- Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has been honoured with the award of ‘Most-Friendly State Governor in Nigeria.’
- The award was presented to the Delta state governor by a coalition of civil society groups under the aegis of Nigeria Network of NGOs
- The governor was also commended for appointing senior special assistant on civic engagement in the state
Asaba - A coalition of civil society groups under the aegis of Nigeria Network of NGOs on Tuesday, December 14 honoured Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, with the award of ‘Most-Friendly Governor in Nigeria.’
Presenting the award to the governor at the Delta State Civil Society Day and Awards, leader of the group, Senator Shehu Sani, said that the award was in recognition of Okowa’s support and collaboration with civil society groups in the state and country.
Sani said that he was amazed that Okowa was the only governor who recognise the contributions of civil society groups in the Nigerian project and called on other governors to emulate his kind gesture.
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“Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is one that has exemplified by his actions, that he recognizes the roles and appreciates the civil society in Nigeria.
“We are not that kind of people who do sycophancy. We are here in this state because the man who is in charge of this state has identified with the course of the common man, the course of young Nigerians, and the course of democracy.’
“This is unusual. Since 1999, you are the only governor that has recognised the contributions of civil society in the struggle for the enriching of our democratic experience. I believe that this initiative should continue because the pace has already been set.’’
The group had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the governor where the senior special assistant to the governor on civic engagement, Rex Anighoro, thanked him for integrating civil society members into his government to ensure that they worked together for the good of the state.
He said that since 2016, every December 14 had been set aside to celebrate the contributions of civil societies to the state.
Responding, Okowa thanked the CSOs for the award and called for a greater engagement for the good of the nation.
He said that many governments tended to shy away from civil society, but pointed out that many governments would have been more brutish without civil societies.
“Many times when we are in very high offices, sometimes people may not tell us the truth, and any government that wants to succeed must work with groups that are closer to the society and civil society is a group that we cannot avoid.
“It is a group that should be consulted as many times as possible or create a platform where they can engage the government at all times.
“They are a voice of conscience and in their daily interactions with the people they have a lot of advice to offer.”
Giving all Nigerians a voice
Governor Okowa recently called on the federal government to create an avenue for a national dialogue to dissect and seek a panacea to various challenges facing the country.
Okowa made the call at an interdenominational thanksgiving service to mark the 30th anniversary of the creation of Delta state held at St. Peters Anglican Cathedral, Asaba.
He said that there were too many voices of anger calling for justice, fairness, and equity in the affairs of the nation and urged the federal government to take steps to listen to the voices.
Abubakar lauds Okowa's contribution to peace, development in Delta
Meanwhile, former Head of State and chairman National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, recently commended Governor Okowa for his contributions to the peace and development of Delta state.
Abubakar gave the commendation on Thursday, November 4 while addressing newsmen at Government House, Asaba, shortly after a courtesy call on the governor.
He also commended Deltans for sustaining the peace in Delta which, he noted, had enabled the governor to carry out developmental projects in the nooks and crannies of the state.