By Collins Agwam
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time
to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep,
and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”.
Going by the forgone biblical quotation of Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 4, there was truly a time of planting in the old Bendel State, when the then
Head of State, General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida conceived the creation of Delta state on August 27, 1991 with its capital in Asaba.
This, the then federal government, did to bring development to all
nooks and crannies of the the old Bendel state and to ensure equality
and equity in the distribution of the state resources.
Since its creation, Delta state has been blessed with an array of
great leaders who were military administrators and others, civilian
governors at different point in time, in the history of the state.
These great men, who have contributed immensely to the creation and development of the state are; Captain Luke Chijiuba Ochulor who was the pioneer military administrator from August 1991 to January 1992, Late Felix Ibru who was the first civilian governor of the state, from
January 1992 to November 1993, Compol Abdulkadir Shehu who served as acting administrator between November 1993 to December 1993.
Others are Bassey Asuquo who served as administrator from December 1993 to September 1994, Capt. Ibrahim kefas who served as administrator between September 1994 to August 1996, Late Col. John Dung who served between August 1996 to August 1998 and Navy Capt.
Walter Feghabo who served between August 1998 to May 1999.
With the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Delta state, has been blessed with another set of democratic leaders who have brought great transformation to the state, which have made it become the cynosure of all
These democratic leaders of the state includes Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who ruled between May 1999 to May 2007, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, who governed between
May 2007 to May 2015 and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who is the incumbent governor of the state.
Just like his successors contributed to the development of the state,
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has in just one year of his administration in
the state, transformed the state beyond imaginable possibilities.
His giant strides in the state, which are: the construction of roads,
building of hospitals, empowering the unemployed, reforming the health and educational sector, and a host of other developmental projects scattered across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state.
It is in view of these great works, that it is no coincidence to me,
that the celebration of the silver jubilee is coming during his reign
as the governor of the state, as his works postulates that he is a
divine messenger to the state.
Commenting on the celebration, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said, “twenty years ago, many of us were young men and women confronted with the normal adjustments of defining our place within the dictates of time and space”.
“ As a state created 25 years ago, our leaders and indeed, all Deltans, were full of high hopes, expectations and the determination
to build a state of unity in diversity.
“ Twenty five years after the creation of our state, we have cause to celebrate our existence as a state, believing that there is sure but
steady progression towards the upliftment of human dignity and
socio-economic development”, the governor added.
However, while rolling out the activities to mark the silver jubilee
of the state, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who is also the Chairman of Publicity sub-committee for the ceremony, in a statement, disclosed that the week-long activities will begin with a children’s party to be hosted by the wife of the state Governor and Founder, 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, on Wednesday August 24, 2016 at The Event Centre, Asaba, by 10 am.
He added that it will be followed by a Cultural Parade on Thursday
25th August, 2016 at the Cenotaph, Asaba.
“The high point of the celebration will be the Delta State Economic
and Investment Summit scheduled to hold on Friday 26th and Saturday
27th August 2016 at the Event Centre, Asaba, from 9:00am each day”, Ukah said.
He also disclosed that, a Grand Gala and Awards Night will also take place on Saturday 27th August 2016 at Event Centre, Asaba, by 5:00pm.
According to the statement, the milestone celebration will be
concluded with a thanksgiving service at St. Phillip's Anglican
Church, West End, Asaba, on Sunday 28th August 2016 by 10:00am.
After many years of hustling and bustling by our past and present leaders to keep the state afloat in success, it won’t be out of place to buy into the bible injunction of” a time to dance”. Indeed! There is a
course to roll out the drums for celebration. HAPPY SILVER JUBILEE DELTANS, THE SEASON IS NOW!
Collins Agwam is a Public Affairs Commentator and a Political Analyst.
He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org