By Ikechukwu Chukwudi
When news filtered into the state about a year ago on the Rufus Ebegba factor in the 2023 Delta gubernatorial contest, a lot of brows were raised with questions and near mockery about the seriousness of his aspiration and effectiveness of his candidacy, bearing in mind the now flooded pack of aspirants from the two major parties in the state, who have indicated interest in Delta State’s top job.
However, a few months down the line and a couple of defining events gradually put to bed questions about his involvement in the race, with definite observations informing all who care to listen to prepare for his eventual participation in the contest.
Very recently, a documentary aired on the Aleogho Dokpesi owned Africa Independent Television (AIT), wherein Dr Rufus Ebegba featured among the top ranked aspirants and possible successors to Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa.
On the programme “Inside The Niger Delta”, hosted by Ace broadcaster Mamode Akugha and aired on Monday, November 8, 2021, Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director General of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) was the fifth to be rated (only behind a former Presidential aide, the deputy governor, two serving senators, and was the second APC aspirant), was esteemed as one man who cannot be considered a push over.
Ebegba, a hybrid of Urhobo and Isoko origins, is one man who despite his loyal affiliation with the APC, is a detribalized Deltan, who is always open to innovations, solutions and inputs from necessary voices.
Having served the Nigerian State for the most part of his career life and in his present capacity, the Evwreni-born Environmental Scientist is clearly the best material to handle a multi-ethnic enclave like Delta State in fairness, equity and justice.
In terms of leadership and good governance delivery, the APC in Delta State seeks to cause a sharp departure from the norm of governance hampered by over familiarity, poor enthusiasm and inadequate willpower, hence the candidacy of Dr Rufus Ebegba once again affords the best instance that exemplifies this.
Since the advent of his leadership at the NBMA as pioneer DG/CEO, he has steered the agency through the thorny and tedious journey of developing a standard and acceptable Biosafety and Biosecurity architecture for the country, fitting global standards.
This, he spearheads despite various challenges ranging from paucity of funds, limited manpower, need for improved legislation and other inadequacies, to successfully develop the first ever national biosafety policy framework in the nation’s 61 year history.
Today, the voluminous document sits before the President Buhari-led Federal Executive Council, awaiting approval and implementation.
Dr Rufus Ebegba, a Deltan, shares the complete Bendelite identity, having had his primary and secondary education in Delta State, before moving to the University of Benin where he earned his B.Sc.
This makes him familiar with the experiences of most individuals with the Delta experience. Of course, his career as a Federal staff and now Public Office holder, adds the advantage of being free from the stain of affiliation within the state.
Therefore, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) launches a determined offensive to exemplify good governance, the rising profile of Dr Rufus Ebegba, offers a golden opportunity at a real takeover and defining leadership by progressives in Delta State.
Dr Rufus Ebegba represents the best of Deltans who have become indispensable, in the bid to remodel the state and champion the delivery of the dividends of democracy.
For a more progressive Delta State, support Dr Rufus Ebegba for Governor in 2023.