By Patriot Dantes Odogwu
ASABA/Nigeria: Governor Okowa may be characteristically taciturn but he is also a man who feels the pulse of beloved Deltans
In this period of our national life when other leaders ( both at the National and State levels) have been busy engaging in rhetorics which engender strife and acrimonious cohabitation among Nigerians, Gov Okowa’s Independence Anniversary Address at the Cenotaph, Asaba was nothing but one akin to water being poured on the chronically patched hearts of most Nigerians. Yes, they were words spoken in due season.
By all standards of measurement, Nigerians are going through tough times. Families are in despair and the average youths have lost all hope in the future; the mantra of ‘ Leaders of Tomorrow ‘has become to them a wishful, forlorn and forgone singsong.
Hence, that Gov Okowa has deliberately chosen to focus on job creation and youth empowerment is both a welcomed and soothing development.
I am aware that some hasty folks claim to be miffed with the Governor for not indulging in showy or varied forms of white elephant projects that temporarily bamboozle the masses. Unfortunately, these critics fail to admit too that these projects can never be adjudged as enduring legacies by dispassionate and objective analysts.
Nay, Gov Okowa is God fearing. He is not into politics or leadership for showmanship. His Excellency cannot be swayed from his resolve predicated on the belief that one of the best legacies he can leave behind is the empowerment of youths to whom the future of the nation belongs.
Actually, Gov Okowa’s intent is to empower the middle and lower classes wherein most Deltans belong. For instance, in his reckoning, when a youth gets economically empowered, the lures to acquire wealth through inordinate means like ‘419 businesses’, armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, ritualistic killings and other multiple forms of criminality will be minimized to the barest minimum.
However one other characteristic sets Gov Okowa apart. His Excellency believes in an all- round development for a robust and thriving Delta State. Perhaps, that might be one reason he ensures that available resources are spread across all the sectors and Senatorial Districts of the State.
Notably, such novel and commendable legacies have been captured succinctly in His Excellency’ s Anniversary Address and so there isn’t any need for me to recapitulate them here.
Lastly, Gov Okowa is a man conversant with the mood or times in the nation. Nigerians as earlier inferred are grossly already dissatisfied, disenchanted and inflamed by the status quo; that may account for the rapacious levels of ethnic, religious and political agitations simmering everywhere. Therefore it will be improper for any leader worth his onions to be found engaging in bullish, inflammatory, provocative or divisive statements.
No one should therefore misconstrue the appeals of Gov Okowa to all and sundry in his Address as mere platitudes of a weak leader.
If nothing is taken away from such an appeal, it is the embedded lesson that Gov Okowa as an astute and quintessential leader recognizes this one inevitable truth about right leadership: the leader is deemed successful only to the extent that his followers are willing and ready to join him in the execution of his vision and assignments. Joyfully, Gov Okowa summed it all up this way:.. ‘we should be united by our common humanity ,because we are stronger together…Together, we can make progress by our collective effort and work together towards the Delta State we should be proud to belong to’.
Indeed, what a very timely and apt appeal to beloved Deltans!
Prosperity is all we know.