Why I Chose Okowa As My Running Mate – Atiku


Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he chose Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate due to the perceived qualities of the Delta State Governor in governance and politics.

Prior to the announcement on Thursday, Atiku explained that it was a tough decision to arrive at his choice of a running mate, one which required wild consultations with various stakeholders.

Atiku said that in his consultations with party stalwarts, he made it clear that his “running mate would have the potential to succeed him at a moment’s notice, i.e a president in waiting”.

According to him, the Governor Okowas possesses the admirable attributes for the position of Vice-President and has the appropriate experiences in both the legislative and executive arms of governance.

READ ALSO: ‘PDP Needs To Return To Power’, Okowa Accepts Atiku’s VP Nomination

A photo combination of Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa.
A photo combination of Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa.

Okowa according to Atiku, is someone who will remain part of his everyday life, as they navigate the leading of a complex country such as Nigeria.

“He personifies not only the seriousness the current moment represents for our country but also the future that our young people yearn for and also deserve.

“He’s a serving governor who has demonstrated in his state and through his conduct that governance is about service to the people. I know that he will not only add excitement to our energized campaign but will also help to bring focus, discipline and stability to our government come 2023,” Atiku enunciated before announcing his running mate.

In his opinion, Okowa will help lead the PDP to victory next year not only in the presidential elections but also in the governorship and legislative elections.

Ogbe-Ijoh, Aladja Crisis: Fight No More, Okowa Tells Communities

ifeanyi-okowa-speaksThe Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has warned that the government would no longer tolerate any further outbreak of crisis among communities in Ogbe Ijoh and Aladja.

The warning was issued to put to an end to killings and maiming as well as curb the worsening security situation in the area.

Governor Okowa gave the warning during an extended Security Council meeting in Asaba that had traditional rulers and youths from Urhobo and Ijaw communities in attendance.

He said that the government was losing its patience with the perpetrators of the crisis and would not allow the crisis to degenerate into an inter-tribal war.

The meeting is coming on the heels of deteriorating security situation and the alleged beheading of people by suspected youths in the communities.

Not Ready For Peace

Reading a riot act to the warring communities, Governor Okowa said he would not hesitate to deal decisively with leaders of both communities in the outbreak of another crisis, urging them not to take the state government for granted.

He explained that the government had made frantic efforts to broker peace between the two communities which have not yielded any positive results and directed security agencies to arrest the President Generals, Women and Youth leaders if any further crisis erupts.

“We have been doing a lot to stop the crisis but it appear these our brothers are not ready for peace and are ready to drag us into an ethnic war which will not help anybody.

“We cannot close our eyes to the inherent danger in their actions.

“I have directed the security agencies that the President-General, Youth and Women leaders of the communities should continue to report weekly to the Naval Base and they should be held responsible if there is further escalation of the crisis,” the governor said.

The Governor appealed to the traditional rulers, especially those of Aladja and Ogbe-Ijaw communities, to cooperate with the government and security agencies in enthroning lasting peace, warning that appropriate actions might be taken against them if the crisis continued to escalate.

“I have not gotten enough cooperation from the traditional rulers of Ogbe Ijoh and Aladja communities and we have a lot of respect for your office, but I wish to caution that that respect would be withdrawn if we have further crisis.

“I will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against the two traditional rulers if we hear any further crisis.

“We cannot continue to act in this manner, it is time to maintain law and order in the area,” Governor Okowa said.

He further described as worrisome, security reports which indicated that the crisis was degenerating into a full scale war between the Urhobo and Ijaw ethnic nationalities and appealed to traditional rulers in the state to compliment government’s efforts at ensuring the restoration of peace as “it is difficult to maintain peace without the royal fathers”.

Delta Begins Commercial City Project In State’s Capital

Delta, Ifeanyi OkowaThe Delta State government has signed an agreement with Development Partners to kick-start the construction of the Delta Commercial City project in Asaba, the State’s capital.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa assured residents of the government’s commitment to boosting infrastructural development in the state.

