PERSPECTIVE – Sheriff as Governor: When grace embraces grit

PERSPECTIVE – Sheriff as Governor: When grace embraces grit


By Norbert Chiazor

Hardwork is good but graceful destiny enchants better,like Christmas- delightfully giddy and glorious.

Grit served Sheriff Oborevwori right but grace saved him.Advantage is better than activity. Blessing, sweeter than diligence.The vigor of human muscle could be emboldening, yet cosmic vision outshines the bravest.

Born June 19,1963, the longest- serving speaker of Delta state House of Assembly would be governor, beginning from May 29, 2023.

Among personalities in a crowded room of Delta politics, only one man got a seat to government House. Luck of dream. Lesson of favour. Spectacle of Sheriff, the fortune star of Delta.

He faced obstacles. He fought battles.
He flew on low and high dangers. Fazed to the valleys and mountains. Challenged from all fronts. But fired his fears. Not by power but providence. His steps were marked for conquest but mercy said no. Standing his foot on firmer podium of life vicissitudes.

Sheriff, poised to become the fifth civilian governor since creation of Delta, would join the exclusive pantheon of first leaders- Chief Felix Ovoudoroye Ibru (late) Chief James Onanefe Ibori, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan and Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.

Largely self motivated, Sheriff is a product of fortitude chiseled by divine design. He embraced education with humble determination and attended Alegbo Primary school Effurun, Oghareki Grammar school, Oghereki, rising to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Ambrose Alli university, Ekpoma and masters, Delta State University, Abraka.

He would make great efforts to learn more, acquiring certificates in courses relating to leadership,
management, legislative competence, personal effectiveness and communication impact. This took him to Manchester Business school, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Cambridge, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta and International Law Institute , Washington.

His labour of love for knowledge search earned him Fellow of Nigerian Institute of Management and Institute of Chartered Mediations and Conciliators.

A relentless seeker of adventure, he prepared his path as future leader, aided by favour which seemed to underpin his entire life from the cradle. Sheriff was the pioneer chairman of Osubi community, (1996- 2003), supervisory councillor for Works,Okpe – 1996, Special Assistant on youth development to Governor James Ibori ( 2003- 2006), special adviser on land security to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, ( 2007-2010) and state coordinator to the Amnesty programme,(2009- 2010). In 2015 he moved to the hallowed chambers, rising as member Delta House of Assembly.

The offerings of Sheriff as law maker are bountiful, heavy in history. He is the longest- sitting speaker since 2017 and first member of DTHA to serve from one Assembly to another.

Under his guard, over eighty bills were passed into law, inspiring vibrancy as hallmark of the legislature.

But by far his best legacy is the stability he brought to the House with the executive arm, under the Okowa administration as the greatest beneficiary. If the Okowa regime prides itself ( fairly so ) as a success story in social development and human empowerment, the Oborevwori stabilizing tendency made the journey smooth. Never before had a state legislature been so passionate in engagement with the executive, for common good of the people. Only a man with wise accommodating characteristics would have exercised such duties , mobilizing his colleagues with selfless patriotism, devoid of the familiar hostilities between the two frontline arms of government. Peace not punch is the standard definition of separation of powers. A good speaker derives his voice from amiable tone and tact not violent fumes and fights with the executive pair. Wisdom is higher than war. Head or tail, Sheriff has paid his dues.

That he was trusted to serve as treasurer, Conference of Speakers’ of state Legislatures of Nigeria and subsequently, Deputy chairman, bears out his honour, beyond the boundaries of Delta.

Every man has his foes, but Sheriff’s friends are mammoth, gained in most quarters across Delta by his simple humble steps.

A new Sheriff with newer gait has come to lead.

The mood in Delta- buoyant and happy is a foretaste of what is to come under Sheriff governorship.

The solid baton of progress from the suave leader Okowa, is safe in the hands of a receptive successor, on good terms with the high and low in the society.

As governor, Sheriff will do MORE!

* Chiazor is a veteran Journalist/ Communication Researcher.

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