Okowa defers chieftaincy honour, frowns at oil firms not fulfilling obligation to host communities  

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has promised to intervene by looking into reports of oil companies that are not observing the local content stipulations in their relationship with host communities.

Also today, the Governor pleaded to be allowed to keep to his principle of not accepting chieftaincy titles while still serving as governor, as he deferred the conferment of the title of Aruakpor 1, of Oleh and Isokoland conferred on him by the His Royal Majesty, Anthony Williams Onovugha Omogha Iof Oleh Kingdom.

The governor made the promise intervene today, 9th May, 2017 in response to the complaint of His Royal majesty Anthony Ogbogbor, the Ozo Idudu of Ozoro in his palace when the Governor paid him a courtesy call as his begins the flag off of inspection and commissioning of projects, and town hall meetings in commemoration of his administration’s second year in office.

The Ozo Idudu of Ozoro had reported to Governor Okowa that the oil company operating OML 26 was flouting the local content stipulations by not first giving consideration to indigenes of the host community, pointing out that the expectation is that firms operating in places must consider members of the host communities first in matters of employment opportunities, and other issues. The monarch urged the governor to advise the offending companies to do the right thing in the interest of peace.

Governor Okowa promised to look into the matter, pointing out that he would not take kindly to any company that is not responsive to its responsibility to the host communities.

At the palace of the Omogha of Oleh Kingdom, HRM Anthony Williams Onovugha, the monarch who clocks 80 years this month, 23 years of which he has been king, the monarch who said he admired Governor Okowa as a son, and appreciated his commitment to Oleh Kingdom and the entire Isoko land said he was honouring him with the conferment of the title of Aruakpor 1 of Oleh and Isoko land on him.

But Governor Okowa thanked the Royal majesty for the honour but declined to be immediately conferred with the title. He explained that he took the action as a matter of policy that for the period that he would be Governor, he would not receive any chieftaincy title. “Your Royal Majesty, I apologise for what has just happened. I have made a principle not to receive any chieftaincy title until after I have finished my tenure. I am not rejecting this title, because no son will reject a gift from his father; I have only deferred its conferment on me till I have concluded my tenure as governor, when I would return to formally receive the chieftaincy award,” Governor Okowa said.

He thanked the people of both Ozoro and Oleh and their respective local governments for keeping the peace in their communities. He subsequently inspected, commissioned road projects in the two local governments, even as he reminded the people of the two local governments about the finals of the on-going states’s sports festival that will hold at the Ozoro Polytechnic.

While inviting the people, he urge them to see to it that they came out enmasse to be part of the sports fiesta.

Meanwhile, the governor has urged Nigerians to go for regular health check to enable them identify early signs of health issues.
The Governor made the call also today (09/05/17) while flagging off free eye screening, tests, glasses and surgery at Ozoro, Isoko North local government area of the state.  The ceremony was the second phase of its kind sponsored by the administration of Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor as the Chairman, Isoko North local government council.
According to the Governor, “this screening exercise is a wake up call for a genuine need for us to go for health check regularly.Most people die gradually because they don’t see the need to go for health check,” the Governor said, pointing out that local government councils in the state should emulate what was done in Isoko North by partnering with stakeholders to improve on the health status of their indigenes.
He said, “I believe that with partnership with the right people, we can do more.” He congratulated Egbabor for what he was doing, and the Consultant Ophtamologist, Dr. Ernest Ogbedo, and the NGO, Restore Sight Initiative who partnered with the Isoko North Local Governor for the programme.
Earlier in an address, the Chairman of the Council, Hon. Egbabor stated, “this second phase of the exercise is coming on the heels of the successes recorded in the first phase in August 2015, which saw a 17-year old blind girl regaining her sight after undergoing free eye surgery at the centre,”
While disclosing that a philanthropist contributed N1.5 million for the exercise which was being handled by a team of qualified specialists, Hon. Egbabor said, “in the first phase of the exercise, over 1, 500 persons were screened and treated for various eye related issues while about 75 persons were operated upon and over 750 glasses were issued. We embarked on this programme because, despite the recession, if the people can have their sight, they can fend for themselves, thereby reducing the hunger in the land and increase productivity.”
The council Chairman used the occasion to reel out some of the achievements of his administration which includes rehabilitation of roads, establishment of a mechanic village, among others.

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