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Covid - 19
25 Sep
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COVID-19: Okowa calls for sustainable health financing in Nigeria

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for the adoption and implementation of a viable and sustainable healthcare financing programme for states in the country.

He made this call on Thursday at the 40th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) with “Health Care Infrastructure Optimization and Adaptation in the face of a Global Pandemic: The COVID-19 Challenge” as theme at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.

Okowa said that with an abysmal 0.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in public health spending, Nigeria had one of the lowest public healthcare financing globally.

He also advocated for a national policy on responding and managing unforeseen public health crises

According to him, the absence of such a framework as well as the novel nature of the coronavirus posed a major drawback in articulating a coordinated response at the initial stage of the pandemic in the country.

The governor said that his administration had agreed to fund 80 per cent of the training requirements enshrined in the Residency Training Act (2017) as agreed with NARD and DELSUTH and urged the doctors to reciprocate the gesture with renewed vigour and commitment to their duties.

He commended medical doctors and healthcare providers for their courage, commitment and determination to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed that Nigeria had survived COVID-19 and previous public health emergencies/outbreaks due to the sacrifice, dedication, ingenuity and resourcefulness of healthcare providers.

Okowa, however, said “regrettably, many of them got infected during the pandemic while some, sadly, paid the supreme price”.

Welcoming delegates to the conference, he said “coming against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is my considered view that this meeting offers us a good opportunity to review the ongoing national efforts to combat the epidemic as well as assess our readiness to respond appropriately to future public health emergencies.

“I believe we can turn this crisis into an opportunity to bolster our health infrastructure, expand capacity and upgrade manpower in the health sector in such a way that our healthcare system will be better poised to deal with future outbreaks.

“Testing was a huge problem because of the shortage of human resources, testing kits, laboratories, and case definition for testing that prioritizes symptomatic cases and their contacts.

“The whole country only attained a daily testing capacity of 2,500 samples late in July, which is a far cry from what it should be for a country of our size.

“Testing was not only extremely low; it took days before the results could be known.  Confronted with a fast spreading disease like COVID-19, the delay meant the virus could spread unchecked as it hindered early contact tracing.

“Here in Delta, samples had to be taken to the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State, which served the entire South-South geo-political region of the country.

“The wait was excruciating and exerted immense physical/mental toll on critical health personnel who had to be making frequent trips to Irrua.”

The governor added that the government was able to enter an arrangement with Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in partnership with Pan African Network for Disease Outbreak Research and Rapid Response (PANDORA) to establish a molecular mobile laboratory in Delta.

According to him, since then we have conducted over 9,000 tests in the state while confirmed cases are 1,799 as at Friday, September 18.

“In Delta, we developed a strategic implementation plan focused on clear deliverables that are in line with the provisions of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund component of the National Health Act.

“Similarly, the guidelines of the National Health Insurance Scheme were aligned to the prevailing peculiarities of the Delta State healthcare service system.

“As the frontrunner in the implementation of this scheme, I am proud to inform this gathering that Delta State Government has accredited 405 health facilities comprising 268 Primary Health Care Centers, 66 Secondary Healthcare Facilities, 65 Private Healthcare Facilities, one Federal Medical Center, three Abuja Healthcare Facilities and two Lagos Healthcare Facilities to operate the scheme.

“Total number of enrollees is currently 788,740. We can be proud of the progress we have made even though there is still much work to be done.

“In the post COVID-19, there is a compelling need to adopt and implement a viable and sustainable healthcare financing programme for all States in the country.

“Each State is primarily responsible for the financing and implementation of its healthcare system. A healthcare financing programme that is focused on up-scaling primary healthcare services, enhancement of human-resource-for-health capacity, deployment of a technology enhanced healthcare services delivery process and improved access to measurable quality healthcare services outcome for all, is an imperative.”

The governor, who also inspected ongoing rehabilitation of facilities at DELSUTH, expressed his administration’s readiness to extend same to other facilities in the state within the limits of available resources.

Chairman of the occasion and former Governor of Delta, Chief James Ibori, in his remarks, commended Governor Okowa and former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for conceiving the idea of building the teaching hospital in Oghara.

He said that doctors were at the vanguard of saving human lives, especially in the pandemic and urged them to remain dedicated to the course of humanity.

On his part, Uduaghan, who was Guest of Honour at the event, congratulated NARD for their dexterity in being the “military arm of NMA”.

He commended Governor Okowa for approving the Residency Training Programme for doctors in the state.

