Okowa exemplifies character, temperament required of leaders – Obi

By Valentine Amanze

The Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, has commended the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, for his determination to make a difference via exemplification of character and integrity, which he described as a desiderata in governance in Nigeria.

Obi made the commendation during his presentation at the Strategic Executive Retreat 2019, organised by Delta State government for its Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Parastatals and other senior government officials at the Emmanuel Uduaghan Centre, Onicha Ugbo.
On the theme of the retreat, “Defining Pathways to Building a stronger Delta”, Obi said that as far as governance was concerned in the state, that Okowa was the driver of the Delta developmental bus and that the task of others was to contribute and assist him to ensure that the bus gets to its destination.
“In assisting him, your task is to internalize and embibe the vision and mission of the government to ensure common purpose - the good of the state,” he said.
Obi also pointed out that all was not well in the country and advised Deltans and other states to look inwards and avoid the Nigerian condition.
His words: “To show you how bad things are in our dear country, all the countries that were in similar economic situation with us in the eighties have all overtaken us.”
The Anambra State former governor thanked Okowa for remaining focused and reminded him that the only way Nigerian could come out of its present mess was by its leaders investing massively in education, which would eventually launch it into the league of knowledge-driven economies and support for Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) to creat jobs.
Obi said: “In 2000, only one or two knowledge-based companies, Microsoft and IBM, were among the top 10 biggest corporations in the world. Today, in 2019, among 10 biggest corporations in the world, about eight are knowledge-based corporations. One of them, Facebook, founded 20 years ago, has a market valuation bigger than the GDP of all West African countries put together.
“In 2018, Nigeria’s total earning from oil which was shared among all tiers of government was $18.12 billion, which was about 32% of Facebook annual revenue of $55 billion in 2018.”
Obi said that those examples explained how the world economy was driven by knowledge and urged the government to pay attention to education.

He, however, commended Okowa for his excellent performance in his first term and reminded him that he would be judged by his second term records. “Nobody remembers Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier of the West, Dr. Michael OKpala as the Premier of the East and Sir Ahmadu Bello as the Premier of the North. They are now are remembered for their exploits in education, support to business, encouragement and support to agriculture.”
Obi also urged Okowa to strengthen his good governance performance committee in his second tenure for clear quarterly evaluation of the activities of the ministries and other government departments to make sure that everybody was on track for continued delivery of democracy dividends to the people.
Describing Okowa as one of the pillars of the PDP in Nigeria, Obi said that his governance model was worthy of emulation, including his support for schools and his various empowerment programmes.
Governor Okowa had thanked Obi for coming. He said that the retreat was targeted at re-engineering the EXCO for sustained service to the people of Delta State.
In his vote of thanks, the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Chiedu Ebie, described
Okowa and Obi as birds of the same feather in terms of showing character and integrity in governance.
He said that they invited him as a model of governance to share experiences with him.

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