BY FIDELIS EGUGBO
ONE of the greatest challenges facing a leader in a democratic setting is having the right set of people to work with to deliver electoral promises. This is so, as everything about democracy revolves round the people’s interest. So when a people entrusts their leader with its mandate, that elected representative needs divine intervention to get the right set of persons to work with to ensure that the job is done to the satisfaction of the electorate.
This is because, once a winner emerges in a contest, he becomes the bride of the people with a lot of sycophants milling around while those who are capable of doing the job may be ignored.
So, when the Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, delayed the release of the name of the Commissioner for Information in the state, there was unease among the people. Naturally, people also started asking questions – is he going to run his administration without Commissioner for Information? Is there conflict of interest that is making it so difficult for the governor to choose who will be the information manager of the state, among several other questions? These questions became very necessary because the first appointment the governor made after his election was that of his Chief Press Secretary in the person of Olorogun Festus Ahon, KSC, who was taken from the stable of Vanguard Newspapers.
Apart from Olorogun Ahon, the governor has also, made several appointments in terms of those who manage his media – Communication Manager, Senior Special Assistants (Media), Special Assistants (Media), Special Assistants (Communication), among others.
The Commissioner for Information has a lot of roles to play in ensuring effective governance, in short, he can be described as the overall Manager of Information in the state, this is obvious based on the fact that among all the managers of information in the state, he is the only one who appears before the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
So, the appointment of the Commissioner for Information as the Chief Image Maker of the state cannot be avoided and last week, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, scored the bull’s eye with the nomination of a tested and trusted image maker in the person of Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, as the Commissioner for Information.
Dr. Osuoza, on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, appeared before the Delta State House of Assembly for screening for the post of Commissioner for Information and the legislators led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Emomotimi Guwor cleared him with ease based on his antecedents.
Today, February 1, 2024, Dr Osuoza to the glory of God, took oath of office as member of the Delta State Executive Council.
Chapter 9, Section 192 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, made it clear that for you to be appointed a Commissioner, you must have also, been qualified to contest for a seat in the House of Assembly.
Going down memory lane, my first time of meeting Dr. Osuoza was when he indicated interest in contesting for election to represent Aniocha North Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly. Then, Chief James Ibori was the Governor of Delta State and yours sincerely was the reporter attached to Chief Sir Benjamin Elue, the then Deputy Governor of Delta State. Dr. Osuoza came with a unique style of campaign and as a man of the people, the people of Aniocha North were always chanting, “Your Agenda, is our Agenda” and that was what earned him the sobriquet, Agenda.
Politics is dynamic, yours sincerely could not ascertain what made him to jettison that dream of contesting in the elections but for sure, that was how Dr. Osuoza became active in the politics of Delta State.
He is well respected among the people, fearless and result-oriented at all times and known to speak only when it is necessary because he means what he says and his nomination by the governor for the Commissioner for Information was received with a lot of joy across the state because of his pedigree in information management.
As a credible information manager, Agenda is very proactive and has a knack for releasing timely information and manages such to douse tension when the need arises. No doubt, with him on the saddle, journalists and Deltans at large will easily verify their stories before going to the public as he is very accessible.
Since 2016 to date, Dr. Osuoza has been managing the information network of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta State Chapter as its State Publicity Secretary, which implies that, among other things, he effectively, coordinated the media and public relations apparatus of the PDP for the 2019 general election and that of 2023.
Based on his antecedents as a great manager of information, he was the Executive Assistant, Communication to the immediate past Governor of Delta State, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, CON, and also, served as the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Delta Broadcasting Service, DBS, Warri.
With his announcement as the Commissioner for Information designate, the General Manager of the DBS, Warri, Pastor Malcolm Oteri, said, “We are not surprised at this appointment. The tact, discipline, dedication and resourcefulness with which you led the Board, guided the management, and related with staff of DBS, Warri, through a difficult period, left none of us in doubt of your capacity in organizational communication management.
“Coupled with the responsibility of leading the DBS, Warri Board , you excellently guided the publicity machinery of Delta State PDP as Publicity Secretary, to a resounding victory at the March, 2023 Governorship Election.
“You handled the marketing of the MORE Agenda, engagement of rival political parties and opponents with such diligence that won more friends and drastically reduced enemies for your party, the PDP, and your principal, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori. You displayed a very high proficiency in political communication that won the admiration of friends and foes.
“As you step into this higher level responsibility of managing the publicity and information machinery of Delta State, we, in DBS, Warri , with utmost confidence in you , will work with you to ensure greater success.”
Dr. Osuoza, was also, the Chairman, Delta Broadcasting Service, DBS, Asaba; Chairman, PDP, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Commissioner for Special Duties and member, Land Use and Allocation Committee in the state, as such, his nomination for the job of Commissioner for Information is as good as inserting a round peg in a round hole.
He was born on 19th January, 1967 and hails from Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, he is a skilled writer and proficient in the use of and working with the computer. In 2018 he bagged a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D) in Strategic Studies from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, a University where he had in 2011, bagged a Master of Science (M.Sc) Degree and in 2004 got a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree.
He also, attended Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, St. Pius Xth Grammar School, Onicha-Ugbo; Nawar UI Deen Primary School, Apapa, Lagos, among others.
Before joining active politics, Dr. Osuoza worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Tac Armouring Global Limited; representative of Africa at Texas Armoring Corporation; San Antonio, United States of America, and Operation Officer at Allied Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Agenda has also, served as the Public Relations Officer, Ibadan Recreation Club, acting Secretary General, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Assistant Secretary-General, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Secretary General, Auchi Polytechnic Students’ Union Government, and Vice President, Office Management Students’ Association, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
Dr Osuoza who has passion for writing, reading, travelling and playing golf, is a member of Ibadan Recreation Club, Ibadan, Oyo State, Ibori Golf and Country Club, Asaba, Delta State and Life Member, National Association of Nigerian Students’ (NANS).
With Dr Osuoza who is happily married as the Information Manager of oil and gas-rich Delta State, better decisions would be taken by government as he will be very thorough in ensuring that the right information gets to the people with effective feedback mechanism for the needs of the people to be promptly addressed by government.
With Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori on the saddle, better days are ahead for Deltans.
The author, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, is the Senior Special Assistant, Media, to the Governor of Delta State.