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The Oborevwori's 88 'Wise Men' ~ Truth Reporters


THE task of getting more done for Deltans in the next four years, in the first instance, is certainly not going to be a tea-party. This was made obvious on Tuesday in Asaba, Delta State when the Governor-elect of the State and Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, inaugurated an 88-man team to prepare a template which will serve as a guide to his upcoming administration.

Rt. Hon. Oborevwori is emerging as the fourth elected governor of Delta State since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999. Chief James Ibori, who hails from Delta Central, was Governor of the oil and gas-rich state from 1999 to 2007, handing the baton of leadership over to Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta South) who piloted the affairs of the state between 2007 and 2015. And then, to the incumbent, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta North) who is set to hand over the governorship baton to Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta Central) on May 29, 2023.

As someone who officially covered activities in Government House Asaba, Delta State, from time to time during the military era and almost emerged as the longest serving reporter in Government House, that is, from 2003 to 2021 when Governor Okowa retained me in Government House, not as a reporter but as his Special Assistant on Media, one can comfortably think aloud: What will the Oborevwori administration do differently in the state? What will the 88-man team produce as the template or compass for his administration?

Expectations are very high indeed. There is no doubt about that bearing in mind that his inauguration as Governor on May 29, 2023 will bring about the beginning of another cycle in the power rotation programme of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State.

Having gone through his curriculum vitae (CV) carefully, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori does not seem like a man who would be carried away by POWER. So, I reckon that he would be realistic, avoid praise singers and boot-lickers and face squarely the serious business of making Delta State a place that all Deltans will be proud of.

What his predecessors did in the state are well-documented while some of their decisions were regretted after they left office. Some of their actions while in office have greatly given a boost to Delta State as we have it today.

Governor Okowa administration, for instance, has received a lot of accolade for positioning the state firmly for future challenges. The transformation of Asaba as a befitting capital city of an oil-rich state, no doubt, has encouraged a lot of investors to come into the state and this is one area Rt. Hon. Oborevwori's government will have to concentrate on. Asaba is the mirror with which first-time visitors assess the State.

Delta State is bigger than a lot of countries; the state is also richer than most countries of the world if we are to critically look at the rich human and material resources that abound in the state. So, will the Oborevwori administration ensure that the atate is MORE safe for business? Security is very critical. This is because, with security, no one may bother to know where the other person is from, all that will matter is doing genuine business and earning good money. In most developed countries, no one cares about where you are from, what matters to them is what have you to offer.

That Delta State is blessed is an understatement. With two functional airports, four seaports in Burutu, Warri, Koko and Warri that are untapped, good road network that will inter-connect all the communities and open up new areas for development, improved electricity supply, development of the River Niger bank from Illah to Patani and many more, the people of the state will be so busy engaging in positive activities. The Governor would be practically beaming with smiles and singing praises to God.

Governor Okowa is a man known for due process, and as promised by Rt. Hon. Oborevwori, whle his administration will introduce a lot of things to ensure that Deltans get what they deserved, in terms of good governance, a lot of programmes that were initiated by the Okowa administration would be improved on and sustained by his administration.

That fateful Tuesday that the incoming Governor inaugurated his transition committee, yours sincerely was at the residence of the Deputy Governor-elect of the State, Chief, Sir Monday Onyeme, and going by the retinue of experts in different sectors who were seen at his residence that morning, before we moved to the Unity Hall in Government House for the ceremony, Deltans are not just expecting MORE from the Oborevwori administration, they are also, ready to give MORE believing that the MORE that they give, the MORE Government succeeds and when the government succeeds in delivering the goods of democracy, the joy of the people will know no bounds. Perhaps, the Holy Bible sums this up in the book of Proverbs Chapter 29 Verse 2 that "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice."

Sir Onyeme is a renowned technocrat whose activities cut across the academia, agro-allied business, hospitality industry, philanthropic organisations, name them. And, he has also demonstrated that he is grounded in politics, spreading his political tentacles across the state and beyond. His verve has given Deltans a lot of confidence that they are about to have a Governor and Deputy who will work harmoniously to deliver MORE dividends of democracy for them.

A look at the composition of the transition committee gives credence to the fact that Rt. Hon. Oborevwori is in haste to hit the ground running. This is because although the Governor-elect has a mindset of what his administration wants to do to uplift the state, which of course propelled him to contest for the position, he gathered more knowledge about what the people want during his consultative visits and the electioneering period; and, because he is a team player, the Transition Committee had become necessary to present a template which will serve as a guide to his administration as it unfolds its policies and programmes.

Erudite professors are serving on the committee as Chairman and Secretary. Prof Emmanuel Nwanze, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, and Prof Hope Eghagha, former Commissioner for Higher Education in the State and presently a lecturer at the University of Lagos, respectively.

