Governor Okowa’s Bloated Administration, and others Featured

Monday, 18 April 2016 00:00 Written by  Published in Niger Delta Watch Read 948 times

Okowa: Delta state governor
Okowa: Delta state governor

The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is giving the unfortunate impression that effective governance is measured by the number of political aides he flaunts around.

According to social media reports, the aides of the governor aside commissioners are in the neighbourhood of one thousand and four hundred. Only the media aides of the governor are twenty-four. When contacted on the issue, the State Commissioner for Information Patrick Ukah said that the aides were not the figures bandied about in the social media but he would not be drawn to mention the exact number.

Yet this is a government that prides itself in lean administration and managing the resources so as to bring prosperity to all Deltans. Apart from the unexplainable number of political aides without clear cut job description, there are too many agencies of government with the same functions. There is the Direct Labour Agency meant for construction of roads even though the DLA Road where the agency headquarters is domiciled is the best advertisement of the incompetence and inefficiency of the agency.

There is the Ministry of Urban Renewal and the Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, and you just hang your head in worry how the scarce resources of the state are used to oil the ego of political appointees. The Okowa administration has the best blueprint to leapfrog the state to the laps of development and progress. But if the present emphasis on appointing many political aides continues, the government would go down in history as one plagued with much baggage under the veneer of political appointment and settlement.

Oshiomhole’s Doubtful Legacies

Comrade Adam Oshiomhole rode to power on the crest of popularity as a firebrand labour leader. The Edo people voted for him believing that he would do things differently from former governors. The man did not disappoint as lot of social infrastructures dot the skyline of the state.

But some of his people were shocked by the way he treated a petty traders. His public relations efforts could not wash away that moment of indiscretion and infamy. As the governor looks towards his November exit date, two unfortunate legacies shall continue to dog his numerous achievements. One is the callous way he handled the affairs of The Observer newspaper, one of the first newspapers in the country. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, The Observer was the toast of Nigerian journalism as most prominent journalists cut their teeth in that stable.

Today the newspaper is a ghost of its former self as the paper does not even circulate in all parts of Benin City. Time was when Oshiomhole flirted with the idea of handing over the newspaper to Senator Bola Tinubu as part of political patronage by the outsourcing of the paper to The Nation newspaper, owned by Tinubu. The Edo people stood against it. Furthermore, Oshiomhole is in a titanic political battle to impose Godwin Obaseki as the next governor. Political watchers are quaking with emotions that should Obaseki win the governorship race, it would amount to selling the destiny of the state to Aliko Dangotte, Africa`s richest man, who is Obaseki’s mentor.

Wike’s Controversial Victory

Governor Nyesom Wike is a man at home with controversies and it would not be out of place to say that his middle name is controversy.

Since the Supreme Court declaration that Wike was validly elected by the people of Rivers State, the man has developed over bloated image and ego of himself. No day passes without the governor making one controversial statement about the former governor of the state and the incumbent Transport Minister, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi. Many Nigerians are really surprised at the verdict of the Supreme Court despite the reports of the various elections monitors that the election which consumed a lot of lives was fraught with irregularities. The Chief Justice of the country has said that those criticizing the court judgment were ignorant of the law. 

Now that Wike has won at the Supreme Court and not at the court of public opinion, it would do the governor a world of good to practice the virtue of sealed lips and concentrate on transparent and accountable governance. He was not ‘elected’ to be throwing insults at the former governor. If he is so incensed with the performances of Amaechi, he should take the former governor to court or submit his findings to EFCC for proper investigation and prosecution. The unfortunate trademark of most of our leaders is to concentrate on the misdeeds of past leaders without mapping out strategies to confront the many problems that governance throws at them.

Last modified on Monday, 18 April 2016 12:44
Ajalakpo Oweh

Ajalakpo Oweh, is a seasoned journalist who writes in from Delta state. He covers the southern sub-region of Nigeria for the magazine.