He added that on commencement of the Delsuth in 2010, his administration engaged diaspora doctors, nurses and pharmacists to exchange ideas.

“The staff mix helped the image of the hospital to successfully carry out knee replacement surgery and kidney transplant with partnership from the University of Texas.” Uduaghan stated.

President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Prof Innocent Ujah in his goodwill message said NARD has evolved over the years to become vibrant, progressive and a dynamic affiliate of the NMA.

He commended the outgoing executive for their focused leadership and urged members to extend same support to the incoming administration.

Chief Medical Director of Delsuth, Dr Onome Ogueh said Delsuth was the apex health institution in the state with a vision to provide world class health care for all Deltans. He said the hosting of the 40th Annual General Meeting of NARD in Delsuth was the first time a state university teaching hospital was playing host to the NARD Secretariat.

National President of NARD, Dr Aliu Sokomba, represented by First Vice President, Dr Julian Ojebo said the pandemic had brought a new challenge to medical practice in a very poorly funded health industry in Nigeria.

He said NARD fought to ensure domestication of the Residency Training Act and lauded the contributions of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to the National Health Act as well as his pioneering efforts towards domestication of the Residency Training Act.

Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of several awards to Governor Okowa as the Ambassador for State Health Tertiary Institutions in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the National Health Act and implementation of the Residency Training Act 2017.

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25 Sep
0

Okowa bags NARD merit award

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, was on Thursday honoured with two awards by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) for “Pioneering Implementation of Residency Training in Nigeria’’ and as “Ambassador of State Health Tertiary Institution’’.

The governor was honoured at NARD’s 40th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference, with the theme “Health Care Infrastructure Optimization and Adaptation in the face of a Global Pandemic: The COVID-19 Challenge” at Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara.

First Vice President of NARD, Dr Julian Ojebo, who represented the National President of the association, Dr Aliu Sokomba, presented the award at the event.

Ojebo said that Okowa was honoured in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the birth and implementation of National Health Act and implementation of the Residency Training Act, 2017.

Leadership of the association had at a courtesy visit to the Governor on Wednesday in Asaba, announced the honour.

According to him, efforts of Governor Okowa in pioneering the implementation of the Residency Training Programme in Nigeria as well as his legacy Bill, the National Health Act are laudable and worthy of commendation.

Receiving the awards, Okowa thanked NARD for the honour and assured that  his administration would support the hosting of the National Secretariat of the association at DELSUTH, Oghara.

He said he would liaise with the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to ensure that more states “domesticate and implement the Residency Training Act as assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari’’.

He also called for the adoption and implementation of a viable and sustainable healthcare financing programme for all states in the country.

Okowa disclosed that with an abysmal 0.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in public health spending, Nigeria had one of the lowest public healthcare financing globally.

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23 Sep
0

Okowa mourns ex-Deputy Governor, Simeon Ebonka

Governor of Delta, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has sent condolences to the family of the first elected Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Simeon Ebonka who passed on at 77.

Ebonka, who hails from Owa-Alizomor in Ika North East Local Government Area, passed on in the early hours of Wednesday after a brief illness.

He was elected Deputy Governor to late Chief Felix Ibru from 1992 to 1993.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba on Wednesday, Okowa commiserated with the people of Ika Nation and Owa-Alizomor community in particular, over the demise of the renowned politician and evangelist.

He noted that the departed Ebonka was a man of peace and administrator, who excelled as deputy governor of the state during the short time the administration lasted.

The governor said that the deceased was an elder statesman whose fatherly role and wise counseling would be missed by his political family and Ika nation.

He said, “On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn the passing of our beloved elder statesman and first Deputy Governor of Delta, Mr Simeon Ebonka.

“He was a very peaceful man who loved his people and served them to the best of his ability.

“The news of his death came to me as a shock for he was a perfect gentleman-politician, who distinguished himself in the service of his people and Delta.

“In the formative years of our great state, he played active roles in the putting government in place and will be long remembered for the great things he did for the state.”

Okowa prayed to God to accept the deceased’s soul and grant fortitude to the family and friends he left to bear the loss.

