Okowa: Why I Adopted Non-confrontational Style in Politics

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that his adoption of non-confrontational approach to politics has enabled him to record more mileage in governance, in terms of visible achievements during his first four years in office as the state’s chief executive officer.

Okowa, who made the remarks while declaring open a three-day strategic political communication post-election and first terminal review workshop yesterday in Asaba, stressed that confrontational politics leads to distraction from set goals.

He noted that by ignoring mischievous elements often seeking to draw him into confrontation, much has been achieved by remaining focused and committed to the policies and programmes of his government.

The workshop organised by the Office of the Executive Assistant to Delta State Governor on Communications, Dr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), primarily targeted political appointees especially those concerned with strategic information dissemination at the state level and across the 25 local government areas of the state.

The strategic communication training was also meant to sharpen skills of the state’s communication and media practitioners in readiness for the “‘Stronger Delta Agenda” of Governor Okowa, which is the development mantra for his second term in office.

Okowa who was represented at the opening ceremony of the workshop by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, urged the participants to follow in his footsteps by ensuring that they remain focused on their duty by transmitting to the people of the state the policies, programmes and activities of government in order to elicit the cooperation of the people in its developmental strides.

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He said: ‘”Our strategy as a government is non-confrontational, because we don’t want to be distracted from our focus on delivering well-intentioned programmes to uplift the wellbeing and living standards of all Deltans. A good manager does not listen to side talks; he focuses on doing his job and doing it well”.

While noting that his administration had done a lot in the provision of infrastructure, which earned him the nickname “Road Master”, Okowa observed that all the wonderful performance would come to naught in the absence of effective communication machinery, saying those who desired to communicate effectively and professionally must never get tired in the acquisition of knowledge.

However, the Communications Manager to Okowa, Mr. Jackson Ekwugum, enjoined the participants to challenge themselves to mental rigour demanded by their jobs, saying they could not afford to dwell on or be guided by frivolities and unprofitable personality clashes.

While urging them to strive towards effective communication, which he explained, was ultimately effected by the appropriate or desired response, Ekwugum warned them to be wary of “the so-called new media (or social media), which has made many mentally lazy in sifting the grain from the chaff; such that they do not have the patience to fully digest the content of news item or piece of information before jumping to conclusion and hasty response”.

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Also addressing the participants, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, advised the different government officials and media communicators to avoid all forms of docility but to be on top of their game by getting to understand the principal or immediate boss very well as well as being abreast of government programmes and activities at all times.

Also speaking at the event, Delta State Head of Service, Sir Reginald Bayoko, assured that Okowa’s second term would be even better than the first.

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