Mr Okowa said that Deltans were desirous of development, and that the government would provide the enabling environment for infrastructural development to thrive.

He stressed that the Delta Commercial City would not only provide employment for the people of the state but also bring development to the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ovie Agas, signed the agreement on behalf of the state government while Moise Nassogui of D’Arcano Group and Olawole Rhodes-Vivour, Al HUDA Nigeria Limited, signed on behalf of the development partners.

Governor Okowa witnessed the signing with other members of the state Executive Council.

Stephen Keshi’s Death: Family, Delta Sports Commission, Govt React

keshiThe family of Late former Super Eagles’ player and Coach, Stephen Keshi has expressed shock over the death of the Nigerian sports legend.

At the family compound in Illah, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, the mood of the people was pensive, as one of the family members, Mr Ogbuenyi Iwediebo and Mr Rapu Onwordi said that Keshi was missed by all of them.

The family also said the funeral arrangements would soon be made known.

Reacting to the news, the Executive Chairman, Delta Sate Sports Commission, Mr Tony Okowa, eulogised Keshi, saying his contribution to the growth of football in Nigeria was unequalled.

Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has described the sudden demise of former Super Eagles Player and Coach, Stephen Keshi as tragic and a monumental loss to football in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.

The Governor in a tribute contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, extolled the leadership qualities and sterling contributions of the former Super Eagles Captain and Coach to the growth and development of football in Nigeria and Africa.

According to Governor Okowa, the sterling contributions of Mr Keshi to the development of football in Nigeria and Africa was legendary, commendable and worthy of emulation.

“Keshi is a great patriot and achiever, having led Nigeria to win the African Nations Cup twice as a player and Coach.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I commiserate with the family of the late Stephen Keshi, and the entire football loving fans in Nigeria over the demise of the late Super Eagles former Captain and Coach.

“The remarkable achievements recorded by the Nigeria Super Eagles in 1994 and 2013 were unarguably due to his indefatigable role as the Captain and Coach of the Super Eagles in those glorious years culminating in the winning of the African Nations Cup,” the Governor stated.

Okowa Commissions More Projects, Appeals To Pipeline Vandals

Pipeline Vandals, Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta StateDelta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged those who are vandalizing pipelines to sheath their swords and employ civil approaches to addressing issues.

The Governor made the call while commissioning Jeddo/Ughoton road in Okpe Local Government Area of the state as part of activities to mark his one year in office.

The Governor said that the activities of the vandals in the state has affected communities negatively.

“The pipeline vandalism that is going on is very bad for Delta State, we are suffering from pollution, our communities are affected, we are the greatest losers; our communities are impacted negatively.

“I want to appeal to our brothers who are involved in one way or the other in these vandalism to stop. We cannot destroy ourselves in order to make a point, there are more civil ways of channelling grievances which we should apply than vandalizing pipelines and endangering our people,” the Governor said.

Commissioning the road, Governor Okowa said that his attention was drawn to the deplorable state of the road by the Orodje of Okpe, His Royal Majesty Orhue I and commended the contractor for the speedy delivery of the road.

The Orodje of Okpe, Orhue I, in a brief speech, congratulated the people of Delta for having a listening governor disclosing that only a phone call made Governor Okowa construct the road which also leads to the community where the Commissioner for Works, James Augoye hails from.

“Our Governor is a listening Governor; we want to thank him, Okpe people deserve to say thank you, because only one phone call to him and this road was done,” the Orodje said,

Augoye in his speech, observed that the road was impassable as at December, 2015 when the contract for the construction of the road was awarded.

In a related development, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has directed the Ministry of Works to rehabilitate failed portions of Adeola Road, Sapele to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of the area.

The road is about 200 metres.

The Governor also inspected the on-going dualization of Amukpe/Sapele road in Sapele Local Government Area of the state, and the level of progress of work at Okuetolor/Arhagba road in Okpe Local Government Area.

