‘Why The Urhobo Should Support Okowa’
Felix Ayanruoh, a United States-based attorney and energy consultant from Delta State spoke on why the Urhobo should support the Peoples Democratic Party PDP) governorship candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa in next month’s election.
WHY do you want Urhobo people to support Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s governorship ambition in Delta State?
Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is a bold and courageous public servant, who has addressed the issues facing Deltans and deserves to be governor of the state.
It is no secret that the Urhobo are agitating for an Urhobo governor, having been sidelined/neglected, economically and politically, for the past eight years.
However, it is imperative to note that producing the next governor does not mean that the governor should be an Urhobo, as mandated by the Uvwiamuge declaration, but should be a major stakeholder.
What the Urbobo should do is to produce a governor that will work for the interest of Urhobo in particular and Deltans in general. That candidate can be an Urhobo, Anioma, etc. The candidate presented should share its political and economic views.
Okowa has shown, with his forward-thinking initiatives and proposed policies, to be that candidate.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the way he managed the agriculture and health ministries as commissioner and more importantly as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), with his ceaseless demonstration of dignity, superior intellect and unparalleled innovation.
Okowa will be a governor for all Deltans, unlike his immediate predecessor. He cares about what is best for the greater good and will represent the people, including the Urhobo.
His actions have always been motivated by a sincere desire to do what is fair and equitable, even if it means losing ground with his people.
He has stated that he recognises the fact that the Urhobo are the majority tribe in Delta State and his government will accord them their numerical strength in government appointments and contracts.
As governor, Delta State will be more unified as a people than it has been in the past.
He is for a healthcare system that will bring hope and healing to all Deltans. His proposed plan will allow the poor, including the Urhobo, to reap the benefit of free healthcare.
A suffering child, be it Ufuoma, Ebi, Chidi or Tuoyo will not be turned away because his or her mother or father is poor.
Okowa has promised to take a forward-thinking approach in creating a safe and clean Delta by proposing measures in tackling sand mining that is devastating Urhobo land, among others.
How do you see the chances of Okowa in the race, considering that the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan supported another candidate in the party’s primaries?
It was the late David Ogilvy, a British advertising executive, who said that it takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers to buy your product.
Okowa is a big idea when it comes to Delta politics. He is known as a grassroots man who has traverse the nook and crannies of the state.
This is the only candidate during the primaries that shook the hands of every delegate. His chances are very bright. He has shown that all he needs is the support of every Deltan.
This election is not just about personalities, but also big ideas and achievements. Suffice to say that Okowa is an embodiment of these qualities.
How do you see the chances of PDP, considering that the Urhobo have two governorship candidates in the race?
I respect Chief Great Ogboru of Labour Party (LP) and Chief Otega Emerhor of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who are both Urhobo.
However, this election is about who can govern Delta effectively at this difficult time. This is not a time for trial and error.
It is ubiquitous that Okowa is the most experienced of the candidates when it comes to governance and public service.
As stated earlier, the senator’s idea of one Delta and a government of equity will trump where a candidate comes from or division of votes along tribal lines.
It has been alleged that Chief Government Ekpemuopolo (Tompolo) single-handedly nominated Mr. Kingsley Otuaro as Okowa’s running mate, thereby creating the impression that an Okowa administration would be under his grip. What is your reaction to this?
The question people should be asking is if Otuaro is qualified to be deputy governor.
Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that the deputy governor, like the governor, must be a citizen by birth, must have attained the age of 35 years old, is a member of a political party and has been educated to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.
It is clear from the above requirements that Otuaro is qualified to be deputy governor of a state.
Okowa has the right to pick whom he deemed fit to be his running mate. He has stated that after due consultation with stakeholders in the state, including Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark and other respected elders, he decided on Otuaro.
He has also stated that Otuaro went through rigorous screening. It should be noted that Otuaro has held several government appointments and worked with the senator in crisis management and inter-communal relations.