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23 Sep
0

Delta establishes new secondary, primary schools

Delta State Government, today, approved the establishment of six new secondary and three primary schools in different parts of the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu disclosed this while briefing journalists on key decisions reached at the virtual meeting of the State Executive Council meeting presided over the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
Mr. Aniagwu said that the new schools were meant to holistically address the educational needs of people in the areas where they are to be established.
According to him, the six new secondary schools would be sited at Warri South, Ughelli South, Ughelli North, Ika South, Ika North East and Ukwuani Local Government Areas ,while the three new primary schools would be sited at Ughelli North, Warri South West and Isoko North Local Government Areas of the state.
“The government has, also approved the construction of six new secondary schools and three new primary schools. It actually supposed to be seven new secondary schools but one of them in Warri North was stepped down because of the issue of naming.
“The reason for the establishment of the new schools is that the carrying capacities of schools in those areas are not meeting up with the challenges and the need of our people to school beyond their primary and basic education.
“You do know that as a state, we love education and to increase the carrying capacity of our educational institutions, government has approved the establishment of these six new secondary schools and the three new primary schools.
“We must also, commend some communities that are also providing certain helping hands to government by making land available in some of their communities for the establishment of the new schools even if they were the ones that demanded for these schools, the Commissioner stated.
He said that the state Exco, also approved the sum of N488.4 million for the completion of the first phase of the Faculty of Arts building of the Delta State University, Abraka.
The Commissioner disclosed that Exco gave approval for the Procurement Officer’s Cadre in the state civil service which, he said, was aimed at bringing transparency and accountability in governance.
“Government, also approved the inclusion of Procurement Officer Cadre. You recall not long ago, we passed the Procurement Bill in line with the federal government guideline on procurement.
“You do know that the federal government had passed that long time ago and we were able to domesticate it here in Delta State. So, that necessitated the need to have officers that are fully responsible for issue of procurement,” he added.
To further strengthen the control of flood in parts of Asaba, Mr. Aniagwu said that the Exco approved the connection of the surface drains into the underground drainage, stressing that the project would take care of flood experienced on Jesus Saves Road, NTA Asaba area, Government House axis, DBS Road and Summit Road as well as Gagas Road.
He disclosed that approval was equally given for the review of some housing projects in the state Ministry of Housing in liaison with private developers.
While saying that there was need for people to adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols, Mr. Aniagwu advised those in flood prone areas of the state to be at alert so as not to be caught unawares.
The Commissioner said that Exco commiserated with the family of the first civilian Deputy Governor of the state, Sir Simeon Ebonka who passed on in the early hours of Wednesday, September 23, 2020, adding that a minute silence was observed in his honour.

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23 Sep
0

Okowa condoles Fayose over sister’s death

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday commiserated with former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and his family over the passing of his beloved sister, Mrs Moji Ladeji.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba on Wednesday, the governor noted that the untimely passing of Mrs Ladeji was a big loss to the Ladeji and Fayose families.

He urged them to take solace in the fact that the deceased was a devout Christian, who lived to please her maker.

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I commiserate with my dear brother and former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and his beloved family on the passing of their beloved sister, Mrs Moji Ladeji.

“The loss of a sister and mother is always very painful but we are consoled by the fact that she lived a life for Christ.

“As you mourn your beloved sister, please be assured of our thoughts and prayers at this moment of grief.

“It is our prayer that God will grant the Ladeji and Fayose families, the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” the governor stated.

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23 Sep
0

Seek alternative means to strikes, Okowa tells resident doctors

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has advised Nigerian doctors to explore other ways of getting government’s attention to their needs instead of embarking on industrial strike.

Okowa gave the advice on Wednesday when the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) led by the First Vice President, Dr Julian Ojebo, visited him at Government House, Asaba.

He stated that doctors’ groups were not like other trade unions and must, therefore, exercise restraint in embarking on strike “because when doctors go on strike, the lives of people are in danger’’.

The governor reminded the doctors that in the medical profession, they put the patients first before their personal interests, and urged them to seek alternative ways to pile pressure on government to meet their demands.

“I know that recently there has been a lot of issues between NARD and the government of the federation.

“I want to plead that we get things done through dialogue because many times we find ourselves in a situation where there is a temptation, like every other union, to go on strike;  but there is a difference between doctors going on strike and every other union going on strike.

“When doctors go on strike lives are lost and they can’t be retrieved back when the strike is called off. Let us find a way to pile pressure on government to attend to our issues rather than going on strike,” he stated.

Okowa pointed out that the greatest impact of strikes was borne by the very poor ones in the society.

“I will like to appeal to resident doctors to always think more about the patients because in this our profession we think about the patients first even before ourselves and to that extent there must be caution in whatever we do because there could be repercussions in every action we take.

