Okowa to Swear in Ukah, and 12 Other Commissioners

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will swear in 13 new commissioners and four Special Advisers on Tuesday 22 September 2015 at 1pm. The swearing in ceremony will take place at Events Centre, Asaba.

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Among the commissioners to be sworn in are Patrick Ukah from Oshimili North, David Edevbie, former State governorship aspirant, Jude Sinebe, the son of Captain Pius Sinebe who was snubbed by Okowa as his deputy governor and Mofe Pirah, former commissioner for Oil and Gas and Dr Henry Sakpra, former Chairman of the Udu LGA.

Others are Hon Asupa Foteta, former Senior Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on Security Matters, Dan Okenyi, former clerk of Delta State House of Assembly, Barr. Peter Mrakpor, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, Ernest Okwenze, Hon. Bright Edejibve, Mr. Karo Ilolo and Ossai Peter Chika. The 4 Special Advisers are Hon Ozegbe Sunday Onwuka, Rt Hon Sam Obi, Hon Bosin Ebikeme and George Orogun.

The designated portfolios of the new Commissioners are a closely guarded secret. It is understood that the details of the commissioners’ positions will not be revealed officially until two to three hours after the new commissioners have been sworn in. The information regarding who gets what office was gathered in trickles and pieced together.

XCLUSIVE MAGAZINE reported on 27 July 2015 and 8 August 2015 that governor Okowa was seriously considering the Okpanam-born sports administrator for either Commissioner for Information or Lands, Survey & Urban Development. The latest information is that Okowa has finally settled for Mr Ukah as Commissioner for Lands, Survey & Urban Development, and is now looking towards Delta South for Commissioner for information.

According to a reliable insider, Okowa’s choice of an Urhobo for commissioner of Information is simply a political strategic, aimed at countering the opposition. The reliable insider explains: “You know, within his first week in office, Okowa initiated and submitted Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency Bill 2015 (DSCTA) and dissolved and reconstructed a new Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPPADEC) board.

“The passage of these Bills, especially DESOPPADEC Bill, has brought Governor Okowa under barrage of attack from Urhobo people, who have argued that the DESOPPADEC Bill, passed on 4 May, was meant to undermine the status of the Government House Annex and Warri. You will recall also that Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor has threatened to drag Okowa to court for abolishing DESOPADEC. So appointing someone from Delta South as commissioner of Information is a well-considered political necessity.”

Barring any last minutes reshuffling, the odds are that Bright Edejibve will be appointed commissioner for information. Dr. Azinge, who is the Asagba of Asaba’s candidate, will get the nod as Commissioner for Health. The Asagba of Asaba has demanded emphatically that he wants the Health ministry and Okowa has no qualms about it. Barr. Peter Mrakpor, the husband of Hon. Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor, a member of House of representative representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, has been handed down the commissioner of Justice and David Edevbie is set to return a second time as Finance commissioner. Edevbie held the position throughout Chief James Ibori’s 8-year tenure.

In addition to the twelve commissioners sworn in on 3 July 2015, the 13 new commissioners when eventually sworn-in later today will bring the total number of Okowa’s commissioners to 25, ensuring that there is one commissioner from each of the 25 Local Governments in the State.