Patrick Ukah: Team builder, player



By Onyiye Olomu

No doubt, the business of governance is one that no man ever succeeds achieving it all alone. This may be one reason Chief Executives endeavour to build formidable teams made up of not just technocrats or experts but of those who can function maximally within the framework of teams.

In Delta State, no matter the misgivings of critics concerning the assemblage of Governor Okowa’s cabinet, not many can fault him that he deliberately did not set out to attain maximum teamwork and relevant expertise by his choice of appointees. So far, the synergy and collaboration between and among Commissioners and other appointees have been quite remarkable.

Among many others, one appointee that has shown an incurable knack for team leadership and play is the Hon Commissioner of Information, Patrick Ukah.# Hon Patrick Ukah is no doubt a man of many variegated but interrelated parts. Whatever parameters are utilized in assessing him, the man is sure to be adjudged as having done quite above average.

A look at the achievements recorded so far under him in the Ministry of Information show that apart from having achieved the digitilization of the Delta Broadcasting Stations ( both in Asaba and Warri), replacement / repairs of major equipment like staff and public enlightenment buses,equipping and re-branding of the Pointer Newspaper for widespread coverage in the nation etc.,the Commissioner has constantly ensured through his charismatic leadership style,the training, retraining and equipping of staff in the Ministry for enhanced output or efficiency( some of these achievements can be found on the website of the Delta State Ministry of Information and different social media platforms).

Remarkably too, the penchant of Hon Ukah for teamwork and effectual collaboration is now known to transcend the boundaries of the State.

In October 2016,the National Council on Information held its Meeting in Asaba. At the event, not only did the Hon Commissioner brilliantly showcase the SMART Agenda of the State Government, receive commendations from colleagues for his doggedness,wit and resilience in attracting the much-sought- after event to the State,even the Vice President, Prof. Osibanjo and the Hon Minister of Information, Lai Muhammed were effusive in their praise and commendations for him.

This is perhaps worthy of note when considered against the backdrop that Federal Government functionaries like Lai Muhammed are very frugal with any form of commendation for persons in the opposition Party.

Back home,the Hon Commissioner recently spearheaded the hosting of the widely celebrated Press Briefings by Commissioners which were aimed at outlining and explaining official and Ministerial activities, achievements,policies and programmes for the knowledge and assessment of Deltans and the general public.

A peep into the motivation of Hon Ukah for organizing this novel exercise shows that the man believes that not only is it necessary for Government officials to be accountable to the electorate, but that officials can only achieve much more when they engage in mutual and collaborative exchange of ideas among themselves.

For Hon Ukah,there is really no need for petty jealousy and rivalry among colleagues. Envy to him,is unnecessary; afterall, are all personal and corporate achievements of Government officials not targeted at the overall betterment of Deltans in the final analysis?

Lastly,Hon Ukah is one man very conversant with new trends in the media environment. As shown by events and occurrences,no longer do the traditional modes of communication( television and radio) serve as the predominant channels of information dissemination. Nowadays,the Social media( Facebook, Twitter, Istagram,etc) has in most cases become one that either complements or replaces them as means of effectively disseminating information on the activities of Government.

Hence, the Hon Commissioner has equally endeavored to show himself both savvy,collaborative and engaging by ensuring that almost all activities of Government are hoisted on popular social media platforms for enhanced benefits of Deltans.

Furthermore, in demonstrating his team spirit,the Commissioner recently hosted the inaugural Exco of the Delta Online Practitioners’ Forum ( DOPF) which is a Body comprising reputable soft and hard online publishers( bloggers and Facebookers not inclusive) who hail from the State.

Among other notable highlights of his speech, one worth mentioning here is the avowed desire of the Hon Commissioner to mutually work with them particularly for the widespread promotion and publicizing of the SMART Agenda.

Not known for self-centeredness,the Commissioner assured them that their relationship with Government will remain cordial, empowering and beneficial so long as they remain within the bounds of acceptable professional ethics and practice.

In all,what this actually portends is that the Commissioner wholeheartedly accepts that the business of Information dissemination is never a one man show. He understands that it is always richer, better and far-reaching when all skilled hands are on deck in attaining it.

Yes, for Hon Patrick Ukah,this saying will always ring true : two or more good heads are better than one.

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