“I do understand the pains you go through because what you ask for is not out of place, but we must find a way to get these things from the government without embarking on strike.

“I urge the Federal Government and states to ensure that they fulfill promises and agreements with doctors under the residency programme so that we don’t find ourselves entangled with industrial actions,’’ he said.

The governor expressed gratitude for the commendation of his administration’s developmental efforts by the doctors, saying “let me thank you for the good things you have said concerning our state.

“We believe that the modest things we are doing is borne out of the fact that they are necessary to be done not just because I am a doctor but I believe that it’s the right thing for the state.

“I am convinced that we have had a good relationship with the resident doctors and other health personnel here in Delta and to that extent we have worked collaboratively in providing the much needed health services for our people.

“And, I am glad you talked about the National Health Act which is already being implemented in clauses though with some hiccups.

“The Primary Healthcare sector is important because the vulnerable in the society can be reached through health insurance.

“We are challenged as a nation because of the high poverty rate which results in more health crisis but if we are able to attend to the health needs of the people then we would have addressed the challenges of the people.

“And, so the issue of health insurance must be encouraged particularly for the less-privileged in the society.

“I am glad that Delta is hosting the secretariat of NARD and the best we can do is to support the Secretariat to succeed.”

Okowa urged the doctors to also put pressure on the legislature to support in the implementation of laws passed.

Leader of the delegation, Ojebo, said they were in Asaba to invite the governor for their 40th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference holding at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara.

He lauded the governor for being a good ambassador of the medical profession, adding that NARD had unanimously agreed to confer on him a merit award.

“You distinguished yourself while at the Senate where you created a path for others to follow.

“The National Health Act we have today is one of those legacies you left in the Senate and if not for you, the ideology of one primary healthcare centre in every ward in the country wouldn’t have been possible.

“As Governor of Delta you have made our work easy because Delta is one state where Deltans and non-Deltans prefer to work because you have made everything, both in research and training, seamless.

“It is also on record that Delta is one of the states that ensure that Medical Residency Training Bill as signed into law by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been domesticated in the state and also a full swing implementation has also been done.

“As Resident doctors, we are impressed with the developments at the Delta State University Teaching Hospital which is geared towards making sure that quality health care delivery is brought to the door step of Deltans.

“Your achievements are laudable and crystal clear and as such, we at the helm of affairs at the NARD, after our National Executive Committee meeting, we have unanimously agreed that Your Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, be awarded the NARD meritorious award for the ambassador of state health services,” Ojebo said.

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23 Sep
0

My re-election good for regional cooperation – Obaseki

Edo Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that his re-election will pave way for integration and consolidation in the South-South region.

Obaseki stated this on Tuesday when he paid a “thank-you’’ visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta at Government House, Asaba.

Accompanied by his wife, Betsy, Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and wife, members of the National Assembly from Edo and other top government functionaries, Obaseki said the delegation was in Asaba to thank Okowa and Deltans for their support in his re-election.

He said that the support of Governor Okowa and Deltans had rekindled the spirit of the old Bendel.

He added that his re-election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would pave the way for regional cooperation and development with all the governors in the South-South belonging to one political party.

“Let me express my profound thanks and appreciation for receiving us. Our purpose of coming is to thank you for the support you gave to us in our re-election.

“The amount of sacrifice you made for us in terms of time and the emotional energy that you put in the election is worthy of appreciation.

“We know that part of your ancestry is Edo, but you went beyond that by adopting two local government areas and supported them to victory.

“We express our gratitude and let you know that by your action you have rekindled the spirit of Bendel.

“When I came to visit you last year after your re-election, I had no idea that I will find myself in the same party with you, but here I am, and I am happy because it is good for our regional cooperation.

“As Chairman of South-South Governors, you have provided strong leadership for the region and now that we have achieved political cooperation, we will now focus on the economic cooperation and development of the region.

“On behalf of all of us from Edo State, we thank you and let you know that we appreciate all you have done for us and it is our prayer that God will do for you more than you have done for us,” Obaseki said.

In his remarks, Okowa expressed appreciation to God for the victory, saying that he was inspired to support Obaseki because of his humility and the fact that he was being oppressed.

“I want to congratulate you once again and I feel very excited that you won the election because somebody wanted to play the role of God and it ought not to be so.

“I believe God did this in your life because you have proven to be a very humble man and people who boast too much don’t usually end well.

“I thank all our party members and the Edo people for their resilience in ensuring your re-election.

