The ‘Ekwueme’ In Okowa

By Kingsley Azuh
EKWEME is an Ibo word meaning “Someone that does what he says” It is not easy to bestow Ekwuemeon someone unless the person has been tested and trusted. One can only be sanctified an Ekwueme when he or she has been tested over a period of time
A man that is adjudged as Ekwueme either by a title or as reverence must be of impeccable character and have integrity. It is not all-comers name or a name for a figure that cannot be trusted. If an Ekwueme speaks or makes a promise, no matter all odds, he or she must live up to his words. When there are mountains, he meanders and navigates through the rugged terrain to get to the enabling environment where the promise made can be fulfilled.
Governor Okowa has navigated the rugged political terrain from the position of Secretary and a Local Government Chairman through three-time Commissioner, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), and Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the present day as the Governor of Delta State.
Governor Okowa’s bright success is clear manifestation of his enduring integrity. It is not my intention to dwell on my own assessment of Governor Okowa but to sum up what concerned Deltans have said about the Ekwueme, his government’s Open door policy and strong commitment to one Delta.
The Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, HRM Orhue I, Major- General Felix Aghwobasevbe Mujakperuo (RTD) in an interview described Okowa as a visionary Leader, a listening Governor and a craftsman. The Monarch also said that Okowa is a man of integrity. He buttressed his words by saying that the Governor promised him the rehabilitation of Edijerin Street, Orerokpe during the electioneering Campaign and he fulfilled his promise.
The Ovie of Ughelli Kingdom HRM (Dr.) Oharisi III, JP, described the Governor of Delta State as a Visionary Leader that has embarked on equitable distribution of political appointments across the senatorial districts of Delta State. He said that Okowa is a detribalized leader whose prosperity for all Deltans mantra is on course.
The Ovie of Oruarivie-Abraka Kingdom Ethiope East Local Government where Chief OvedgjeOgboru, the Labour Party Gubernatorial Candidate for the 2015 election hails from said that this is the first time a sizeable number of indigenes of oruarivie-Abraka were given political appointments.
It is interesting to state that these three cited monarchs are from the Central Senatorial District of Delta State.
From the South Senatorial District came the Olu of Warri Kingdom. HRM OgiameIkenwoli who said that Okowa is a blessing to Delta State. HRM was particularly grateful to Governor Okowa for giving a face-lift to Ode-Itsekiri (Big Warri), the ancestral home of the Itsekiris. He added by pledging the cooperation of the people of Warri Kingdom for Okowa’s administration to enhance unimpeded socio-economic development of Delta State.
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Mohammed Ibrahim while granting interview to the Truth Newspaper published in August edition 2016, testified: “Governor Okowa’s support to Delta State Police Command is really helping us to realize our objectives. The Governor’s support in terms of logistics, kind words, synergy, giving and sharing of information has been wonderful”.
A known and respected man of God, Archbishop Christian Apena of Bethesda Gospel Mission, Irri, Isoko South Local Government Area sees Okowa as a detribalized and Committed Leader.
The Obi of OnichaUgboalso made encouraging comments about Governor Okowa. HRM Obi Victor Chukwumaleze in Aniocha North Local Government Area said that Okowa has brought fairness, equity, and integrity into Governance. The MD of Rain Oil Petroleum, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie X-rayed Governor Okowa as accessible and approachable.
The trails of encomium, attestation and commendation continued as testimonies on Governor Okowa’s integrity and his avowed commitment to the fulfillment of his campaign promises.
An international figure and a highly referred monarch, Obi (Dr.) Efeizomor II (JP), Obi of Owa Kingdom Mirrows Governor Okowa as an administrator that has scientific approach to governance. The nitty-gritty of the Monarch’s succinct assessment is that Okowa’s administrative style is all about precision. It therefore means that the Governor has control of what he says (promises) and what he does.
Furthermore, a scientific approach means that mistakes, errors and wastages are strictly controlled. This is true because Okowa is doggedly developing Delta State in line with his Campaign promises of “Delta as one” and “Prosperity for all Deltans”.
In Aniocha North and Oshimili North Local Government Areas two experienced and respected monarchs also attest to the fact that Governor Okowa is indeed a personality that has integrity in his blood. In the words of HRM Obi Christopher Ogoh II, Obi of Ukwunzu, “The Governor has fulfilled the promise he made to me and all Ukwunzu people during his gubernatorial campaign. He promised to link Onicha-Uku and Ukwunzu with Ultra-modern road. The road is nearing completion”.
According to the Monarch, the earth road was constructed in 1925 and many governments had come with fake promises and gone with nothing done. “Our travail did not start now, it started when we were in Western Nigeria, Midwestern Nigeria, Bendel State but now Okowa has given us a sense of belonging. Okowa has done his second term campaign in Ukwunzu”.
The Obi of Akwukwu-Igbo, HRM Obi (Dr.) David Azuka was exact in his words. He said that Okowa is Ekwueme, adding that three road are under construction in Akwukwu-Igbo. In addition to the testimonies of prominent Deltans, projects on ground in all parts of Delta State speak for themselves. What is significant in these landmark projects is that they are of acceptable standards and equitably distributed.
The government of Delta State under Okowa is investing in all facets of development. There is cultural re-awakening. The case in point is Delta at 25, where “Celebrating Delta State” showed the cultural heritage of all the tribes (Anioma, Urhobos, Ijaws, Itshekiris and Isoko) which changed the colour of Asaba.
There are investments in education, markets, roads, hospitals, and agriculture to mention but a few. Okowa has done greatly well under two years of grave economic recession facing Nigeria and the world.The ‘Ekwueme’ in Okowa is unarguably well deserved.