Okowa Condemns Killing Of Soldiers, Civilians In Delta

Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta StateDelta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa, has condemned the recent killing of soldiers and civilians by suspected militants.

The Nigerians who were on their legitimate assignments, were murdered in a houseboat attack in Omadino, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Theatre Of War
In a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, Governor Okowa noted that the killing was a criminality carried too far, as nothing justified the taking of lives of uniformed security men who were out to protect the common property of Nigerians.

“Your activities could turn Delta State into a theatre of war and this portends great danger to the whole population aside from casting the image of the state as insecure and unfit for investment.

“We cannot as a state, afford this rascality if we hope to make progress”, he said.

The Governor recalled his earlier appeals on any aggrieved member of the society, including the Niger Delta militants to embrace dialogue.

He said the appeal led to the decision by his administration to constitute an advocacy committee which went round the creeks and oil producing communities in the last few weeks, to canvass support for a violence-free Delta as a precondition for development.

Dr. Okowa noted that no society would develop in an atmosphere of chaos and criminality, and that no government would fold its hands in the face of this high level of aggravation and utter disregard for the sanctity of human lives while he called on the state residents to help government bring the perpetrators to book.

“For the umpteenth time, I wish to call on well-meaning people of Delta State to speak up and not only condemn the activities of these militants, but also offer their best counsel and commitment towards resolving this crisis,” he said.

The Governor extended his condolence and that of the people of Delta State to the families of the victims and prayed God to grant them eternal rest while urging the security agencies to ensure that the culprits do not go free.

He also advised members of the Niger Delta Avengers to embrace dialogue as means of resolving the crisis, adding that a peaceful and secured Delta was what was needed for development to thrive.

South-South Governors To Meet With Buhari Over Security Issues

South-south governorsFive Governors of Nigeria’s south-south states plan talks with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss various security issues affecting the zone, including the menace of herdsmen.

The governors, who are members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), met on Sunday in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.

At the meeting were Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, that of Akwa Ibom, Gabriel Udom Emmanuel, Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, Bayelsa, Seriake Dickson and Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade.

They discussed security challenges posed by Fulani herdsmen and condemned the recent pipeline vandalism in the Niger delta.

Discussions were also focused on the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State and the governors resolved to reposition the party to be victorious.

At a press conference after the meeting, which took place at the Delta State Government House, Asaba, the host, Governor Okowa, said that far reaching decisions were made.

He said: “We discussed issues concerning our great party, the PDP. You will recall that our convention has been fixed to hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on May 21 and we are putting plans in place for that convention.”

“The Chairman of the committee for the convention is Governor Wike of Rivers State and we use this medium to call on all our supporters and members of the PDP to desist from any form of crisis before, during and after the convention. We accepted, as a party, and the leadership of the party agreed that the national convention should hold at Port Harcourt. We stand by that resolution,” he added.

Senator Okowa stated that issues bothering on the PDP in Edo State and the governorship elections coming up in September, 2016 were also discussed, asserting that had tried to map out strategies in order to strengthen the PDP in Edo State.

Asked about the strategies to muscle power from the All Progressive Congress-led government in Edo State, Governor Okowa, beaming with smile alongside his colleagues said: “We will not let the cat out of the bag because we are putting things in place at the moment”.

Delta Governorship Tribunal Upholds Okowa’s Election

delta governor Ifeanyi OkowaThe Delta State governorship election tribunal sitting in Asaba the state capital has thrown out the petition by the Labour Party  and its governorship candidate, Great Ogboru, against the PDP.

The tribunal upheld the election of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

In its judgement, the tribunal held that the APC could not prove that the governorship poll was characterised by irregularities.

The three-man tribunal’s chairman, Justice Nasiru Gunmi, also said that the Labour Party’s petition lacked merit. He directed the plaintiff to pay fines of 50,000 naira to each of the respondents.