Members of the committee are Dr. Kingsley Emu, Dr. Barry Gbe, Chief Sunday OnoiIode, Chief Tilije Fidelis, Mr. Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, Mr. Johnbul Edema, Hon. Samuel Mariere, Dr. Kingsley Ashibuogu, Engr. Goodnews Agbi, Mr. Abel Esievo, Mr. Darlington Ijeh, Prince Kelly Penawou, Mrs. Cordelia Anyangu, Hon. Joan Adanioma, Hon. Pally Eghovie, Hon. Shola Daibo, Mrs. Georgina Evah, Mrs. Christable Obiuwevbi, Philomena Ededey, Mrs. Shimitte Bello, Dr. Mrs. Evelyn Aluta, Mrs. Roseline Amioku, Hon, John Nani, Mr. Mofe Pirah, Barr. George Orogun, Mr. Ikechukwu Maduemezie, Esq., Mr. Ovie Emuakpor, Hon. Goodnews Angele, Hon. Perez Omuon, Mr. Ezekiel Okoh, Mr. Godspower Enerho, Mr. Isaac Werinmi Agbateyiniro, Mr. Donald Peterson, Mr. Eugene Uzum, Mr. Isioma Okonta, Mr. Odinigwe Daniel Odigie, Mr. Emmanuel Eyakagba, Hon. Onoriode Agofure, Mr. Augustine Ogedegbe, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Basil Ganagana, Hon. Johnson Erijo, Chief Allison Ogidigben,  Chief Favour Izoukumor, Olori Atuwatse III, Miss Orode Uduaghan, Rev. Justin C. Okoroji, Erarawewho Junior Uyero,  Okodozor Ukubokeye, Christian Onogba, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, Austine Ayemidejor, John Mutu, Prof. Ikomi Robert, Hon. Pascal Adigwe, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Okoro, John Ashima, Apostle Dr. Okonye Cyril Ifechukwude, Rev. Gideon Ogheneruemu Oyibo, Hon. Solomon Ighrakpata, Hon. (Chief) Ferguson Onwo, Hon. Engr. Emeka Nwaobi, FNSE,  Barr. Mrs. Lyna Aliya Ocholor, Comr. Goodluck Ofobruku, Comr. Osanakpa Augustine, Amb. Caroline Orobosa Usikpedo, Sonny Ekedaye, Barr. Chris Ifeanyi Osakwe, Barr. Possible Solomon Ajede, Efe Tobor Josiah, Eze Henry Ekene, Emeka Umerah Bidokwu, Prof. Festus Arunaye, Barr. Stella Anetor, Hon. Princess Pat. Ajudua (Ph.D.), Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri, Rt. Hon. Festus Agas, Dr. Akpoveta Isaac, Hon. Emmanuel Ighomena, Hon. Ben Igbakpa, Mideno Bayagbon, Barr. Andrew Orugbo, Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ekabor, Barr. Val Arenyeka, Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, and Chief Owin Erirhomuru.

Inaugurating the committee, Rt. Hon. Oborevwori said, "The formal inauguration of the Transition Committee heralds our journey to the commencement of a new administration come May 29, 2023. Once again, permit me to express my profound gratitude to the good people of Delta State for their vote of faith and confidence in me and the Peoples Democratic Party. 

"It is incumbent on us to reciprocate this mandate by midwifing a smooth transition process that will enable the next Government to hit the ground running. Naturally, the expectations of the people are high given the overwhelming support that we received, winning in 21 out of the 25 Local Government Areas. For emphasis, this is a mandate for consolidation and growth, for investment and economic reform, and for making the youth the centrepiece of our policies and programmes. Clearly, our people believe in our M.O.R.E Agenda, which is designed to advance the State in all aspects of infrastructural and human capital development, as well as economic well-being.

"The men and women that have been appointed into this Transition Committee possess the requisite knowledge, wisdom, capacity, and experience, essential for the assignment. They have been part of this journey, and understand that the incoming administration needs to start on a sure footing. Their task is to put in place the necessary structures and means that will enable the incoming administration to effectively implement its policies and programmes from day one. 

"Arising from our interactions with the people of the State during our electioneering campaigns, and building on the solid foundations that have been laid by the current administration, it is necessary that we put in place a transition process that will provide strategic direction for the next administration. 

"Towards this end, the Committee is to submit presentations in the following thematic areas:







 "Suffice it to say that the Committee is expected to set short, medium, and long terms targets for the administration and accommodate any other critical sector that may have been left out as it relates to the M.O.R.E agenda.

"At this juncture, permit me to, once again, appreciate His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, a man with exceptional leadership qualities for his wisdom and counsel. Thank you, sir, for always pointing us in the right direction. 

"To the Committee, I expect you to complete and submit your work within the next 21 days. I eagerly look forward to your recommendations for the successful take-off of the next administration. "With God's grace and enablement, we shall do MORE to ADVANCE Delta State."

The days ahead certainly promise to be interesting, but what the people are desirous of is good governance, which they generally believe that Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and Sir Monday Onyeme will deliver.

While we congratulate the Chairman and members of the transition committee for their successful inauguration, it is a thing of joy to note that they are aware of the urgency in the task they have been given, bearing in mind that they have 21 days to submit their report. Understandably, immediately after their inauguration, they had their first sitting at the same venue.

As Deltans, we should keep our fingers crossed, be prayerful, and maintain a strong belief that God will always use men of goodwill to make Delta State one to be reckoned with in Nigeria regarding all-round development.

Congratulations Deltans! 

Egugbo, the writer, is the Special Assistant, Media, to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

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