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2023: Delta governor cautions political office holders against distractions

2023: Delta governor cautions political office holders against distractions
Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has lost huge investments due to the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said.

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has cautioned those who hold political appointments in his government against all forms of complacency or dereliction of duty because of their vested interest in the 2023 general election in the country.

In a veiled reference to why he dissolved the state executive council and numerous senior political appointees, Okowa stressed that they should rather be preoccupied by the desire to redouble their efforts in contributing to the administration to enable it deliver on his electoral promises and finish strongly.

The governor gave the charge yesterday at the Government House in Asaba while swearing in the new Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, as well as eight special advisers whose appointments were announced last week.

He cautioned appointees against abandoning their duties for 2023 politics, saying getting obsessed with 2023 politics could easily make them lose track that could lead to negligence and dereliction of duty.

“It is inevitable that politics will be played, but as much as possible, political appointees should endeavour to stick to their responsibilities and get a firm grip of the job at hand,” he pointed out.

According to Okowa, “At the end of this tenure, we shall all have reason to celebrate the legacy of a ‘Stronger Delta’, standing on the tripod of prosperity, peace and progress.”

However, the governor said he remained irrevocably committed to his administration’s avowed determination to finish strong in the interest of Deltans.

While congratulating the new SSG and the Special Advisers on their appointments, he noted that Ukah had been an integral part of his administration S.M.A.R.T, now Stronger Delta Agenda, having served as a commissioner in two state ministries since the beginning of his administration in 2015.

Okowa said: “He (Ukah), therefore, brings to the office of the SSG, a working knowledge of our policies and programmes, and he is well grounded to see to their effective implementation in his current position.

“But beyond that, the new SSG possesses an unpretentious mien, humble outlook, and bubbly personality that I believe will serve him well in this new assignment.

“I have always stated that the office of the SSG requires a person who is able to marry policies, where the administration wants to go, and politics on how it mobilises resources, personnel and the necessary support for the agenda of government.

“The SSG must not only have the capacity and competence to drive the administration’s policies and programmes, he must also be a consensus-builder and adept at managing various persuasions and handling conflicts, internal and external.

“Hence, it is required of any SSG to be broad-minded, accessible and flexible, with a good sense of fairness and justice.”

While expressing optimism that the SSG would continue in the same spirit of sacrifice, hard work and dedication, the governor admitted that there was no doubting the fact that the new office would present its own kind of challenge.

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