By Patrick Ochei
The member representing Ika North-East Constituency in Delta State House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Emeka Anthony Elekeokwuri has tipped the Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori to emerge as the next Governor of Delta State, affirming he is qualified to step into Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s shoes.
He made this assertion while playing host to members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State Council 2022 Press Week Committee who had visited to intimate him of their plans towards working with him to achieve a milestone in hosting a successful Press Week where credible and deserving Deltans would be honoured.
The Honourable Member had used the platform of the visit to give an indepth background on the workings of the Legislature in the State, vis-a-vis their working synergy with the Executive Arm of Government that had given the State the needed mileage in achieving enormous growth and development of the various sectors of the State economy.
Elekeokwuri who described Okowa as a great achiever and performer in virtually all the sectors of Delta society, insisted that anybody who must succeed him must have a grasp of the understanding of the complexity of the State as well as being adequately equipped to manage it to success.
Without mincing words, he tipped the Speaker of the State, Oborevwori as best qualified and possessing of the character and credentials to step into the shoes of Governor Okowa to govern the State after him.
He gave his reasons to the effect that apart from efficiently leading the 28 other lawmakers of the State who are representatives of their various Constituencies, Oborevwori had effectively succeeded in becoming the longest serving Speaker in the history of the State.
He averred that not even the most powerful of Speakers in the past could boast of three years as heads of the parliament in the State, but here is a man in Oborevwori’s stature succeeding almost six years as a sitting Speaker.
Elekeokwuri affirmed that such virtue could only be ascribed to an astute administrator and a focused leader with the best understanding of synergy and cordiality of purpose.
His words, “We make laws for peace, order and good governance; others are oversight functions. As the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, I can tell you authoritatively that I have done a lot in public accounts transparency. In my close observation, the State has done monumentally well in the development of the state. And that is because, again, there is synergy and cordiality between us and the Executive. We couldn’t have asked for more when we have a Governor who understands the dynamics of the workings of the Legislature.
“It is my desire to partner with the NUJ by bringing my capacity to bear in your Press Week. The State understands the constitutional role you are playing and that is why we commend the State Government for taking up the initiative to erect your Permanent Secretariat. That building is a legacy project for this administration, and I must tell you that we followed up from the budgetary processes; and we are glad it has come to fruition.
“In your Press Week you are going to be speaking about Delta State. That is why I personally want to support your effort, because you have done well in holding Government accountable and promoting its programmes and policies to the people of the State and beyond. However, there are some of you that haven’t done well in terms of proper investigation and information management. While we will hope to see you talking about the progress that Government has made during your Press Week programme, I will like to say that we have achieved a lot in terms of good governance, human capacity development, financial transparency and accountability.
“We have at the level of the Legislature reduced waste; because when that is done, corruption will be reduced and dividends of democracy will go to the people. We have done well in building over 21 bridges across Delta State. Check out all the roads built across the riverine areas, you can’t achieve that without building bridges. The Okowa we know couldn’t have boasted with those necessary projects because other governments are doing so. Don’t forget that Delta State is not a one city State but a multiplicity of cities, where well over six cities exist in it, and you must ensure to retain their city statuses.
“I wish that the next Governor of Delta State will be able to wear the big shoe that Senator Ifeanyi Okowa will leave behind. The person definitely must be well informed about the deep nature and complexity of Delta State.
“Of course, that is why I am rooting for Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori having witnessed how he has successfully managed 28 members from across the State. He has all it takes to lead Delta progressively and better managed from the point Okowa is going to leave it. This is not the time to begin to play clannish politics, we should be interested in where Delta State is heading from here. Mr. Speaker has the capacity, the character and acumen to administer the State, the same way he has successfully been administering the 29 Constituencies of the State”, Elekeokwuri posited.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of NUJ Delta State Council, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu had told Elekeokwuri that the Committee members were in his office to brief him about the forthcoming NUJ Press Week.
While hinting him that the union would use the platform to celebrate and honour credible Deltans for their contributions to societal development since the inception of Delta State, he assured him that the Legislature would be carried along when deciding who merits the honour.
Ikeogwu said the Legislature had performed creditably well in contributing to the peace and good governance Deltans are enjoying and, therefore deserves a mention and honour during the Press Week in November 2022.