Okowa Working Hard To Improve Lives Of Deltans –Diden | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okowa Working Hard To Improve Lives Of Deltans –Diden

Posted: Aug 19, 2016 at 4:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Mrs. Mary Diden, Special Adviser on Women Mobilisation to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, in this interview with JOHN DUGBE, spoke on the achievements of the administration so far in delivering dividends of democracy to the people of the state. Excerpts:


As a woman leader in Delta State, how would you describe the Governor Okowa administration?

During our campaign tour for the election that brought him to power, I told Deltans in all the places we visited that they should vote for him because he has all the answers to our current problems. Governor Okowa has been in government since the inception of democracy in 1999. So, he knows all the problems of the people. Since he became the governor, he has been able to address the challenges of the people. Despite the poor federal allocation, he can raise his head above the water that he has been utilising the little cash at his disposal for the betterment of all. His ‘Prosperity for All Deltans’ policies is been implemented religiously. So far, so good. Under his watch as the number one citizen of Delta State, no Deltan has suffered poverty, oppression, deprivation, hardship, etc. He has never rested one day without, taken into cognisance the plight of Deltans, and he has been solving them.

Dr Okowa’s SMART Agenda is being vigorously pursued. Despite the initial distractions of court cases, he has continued to perform creditably to the surprise of everyone, especially those who thought the he would not perform with the monthly allocation that has nosedived. First, he visited Sapele Main Market where he doled out money for its immediate completion. The construction of Sapele dualisation project is ongoing. He also enhanced skills and technical know-how of the youths through his skill acquisition programmes at the Songhai Farm, Amukpe. Many youths are already beneficiaries of this scheme and are now self-reliant and are training others.

The Delta State Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAGEP) and the Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programmes (STEP), as part of the SMART Agenda, are aimed at creating job opportunities for Deltans. The youths who passed through the programmes are now comfortable. The governor has created a peaceful environment by establishing cordial working relationship among all security agencies in the state. He has been prudent in the management of the state resources. Members of the Delta State House of Assembly have a smooth working relationship with him because of his administrative acumen. Okowa is the best thing that has ever happened to Deltans. The bulldozers are everywhere opening up water channels and clearing all debris. All blocked waterways in the state capital are being opened up. The governor is working hard and should be encouraged to do more.

The governor’s wife is another prime mover in the state. How do you see her activities?

The governor’s wife is a golden fish that has no hiding place. She is a jewel of inestimable value to her husband. She is God-fearing, humane and unassuming like her husband. She is a pride to Deltans and has put smiles on the faces of children across the state through her pet programme of 0-5 Initiative. She has visited and donated several items to prisons across the state, built sickle cell centres in all government hospitals to address the challenges of Sickle Cell patients. Another wonderful programme of the governor’s wife is her care of the less privileged school children. She has been buying school uniforms, learning aids, foot wears, etc for indigent students. She is an embodiment of motherhood. Deltans should pray for her.

Okoejebility, a social political platform formed by your husband and others in the state, reportedly helped to prop up some leaders to prominence politically. Could you give us an insight into the roles of the group?

The acronym, OKOEJEBILITY, is a social political platform put in place by some people in the state, including my husband, Hon. Dr. Evangelist Michael Diden, for the actualisation of Governor Okowa’s governorship ambition through the 2015 election. Under the platform, we went round the state selling the candidature of Governor Okowa to the people. We were the first social political platform that started aggressive campaign for the governor. We went through creeks, riverine areas, hamlets, villages and cities with OKOEJELEBILITY banners, posters, T-shirts, caps, wrappers, bags, name them. We distributed these among the people as we moved around, convincing them on why they should vote for Okowa. My role then was to mobilise the women, youths, community leaders, including the politicians themselves, on the need for them to vote for Okowa since he has the Midas touch to turn the state around. Through the efforts of the organisation, the people believed in him and voted for him.

You are also the woman leader of the Christ Foundation Church Sapele Worldwide, also known as Ejele Chapel. Could you tell us how you were able to combine your religious activities with politics?

As a truly ‘born again’ child of God, one of the tasks given to us by Christ is to go into the world and win the lost souls back to Christ. My duty as a Christian cannot be complete unless I follow that biblical injunction. As a leader, I find it interesting and easy doing what God asked me to do, especially with the support of my husband. On how I am able to combine the work of God and politics, God has given me the strength to do whatever I am involved in. God has been faithful to me, especially with the cooperation I get from my husband and family. It takes divine grace to mobilise women and succeed.