The Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa and one of his predecessors, Chief James Ibori, said the interest of the state should at all times supersede any individual’s ambition.
They spoke on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at a reception organized in their honour by the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers (DSCTR) in Asaba.
Okowa described the day as “wonderful and marvelous in my sight’’, saying, “I thank the traditional rulers council for the honour done to me and my deputy, because my deputy and I are on a joint ticket.
“No question can arise that we are honoured with our former governor, Chief James Ibori; Chief Ibori laid the foundation for the development of our state and I am very grateful for this honour done us.
“I am glad that you honoured me along with my deputy and our political leader; our peace-building efforts would not have been possible without Ibori.
“Collectively, we will continue to consolidate on our peace; by the special grace of God, we will remain focused, do those things that are right and serve our people in humility, because it is better to serve than be served.
“The strength of governance is in the people – every Deltan and non-Deltan living in the state; the more we run an inclusive government, the more successes we record.
“By the time we leave office in 2023, there will be good stories to tell, that is a firm promise from the deputy governor and I,” the governor said.
He also urged those aspiring for political positions to show love for one another, saying “we must not in any way disturb the peace in our state.
“We must approach the future with a lot of decorum; all anger and bitterness must be put aside, we must realize that as a more united people, we will succeed.
“We can only politick as friends, because it is only God that gives power; a stronger Delta is about you and I playing our collective roles for a better state to be achieved.”
On his part, Ibori said “we thank God for this occasion and thank God for our lives; after God, let me thank our governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
“I am thanking him because of his humility and the fact that he is very grounded in governance and for allowing myself and his deputy to share this platform with him today.
“I thank him because he has recognized that power indeed comes from God; he exercises his authority with a lot of caution.
“God will continue to grant him wisdom and he will never be carried away by power, because his capacity and ability to govern this state was never in doubt.
“Governor Okowa has shown to us that he has the intellect and the capacity to govern this state; God will lift him higher.
’’He advised not to distract the government, cautioning that “if your interest clashes with that of the state, Gov. Okowa will choose the interest of the state first; that is why we elected him as our governor’’.
Ibori thanked the traditional rulers for the recognition and for contributing in ensuring peace in the state by having peaceful kingdoms.
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, observed that traditional rulers in Delta were well educated and professionals, noting that the reception-cum-award event was remarkable.
He noted that traditional rulers had made a lot of contributions to the existing peace in the state which had made development possible.
In his remarks, Chairman of the traditional rulers’ council in the state, Obi Emmanuel Efeizomor II, disclosed that the ceremony was important to appreciate the roles the recipients had played in the development of the state.
He stated that Governor Okowa had done a lot in terms of providing infrastructure in all nooks and crannies of the state.
Traditional rulers from all parts of the state and personalities from different parts of the country witnessed the event.High point of the occasion was the presentation of awards to Okowa, his deputy, Burutu Otuaro and Ibori.