For the past few days, the news has been trending that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s brother, Tony, and secretary to Delta state government, Festus Ovie Agas, allegedly fought in the office of the Delta SSG following the inability of the SSG to give speedy action to the files of Tony, chairman of Delta state sports commission.
The news broke out from Secretreporters, a news portal run by a Deltan. Folloowing the release of the news, the state and the internet have been on fire as to why and how a chairman of a commission could go as far as slapping the powerful SSG.
While some downplayed the report as being the handiwork of blackmailers, others who allegedly witnessed the show atteested to the veracity of the action, insisting that there was actually a fight between the two members of the Okowa government, though the secretary to the state government is the engine room of government, hence he is more powerful than any other in the executive, besides the governor and his deputy.
As in a way of finding out the truth behind the news, Okowa’s executive assistant on communication, Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, made a publication on facebook where he blew open the facts surrounding the event at the office of the secretary to the delta state government.
The encounter brought to fore the fact that there was actually a meeting between the two officials at the office of the SSG, Ovie Festus Agas.
According to Latimore, the duo denied ever fighting but gave various versions of the encounter at the visit of the sports chairman, Tony Okowa, younger brother to the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Latimore said he had a telephone chat with the duo and that both top government officials denied neither exchanging blows nor had any physical contacts that suggest two-fighting.
Latimore quoted Agas as saying: “Fred, it’s impossible for Tony and I to fight in my office. We both serve the same boss and we have been friends for a long time. Besides, we are too responsible and morally decent to fight over official matters.
“Some friends and relatives have been calling me from far and near and within government circles to either confirm or deny the said report published by SecretReporters.
“The truth is that Tony Okowa was in my office on the said day, we transacted officially and he left. I do not know where the reporter got the garbage that was published. Kindly contact Mr Okowa so as to hear his own side of the matter.”
An analysis of Agas’ statement that “we transacted officially and he left,” implies that the SSG attended to the request of the sports commission chairman as demanded by junior Okowa before leaving the office, without any issue between the two officials.
Again, the SSG’s use of the word “transacted,” he used it to cover a lot of issues as later revealed by junior Okowa. His response did not suggest there was any display of anger or displeasure on the part of the sports chairman for failing to attend to his request neither did he agree he failed to attend to his needs.
But Okowa’s brother gave a rather open minded response as he explained clearly what transpired while also downplaying the fact that there was a fight. That he also denied as alleged in the Secretreporters story.
According to Latimore, Tony Okowa said: “Latimore, it’s certainly not true that SSG Agas and I fought. That’s complete falsehood and a black propaganda.
“On 25th June or so, I went to see the SSG over some official matters and he asked me to wait for 30 minutes and I waited. He later extended my waiting time by another 15 minutes and I complied and at the end of it all my mission to his office was not achieved.
“Frankly speaking, I was not happy for waiting for so long and didn’t get to fix the pressing official matter that brought me to his office. I expressed my displeasure and left the SSG’s office.
“My displeasure was not borne out of the fact that I am one of the younger brothers of the state governor but for the fact that SSG Agas and I have been bossom friends and political associates for many years and still counting. Naturally, I expected a better reception and attention which was somehow not forthcoming.
“I hold no bad feelings towards the SSG because we have been co-labourers in partisan politics. I take it that he was probably stressed by his tight official schedules and I can understand that. We remain good friends and nothing shall separate us, going forward.”
Another analysis of Okowa’s statement shows a bit contradiction to Agas’ statement. While Okowa’s brother agreed that his request was not met, Agas’ transacted’ implies the request was granted.
Agas deliberately hid the fact that Junior Okowa was displeased over his inability to attend to his needs and keeping him for 45 minutes, Okowa clearly explained his displeasure over the action of the SSG.
Junior Okowa was able to give exact minutes he spent at the reception of the SSG, which he means he must have been calculating the minutes he was being delayed by Ovie Agas.