AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has said that his daughter, Marilyn Okowa, whom he appointed as senior special assistant on girl-child, was qualified for the appointment, noting that he owe no one apology for giving his daughter appointment in his government.
The appointment of Okowa’s daughter into the government brings to two the members of the governor’s immediate family who are appointed into the administration of Delta state.
His brother, Tonobok Okowa, has been sports commission chairman since the first tenure of the governor and now his daughter has been added, a development which has made some Deltans to say it is gradually becoming a family administration.
The governor, who spoke during a quarterly media briefing on Tuesday, said he does not have two of his daughters in the administration, rather it is only one who is rightly qualified to be appointed.
He said: “It is not true that I have two of my daughters appointed. I have only one appointed and she is rightfully qualified. I do not have any daughter in social media. The one appointed for girl child education is rightfully qualified.
“The other one is a medical doctor in the federal medical centre. But the one appointed is qualified. I do not have any apologies for that because I know the quality of daughter that I have.”
On the clamour for 2023 governorship of Delta state between Delta central and the Ijaws of Delta south, Okowa said, though he had said he would handover to Urhobo man in 2023, he had no power to give verdict on who would eventually emerge as governor after him.
His subtle response may not be unconnected with the fact that the Urhobos have started gathering and synergizing to produce the governor while the Ijaws of Delta south have insisted that the era of rotational governorship was over and that beginning from 2023, it should now be on tribal level, hence it is the turn of Ijaw to produce the governor from any party.
But the governor told journalists that his statement during his campaigns was based on his personal conviction that after Delta north had completed its second tenure, the governorship should return to Delta central where it started with Chief James Onanefe Ibori.
He said: “Nobody makes governor, it is God. I have my personal views, I can’t give verdict neither can I enforce verdict on Delta people. It is only God that can do that.”
Governor Okowa also said Delta state has more power supply from Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) than Edo and Ondo states, the three states under BEDC. The BEDC controls Edo, Delta and Ondo states.
He said the BEDC is a private enterprise, it is possible to improve power supply but he doubted the possibility of funding the needed improvement, consequently he said the supply of power to Delta cannot be controlled by his government.
The governor noted that it is not just in making much noise or protesting that would change the system, noting that despite the poor power supply to the state, Delta has more power than Edo and Ondo states.
Responding to the federal government stance on non-refund for repair of federal roads in the state, Okowa said his government sought the consent of the federal government prior to embarking on repair of federal roads in the state.
He said he sought the permission not necessarily for refund but for the fact that the roads are becoming threats to the people of Delta state, adding that the federal government is not in position to attend to all the failed roads.
He said the federal government cannot refund because the refund is not part of the budget of government, noting , however, that the federal government has a big challenge of funding but it ought to maintain the road