It was Professor Harold Lasswell, the great American political scientist who postulated that the core of politics is about who gets what, how and when. From the above submission of the scholar, political brinkmanship should be the basis and the magnet that would attract developmental milestones or the dividends of democracy as some would call it.
In Delta state, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has taken the above idea of developmental politics several notches higher. The Okowa philosophy or formula which Deltans now refer to as Okowability is seen in the numerous life changing developmental projects executed and still being executed across Delta State including where was hitherto referred to as opposition strongholds.
Ever since his inauguration almost two years ago, Okowa has embarked on aggressive construction of roads and bridges in all the Local Government Areas literally turning the state into a huge construction site. From Abraka town to Okpanam, from Ughelli to Bomadi, from Agbor to Warri, the story is the same. Massive roads construction and rehabilitation of existing ones have been going on. These includes the dualization of Nnebisi Road (from traffic light junction to cable point) Asaba which runs into sevearl kilometers, dualization of Sapele road from Amukpe to AT & P and the reconstruction of old Oleh /Emede/ Olomoro road, Oleh, construction of Abraka Township roads, among many others. The government has also embarked on the rehabilitation of the Asaba Airport runway and taxiway.
In the area of Sports, Governor Okowa has resuscitated the Delta State Sports Festival and the Principals Cup as well as gearing up to complete the Asaba Township Stadium.
In executing all these laudable projects, Okowa has demonstrated that he truly holds a pan-Delta mandate by showing no ethnic or political bias. This has left some provincial political generals whose strength lies in them playing the ethnic card discomfited and demobilized. But Deltans who are tired of tribal politics are better for it and that is all that matters.
Secondly, the Politics of Development has also played out in the area of Youth Empowerment, a critical component of the SMART Agenda of the Okowa administration.
Through the Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) as well as the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), several thousand youths have been trained and given capital (Starter Packs) to set up their businesses, become self sufficient and ultimately employers of labour.
This drive for human capital development was also devoid of any trace of favouritism neither was the political antecedents of the beneficiaries a factor.
Senator Okowa has also demonstrated this thinking even in the area of appointment of political office holders by going out of his way to show that politics should be about the people. Governor Okowa has confirmed that politics is not warfare and that the business of governance is distinct from political grandstanding.
In this wise, several opposition political figures have been given sensitive offices as all that matters to Okowa is competence and eagerness to work.
This new thinking, the politics of development is what is being championed by Governor Okowa. It is the same thinking that guides the statesman who thinks of the next generation rather than the next election.
To Be Continued…