‘Why Okowa Should Be Wary of Sycophants in Govt’

BY CHARLES EMENI
DELTA State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has been advised to be wary of sycophants in the form of politicians, religious leaders and traditional rulers in his administration, particularly when it comes to government programmes and implementation.
Giving the advice in Asaba, former Majority Leader in the State House of Assembly and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Chief Aneke Ifemeni, has said the advice had become necessary in view of some persons who fall within that category who misled governments in the past, pretending to be advisers or spiritual fathers and guardians as it were.
He said time had proven that many of such persons were either in, or close to, government because of their inordinate ambition either to get favour defined by them or for material or financial gains.
A good religious leader who genuinely fears God and means well for government, he said, “needs not hover around Government House, the governor or the House of Assembly.” Rather, he added, he/she should remain in his church, doing the work of God and leading his flock and be invited or consulted by government, “if his services are needed.”
Same thing, he said, is applicable to some traditional rulers, who according to him, had found the Government House or the House of Assembly a more suitable ‘palace’ and have frequently visited such places, even when they were not officially invited.
“Traditional rulers are supposed to be custodians of their people’s culture; they are supposed to live a dignified life and remain in their palaces, waiting to be consulted by government, whenever their services or counsel are needed”, he said; adding, that it was however, unfortunate that “what we see in the state is traditional rulers, with the exception of a few, who have constituted themselves into a big clique by hovering round public offices such as the Government House, Asaba, or the House of Assembly.”
This, he said, had become a source of worry because, “many of the traditional rulers in the state now leave their palaces to consult government, rather than stay in their palaces for government to consult them”, adding that “this trend must stop forthwith in order to accord our highly placed traditional institution the respect they deserve.”
While saying that events had shown that the presence of many of such persons who hover around public offices had not added much value to the quality of governance in the past, Hon. Ifemeni said their frequent presence in public offices had sometimes constituted a distraction to government, and advised Governor Okowa to be wary of such persons.
“I pray God to give you (Governor Okowa) the wisdom of Solomon to be able to differentiate the genuine advisers from the fake ones who are only interested in what material benefit they can get from government and not giving wise counsel that would help government to formulate better policies and programmes that would bring prosperity to Deltans”, he said.
It will be recalled that Governor Okowa himself had earlier cautioned against any form of praise singing of his administration.