BY FRED EDOREH
The Alumni Association of the University of Ibadan, Worldwide, has said the outgoing Governor of Delta State, Sen Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has distinguished himself excellently and been a good ambassador of the citadel in the course of his political and public services.
The commendation was made in Asaba on Thursday at the association’s Public and Valedictory Lecture in honour of Okowa and his wife, Dame Edith Okowa, both alumni of the university.
In a goodwill message delivered by the President of the association, Prof Saawua Nyityo, the Alumni congratulated Okowa on the successful completion of his two-term tenure as Governor, commending him for his meritorious service to Delta State, Nigeria and humanity.
“You have left no one in doubt of the direction of the transformational style of leadership that has not only become a hallmark of excellence, but has positively impacted the lives of Deltans and many Nigerians politically and economically,” Nyityo wrote.
“Your achievements which have been well documented for a better appreciation by the public, could also be said to emanate from the combination of your solid education at the University of Ibadan as well as the quality advice from the civil service and political aides; àchievements that have made your great Alma mater and the Alumni proud of you.
“There is no doubt that your managerial astuteness, clear vision, people-oriented disposition and the burning desire to uplift humanity, endeared you to the people and propelled your achievements in the state and Nigeria generally.”
Chairman of the Asaba Chapter of the Alumni, Barr J.I. Kagho, explained that the celebration of Okowa is for the fact that he recorded many firsts as an ambassador of the university.
“Besides his stint at the local government level of governance, he is the first Alumnus to serve as Commissioner in three ministries consecutively, namely Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Health, first Alumnus to be appointed Secretary to the Delta State Government in a democratic dispensation and to have voluntarily resigned and contested election into the Nigeria Senate, first Alumnus to represent the State at the Senate and first Alumnus to serve as Governor of Delta State. Most importantly, he led the Peoples Democratic Party and the State to a resounding victory in the last Governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“The Governor’s long and very eventful sojourn in politics has been of great service to humanity. By his act of service, strong leadership qualities and using the training he received at the prestigious University of Ibadan, he projected our image of sound judgement, resourcefulness, intelligence and goodwill to all manners of persons beyond boundaries. As a Chapter, we are proud of him.”
In the preceding years, Okowa was bestowed with the award of UI Alumnus of the Year, 2018, and elected as a Trustee on the Board of the Alumni Association Trustees representing the South South geo-political zone of Nigeria.
The valedictory lecture was chaired by Prof Sam Oyovbare with Dr Kingsley Emu as Guest Lecturer on “The Burden of Leadership.”