By Chiazor Norbert
The final moments of Okowa’s governorship, had frozen deep in my subconscious. I met him mid May, days to his departure after eighth-year rule. That encounter was the umpteenth time, since 1999 when journalism took me to Okowa.
But then this particular liaison at his power apogee, opened a window that fed my eyes and mind with emotive entrapment. I came with a measured psyche of farewell, moderated by the stiffness and solemn ambience of a governor’s innermost chambers.
But the human element of my host was nowhere near the humidifying habitat of his high office. Okowa sat resplendent as his smiles and sighs evaporated warmer airs to my face.
In speech and station, not once did he lose his reflective stereotype. Yet, he communicated matters of interest during our interaction with robust aplomb. As we make banters, his glistening gaze to my fixated eye contacts, showed a man at ease with his worries and world.
Who would not feel sanguine, whether in or out of office if your name is Okowa? Today Okowa is age 64 and more. He came out of our past to shape our future. He stirred the waters wild and left rolling ripples. He took Delta by storm in 2015. From local government chairman,Commissioner, Secretary to Government to Senator,he wrote history indelibly and walked home as the first Delta governor of Anioma origin. He dismantled the iron curtain 24 years since the 1991 state creation, banishing hegemony and enthroning power inclusion forever in complex Delta.
Why won’t Okowa trend? An architect of splendour, he built the biggest civil service state secretariat in Africa’s most populous nation, made Delta the Nollywood capital with a wondrous film park, put the largest floating market in the creeks of the Niger Delta and earned an enviable title “ road master”. A bookish governor who qualified as a medical doctor at 22, established three state universities and chains of model secondary schools. A destiny helper who empowered thousands of youths and multitudes of appointees towards self discovery and succour.
Why won’t Okowa trend? He handed over, happy. Sheriff Oborevwori is in Government House. Not to cover Okowa ‘s back but to continue his best. Perish every propaganda. Guard off all guile. Suspend your disbelief. Stay clear headed. Heed the honest truth. Follow the facts. The old governor left legacies. A new Sheriff is in town to count MORE.
Why won’t Okowa trend? His gubernatorial ascendancy united Anioma, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw and Isoko. He gave Delta her biggest need – peace. Power with potency. The destiny of one man, our collective pride. Our common patrimony.
Why won’t Okowa trend? The man called Ekwueme is a vulnerable mortal but history would be fair to him. Osondi -Owendi” Osita Osadebe once sang. Okowa has nothing to fear or fight. Drums of discontent may sound, real or rented but the symphonies of his story as governor have the superior resonance to outplay and puncture the loudest of malevolent membranes. The beauty of “Ijele”, Africa’s masquerade of grandeur can never be debased with the dirtiest of mud. Okowa is a glorious dancer on life’s stage.
At 64, his exploits are colossal.A character to copy.
- Chiazor is a veteran journalist/Media leader.