“Now that we are all in the same political party, it makes it easier for us to relate with ourselves in this region,” he said.

Okowa also commended the Edo Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, for his loyalty and dedication, describing him as a “supportive, humble and reliable partner’’.

According to him, when you have such a humble and loyal deputy, governance becomes much easier.

The governor advised Obaseki to show “lots of magnanimity and grace, but don’t allow the lions and the tigers to torment the people again’’.

“May God give you the enabling grace to fulfill all your campaign promises; your people are expecting a lot from you because of their huge support and I pray that God assist you with more funds to provide for the needs of the people.

“I am glad that the election was peaceful and the results were accepted, because even the opposition has congratulated you.

“This is the first time an opposition party is congratulating another party openly and we thank God for that,” he added.

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22 Sep
0

Delta government will sustain women, girl-child empowerment – Okowa

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday re-affirmed that his administration would  sustain the empowerment of women and the girl-child to engender the uplifting of families’ economies and peace in the state.

The governor gave the assurance at the opening of a three-day Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Training (GEST) programme for 450 girls at the Indoor Sports Hall of Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

He explained that girl-child empowerment was the process of uplifting the economic and social status of “traditionally under-privileged girls in a male-dominated social construct (patriarchy)’’ and assured that if the 450 set was successful, his administration would scale up the number in 2021.

Okowa urged the beneficiaries to demonstrate willingness to learn and imbibe the virtues of diligence and honesty, saying that it would help them to realise their dreams.

“It is with great joy and pleasure that I welcome you all to the commencement of the Girls Entrepreneurship and Skills Training Programme also known as PROJECT GEST.

“As many of you here may be aware, entrepreneurship development is at the core of our Stronger Delta agenda.

“From the onset of our S.M.A.R.T, now Stronger Delta agenda, we set out to unlock and unleash youth entrepreneurship through skills acquisition programmes that will resource our youths with the vocational skills, attitudes and tools to become self-employed and employers of labour.

“The design and implementation of the job creation programme is trainee-centred, service-oriented and results-based, hence the strategy is to turn unemployed youths into entrepreneurs, leaders and managers.

“The training and mentoring process aim beyond raising entrepreneurs, to producing leaders and managers that have high levels of personal responsibility and personal effectiveness.

“Although a significant number of women have been trained and established through these programmes, it was necessary for us to design a special programme for the girl-child from ages 18 to 30 because the empowerment of girls is a major public policy issue in the 21st century,” he said.

He noted that 25 years after the Beijing Declaration, the girl-child was still grappling with issues of gender discrimination, crushing poverty, early/forced marriage, identity crisis, social and parental pressure, poor life skills (communication, decision making, goal setting) and low self-esteem.

According to the governor, all these pose a threat to the girl-child’s hopes of financial independence and quality of life, thereby preventing the girl child from maximizing her potential.

He said, “the commencement of PROJECT GEST is, therefore, a step in the right direction and it is my earnest hope that those of you that scaled the hurdle into this programme will take it very seriously because it is an opportunity of a lifetime.

“I expect you to take full advantage of it by diligently applying yourself to the training. You must demonstrate willingness to learn, capacity to grow and justify the trust and confidence of the government as it invests in your future.

“As for runners of PROJECT GEST, I charge you to be good ambassadors. You must lead by example and imbibe the virtues of discipline, focus, punctuality, hardwork and accountability that constitute the ingredients for success in life.”

Okowa commended the Girl-Child Empowerment Office for the hardwork it made in ensuring the kick-off of the programme and charged the personnel to stay focused on the goal.

“Empowering the girl child is a task that must be accomplished,’’ he declared.

In her remarks earlier, Wife of the Governor and Founder of 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, had urged participants at the training to see their selection as a privilege and not a right, reminding them that thousands of persons also applied for the programme.

She urged them to have passion for the training, and have integrity and commitment to ensure that they succeeded in their ventures.

In a goodwill message, Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, congratulated the 450 girls for being selected and urged them to give the three days training the deserved seriousness.

He commended Gov. Okowa for creating a Girl-Child Empowerment Office which, according to him, is geared towards providing skills and empowerment for young girls.

Earlier, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Girl-Child Empowerment, Mrs Marilyn Okowa-Daramola, while welcoming guests and participants to the event, said that Project GEST was aimed at providing Delta girls between the ages of 18 years and 30 years with training on various skills, including fashion, hairdressing, make-up and ICT.

