couldn’t abandon my brothers and sisters, since our mother was gone, as there was no one to care for them. By the grace of God, we collectively overcame the enormous challenges. You won’t believe it when we were young, we passed through difficult times because my mother left a very big gap. Indeed when you see an old woman you won’t know she sucked breast milk. It was very rough. I farmed, even as a nurse, for us to survive. In fact, it is the grace God. When people see the governor they won’t know how he grew up in those days with nobody to run to, except God.

How do you want your brother to govern this state?
I know, by the grace of God he will succeed in transforming the state to an enviable height, I know the state is the Finger of God; God will use him to bring prosperity to Deltans, transform the state that other states will come and take a cue from him. God will, through him, direct the affairs of the state and put it above board. I know the God he serves will always lead him and be with him. My prayer is that God will give him the wisdom to appoint those with genuine commitment to work toward the transformation of Delta State, an executive council that will work in line with his vision so that collectively the state will be developed.
My brother has a good heart for Deltans and I am sure Deltans will definitely see the difference in him.

How did you receive the news of his victory at the polls?
Describing the mood will be very difficult, but I remember I burst into tears considering all that he passed through and the challenges from day one that he entered the race; friends became enemies. In fact, it was God that made everything possible.

Your appeal to Deltans?
Deltans should support him with prayers for the success of his administration; they should bring out their whole mind to work with him and not with the intention to grab everything. People should be ready to work with him, cooperate and give useful advice that will ensure sustainable development in every sector of the people’s lives.