Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Over 60 recognised traditional rulers under the aegis of Delta North Traditional Rulers Forum (DNTF) have passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and expressed their support for his 2019 second term bid.
The meeting of the royal fathers, held recently at the Palace of the Obi of Owa, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, came on the heels of a similar endorsement of Okowa by the ‘Delta PDP Mandate’.
The Delta PDP Mandate, at an earlier rally in Warri, declared Okowa as “sole governorship candidate” of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019, stressing that aside his achievements so far as Governor, the unwritten power rotation principle operational in the state since 1999 clearly favoured him.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa has said he was both humbled and excited the vote of confidence by the traditional rulers from his own senatorial district, saying this would encourage him to continue to solicit for peaceful coexistence among royal fathers in the central and south districts as peace remained the bedrock of his government.
Addressing the gathering at Owa-Oyibu, the governor attributed the success stories of his administration to the peaceful disposition of traditional rulers that has engendered an enabling environment for governance, saying no meaningful development could take place in an atmosphere of rancour.
Okowa said, “I sincerely, appreciate you (the traditional rulers) for the vote of confidence passed on me. If vote of confidence comes from those who own the land, we must appreciate it; and, most importantly, I thank the traditional rulers for providing the enabling environment for my government to execute its programmes. A lot is being done and more will still be done. We will achieve more as a united people. As a government, we will try as much as possible to remain focused and my respect for the traditional rulers will never wane.
“This is an important meeting and I am very excited with the level of activities of our traditional rulers. When we share ideas, we are better positioned in our commitment to give our people the best.
“If the traditional rulers fail to cooperate with the government, that government is bound to have crises. We have had town hall meetings where we discussed issues affecting us, we shall continue with local government areas we are yet to visit from next week.
“Delta North (district) has been largely peaceful, the peace in the area is very important for me because, when Delta North remains peaceful, I will find it easier to preach peace in other senatorial districts.”
The governor urged the traditional rulers to report any unhealthy situation involving herdsmen to the Divisional Police Officers in their areas and ensure they live in peace while awaiting the Federal Government to proffer solutions to the problem.
He also called on the traditional rulers to set up vigilante groups in their kingdoms and ensure such are registered with the police, stating that there must be collaborative efforts to check crime and criminal activities in the state.
The traditional rulers had in an address read by the Ogene of Ibedeni, HRM Jonathan Kanegede I, said, “We are not surprised that your massive people-oriented programmes are being recorded and appreciated by many through numerous awards; and, since you are not tired in seeking the people’s well-being and progress, we unequivocally pass a vote of confidence on you, Governor Okowa and your administration.
“We, the Royal Fathers, the 63 traditional rulers representing the various groups in Delta North, on behalf of our chiefs and the entire people, are happy with your famous SMART agenda, the massive road construction across the state, Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme, Skill Training Entrepreneurship Programme, and many others too numerous to mention.”
Speaking, Head, Collective Leadership, Onu Ika Nigeria, Mr. Daniel Usifoh, called for consistent enlightenment campaign to discourage youths from harvesting organs, selling their organs or illegally moving to other countries in their quest for quick wealth.
Obi Efeizomor II, who is the chairman of the state council of traditional rulers, had in a brief speech thanked the governor for attending the meeting which provided a platform for the traditional rulers to express their views about his government.
In a related development, former works commissioner and currently Chairman, Governing Council of Delta State Polytechnic Ozoro, Mr. Solomon Funkekeme, moved the motion to endorse Okowa towards 2019, and it was seconded by the Delta Central Coordinator of Delta PDP Mandate, Chief Arthur Akpowowo.
The National President of PDP Delta Mandate, Chief Isaac Anwuzia, who described the association as a strong voice in the political equation of the state considering the array of seasoned politicians the group is made up of, stated that Governor Okowa has been endorsed for second term by the association.
The Delta South Coordinator of the group, Mr. Amar Agbajor, the Delta North Coordinator of the group, Hon. Moses Iduh, the Delta South district PDP chairman, Chief Emmanuel Amgbaduba, and its National Director of Publicity, Mr Patrick Ukah, all dwelt on the eligibility of the incumbent as the best material for the governorship in 2019.
Ukah, who is also Delta State Commissioner for Information, stressed the need for all adults living in the state who were yet obtain their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) to “go to the nearest Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office or centre and register to be qualified to vote for Governor Okowa in 2019.”