The first respondent in the case is the Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa while the second and third respondents are the PDP and the electoral commission, INEC.

Delta Election Petition Tribunal Commences Sitting

Delta Tribunal: Okowa, Emerhor To Know Fate TodayThe Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has commenced sitting in Asaba, the state capital to rule on the petition filed by Mr O’tega Emerhor.

The Justice Nasir Gunmi-led tribunal is going through petitions, defence statements and evidences presented in the court since the inception of the tribunal for both the Labour Party candidate, Great Ogboru and APC’s Emerhor.

The petitioners are asking the tribunal to nullify the polls and are calling for fresh elections.

Mr Emerhor, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had challenged the declaration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Ifeanyi Okowa, as the winner of the 2015 governorship poll in Delta State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Reports coming in from the state’s capital said that policemen have been deployed to the Delta State Multi-Door Courthouse (DSMDC) in Asaba, venue of the judgment of the governorship election petition tribunal.

At the last sitting on October 13 where both parties adopted written addresses, Justice Gunmi promised to communicate the judgment date, which must be before October 28, to the parties through the tribunal secretary.


Delta State Governorship Tribunal Adjourns Judgment

akwa ibom-benue, tribunalThe Delta State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Asaba on Wednesday adjourned judgement of the petitions filed by the governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) O’terga Emerho and Great Ogboru respectively, to a date that would be communicated before August 28.

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Nasir Gummi, announced that the tribunal would  communicate to counsels, the date for the judgement shortly after submissions from the 1st, 2nd and  3rd respondents’ counsels against the suit filed by the petitioners to invalidate and nullify the result of the April 11 governorship elections in the state.

At the sitting, Alex Iziyon (SAN), the lead counsel to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petitions which he said varied with the petitioners’ evidences before the tribunal.

Counsels to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also aligned with the claims of the 1st respondent.

In replying their addresses, the lead counsel to the petitioners, Thompson Okpoko (SAN) and Dele Adesina asked the tribunal to look at the petition before it, based on facts of their submissions, asking the tribunal to nullify and call for a fresh election.

Governor Okowa was declared winner of the April 11 election by the INEC.

Ed-el-Fitr : Okowa Preaches Peace, Unity, Love In Nigeria

okowa-on-ed-el-fitrThe Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on Muslims and  all Nigerians to use the occasion of Ed-el-Fitr celebration to imbibe the culture of peace, unity and love among one another.

Governor Okowa, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr Aniagwu Ehiedu, urged Muslims in the state to adhere strictly to the teachings of the great Prophet of Islam, Mohammad and to sustain the ideals of the month of Ramadan beyond the Ramadan period.

The Governor said: “Islam is indeed a religion of peace and the true essence of the religion is to unite the entire mankind in love and harmony.

“We must all continue to pray and work hard towards building a peaceful, united and prosperous Nigeria”.

While calling on Nigerians to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in his determination to build a peaceful, united and virile nation, Governor Okowa urged Deltans both at home and in the Diaspora to use the occasion to pray for peace and unity across the state to ensure the smooth implementation of the SMART agenda programme in the state.

He also seized the opportunity of Ed-el-Fitr celebration to restate his commitment to the actualisation of the prosperity for all.

Delta Stops Recruitment Into Civil Service

DeltaThe Delta State Governor Dr, Ifeanyi Okowa, is taking up on a tough note as he has suspensed the on-going recruitment into the state’s civil service.

The new governor explained that his decision is based on what he calls sharp practices ranging from abuse of office to sales of job slot associated with the recruitment.

He said that the recruitment cannot be adjudged to be credible and being a flawed process there no way the exercise could be justifiable.

“This abysmal handling of the exercise culminated in the suspension of the chairman and members of the commission and the setting of an administrative panel to review the recruitment process”, the Governor said.

He stated that until the review is concluded the exercise remains suspended.

Dr Ifeanyi Okowa was sworn in as the Governor of Delta State on Friday, May 29, making him the 12th Governor of the state.