“Project GEST is geared towards creating a new empowered group of skilled young female entrepreneurs.

“It took three months of rigorous interviews to arrive at the 450 pioneer beneficiaries.  A total of 5,970 applications were received from both online and hard copy applications, comprising 4,474 from trainees and 1,496 from trainers,” she disclosed.

She added that 873 persons were shortlisted and interviewed out of whom 450 successful ones were selected .

On her part, Executive Assistant to the Governor on Girl-Child Empowerment, Bridget Anyafulu, thanked the governor for establishing the Office, and assured that she and her personnel would continue to create more opportunities for the girl-child in Delta.

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21 Sep
0

Okowa mourns Emir of Zazzau

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa has sent his heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Kaduna State on the passing of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.

In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba on Monday, the governor also commiserated with the royal family and the Zazzau Emirate Council on the death of the renowned traditional ruler.

Okowa said that for 45 years the late Emir had the rare privilege of leading the people of Zazzau Emirate with utmost diligence and unassuming dedication.

He stressed that the deceased, who was one of the longest serving traditional rulers in the country, was a strong proponent of peace, progress and development in the country and exemplified this in his 45 years on the throne.

According to him, Nigerians from across political and religious beliefs will miss the astute leadership and warm disposition of the revered Emir.

Okowa said that the Emir’s good works and leadership qualities would long be remembered and cherished in his Emirate and the entire nation.

Okowa described the late Shehu Idris as a great patriot whose honest and peace loving leadership was commendable.

“The late Emir was an iconic leader and exemplary peacemaker whose influence and commitment to good leadership traversed beyond his Emirate.

“In the last 45 years of his reign, the Zazzau Emirate developed further in the areas of infrastructure, especially education and peaceful co-existence among the people of the Emirate and their neighbours.

“He played a fatherly role in his regular call for peace among farmers and herdsmen in the state and the nation at large.

“The late Shehu Idris was a man who feared Allah in his leadership and was always ready to assist and support the needy as well as the development of the Zazzau Emirate.

“Since he was appointed Emir of Zazzau on February 8, 1975, the deceased served under 20 governors, and was never found wanting in his leadership disposition,” he said.

The governor assured the government and people of Kaduna State and Zazzau Emirate in particular, of the prayers and thoughts of the government and people of Delta in this moment of grief.

He prayed Allah to forgive him his sins and grant him Aljanah firdus and comfort the people of Zazzau Emirate on the demise of their beloved royal father.

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20 Sep
0

Edo 2020: Okowa congratulates Obaseki on his re-election

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated his Edo counterpart, Mr Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on their re-election.

Obaseki, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was announced winner of Saturday governorship election in the state by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling 307,955 votes to defeat his main challenger, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu of All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 223,619 votes.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, on Sunday, Okowa described the re-election of Obaseki as “the confirmation of the will of the people” and called on Nigerians to always stand for good leaders as Edo people just did for Obaseki.

He stated that the people of Edo across the 18 local government areas of the state spoke loudly and clearly in their reaffirmation of the choice of Obaseki as their Governor.

The governor, who is the Chairman of South-South Governors’ Forum, said that with the re-election of Obaseki, the entire region was now being ruled by the PDP.

“Let me congratulate my brother Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on their victory in the Sept. 19 Governorship election in Edo.

“It is heart-warming to see you re-emerge as Governor of Edo against all odds and I am grateful to the people of Edo for shunning the entreaties of retrogressive forces who were deviously-bent on subverting the wishes of the people.

“Let me also thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being truly independent as required by the laws of our land.

“The most significant aspect of this victory is the peaceful outcome of the election as Edo people proved pundits wrong by ensuring that the elections were devoid of violence,” he said.

Felicitating with the PDP on the victory, Okowa said, “let me also congratulate our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor of Rivers, Mr Nyesom Wike and other members of the campaign Council for their efforts which led to the victory of the party in Edo.

“The brotherhood displayed by the Governors of the PDP and other party members towards the re-election of Obaseki is what the country needs to take the nation to greater heights in 2023.

“Going forward as a nation, we can only develop further if the people are allowed to choose their leaders at all levels without any hindrance.

“It is therefore a clarion call on INEC to continue to do the right thing as an unbiased umpire.’’

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you my brother Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki and your deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on your resounding re-election by the resilient people of Edo who displayed honour, dignity and courage.

“It is my prayer that God will grant you wisdom, knowledge and the needed resources to attend to your campaign promises to the people,” he added.

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