- Gov hosts physically-challenged Nigerians
Encomiums have continued to pour in for Delta state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as he celebrates his 60th birthday on Monday.
The President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan, Govenors Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Emeka Ihedioha of Imo, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and the immediate past President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki were among those who felicitated with Okowa as he celebrates.
This is even as the governor celebrated the 60 anniversary of his birth with persons living with disabilities
The celebration which saw a lot of people with disabilities in attendance, was also attended by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, Governors of Sokoto, Imo and Edo States, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Sir Emeka Ihedioha and Mr Godwin Obaseki respectively.
Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral John Jona represented Governor Seriake Dickson at the ceremony which took place at the Event Centre, Asaba and was also, attended by former Governor James Ibori, former Deputy Governors of the state, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) and Chief Benjamin Elue.
Speaking with newsmen at the event, President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan stated that Nigerians should serve the country with the passion with which the governor handles the affairs that concerns the nation.
“Governor Okowa is very patriotic, purposeful, dedicated and committed to issues that affect the country,” he said, disclosing, “I served with him in the Senate and I can tell you that he is always committed to the job he is assigned to do.”
While congratulating the governor for clocking 60 years, the Senate President who was accompanied on the felicitation visit by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi stated, “Governor Okowa is a man who believes in the country despite our different political divide.”
For immediate past President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki who felicitated with Okowa on Twitter, he prayed God to grant his more wisdom to continue to govern the state aright.
He wrote: “I felicitate with my friend & brother, @GovIfeanyiOkowa, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. I pray you continue to grow in strength & wisdom. Happy birthday”
Governor Fayemi, on behalf of the Governors of the country, congratulated Governor Okowa, saying, “we members of the Nigerian Governors Forum are proud of you (Governor Okowa), you are a committed patriot and a bridge builder.”
Others who spoke at the occasion described the celebration as unique, noting that Governor Okowa is humble, focused and patient.
According to Governor Tambuwal, “Governor Okowa will remain the humble servant of the people; he is a good husband and a father, a gentleman, very honest and unassuming.”
“I congratulate the people of Delta for having him as Governor for a second term, and his decision to celebrate the birthday with people with disabilities is in his characteristics of giving hope to the hopeless,” Governor Tambuwal said.
To Sir Ihedioha, “Governor Okowa is calm to a fault but, you can only underestimate him to your own peril; he is also, a very humble man and we commend him for celebrating his birthday with people with disabilities. “
The Governor of Edo State was also, full of praises for Governor Okowa tracing his achievements to when he was a student of the Edo College, Benin City.
Former Governor James Ibori described the governor as a prayerful personality who believes that he cannot record success without God.
“I congratulate Governor Okowa; I thank God for your life; I thank God for your humility and we pray God will continue to uplift you because, I do know that you do everything with a clear conscience; continue to take decisions in the interest of humanity,” the governor said, adding, “you can be firm when it requires firmness and you can be fair when it requires fairness.”
Governor Okowa in his speech, thanked the organisers for making it a pleasant surprise, disclosing that his intention was to celebrate the birthday solely with people who are living with disabilities
“I want to thank God for keeping me alive; my mother died at 43 and growing up to attain 60, I thank God,” the governor said and used the occasion to also, thank his wife, Dame Edith and their children.
He disclosed that he decided to celebrate his 60th birthday with people with disabilities because, it was not their decision to be disabled, assuring that his administration will continue to pay special attention to their affairs.
He used the event to call for consensus building in the country, saying, “it is time to ensure that there is consensus building to make everybody to come to the table and discuss how to take Nigeria to greater heights.”
“At this point in time in our history, good working relationship between the Chairman of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Governors’ Forum is good for our country,” Governor Okowa said – NAN