I Have Confidence In The People Okowa Has Appointed --- Akpobi

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Elvis Akpobi, fondly addressed as Hon. Major by his admirers, is an aide to the Principal Secretary of the Delta state governor, Hillary Ibegbulem.

In this exclusive interview with Kenneth Orusi, in Asaba over the appointments by the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, he expressed satisfaction. He uses the medium to task Deltans to join hands with the present administration to build a stronger Delta.

How did you feel when the governor is offloading names of appointees from his black bag?

As the names were rolling out, I was overwhelmed with joy. Despite he made the promise that he will pick young people, I didn’t think he will pick such number. Some people called me saying Not too young to rule people have lost out.

Some even told us that we are congratulating old people and we are advocating for youths in governance. But today, this last appointment, Deltans are happy, youths are happy. And like Oliver Twist, we keep asking for more. The advocacy is not for only young persons, it is actually for young persons with character.

We pray for good citizens. It is good citizens that become leaders. So, I want to thank the governor for keeping to his words. And I’m very optimistic that the persons he has appointed, they will deliver. They have capacity, they have competence. I Can categorically say I have confidence in them that they will deliver.

How many youths have been so far appointed?
We have not had it this way before in the history of Delta state. I must be honest with you. We have ifeanyi Egunyenga, that man is a man with character, innovative and creative. He is like a mentor to me. We have Vincent Oyibode, the young activist too, he was shortlisted. There is one Leonard, he is a young man, Matthew Tsekiri is also a young man. We have another person in that list. There are young persons. Okiemute Kent is also a young man.

You can't remove the leaders at a goal. You need people to nurture you while you grow under them. If the entire exco is loaded with young persons, everybody will be learning on the job.

As the government is picking up now, what can you say about the performance of these appointees?

They have just been nominated. The only thing I crave for is that office of youth development. It should be given to a young person with ideas and vision. The person that will roll out programmes for the youths. The future that the youths prepare for no longer exisits. In those days when you finish school, you get 2.1 you get a job. Technology has spoilt everything. It is no longer so.

Whoever becomes commissioner for youths should roll out policies that will help develop youths in the state. If you look around the society youths have solution to many problems. Young persons should be meeting frequently for discourse and organize seminars and all that.

What is your agenda for these young people in the administration?

The advocacy we are making is not for young persons but young persons with character and content. We don’t need people who are intoxicated by power. We will meet with them and plead with them to be thermometer to measure quality leadership. After their tenure, the way they act will determine if the system will allow more young people in government. If they do well, the system will allow more young people.

My advice to them is that God gives them the wisdom to set good standard beause leadership is not. I keep saying you can't bend the world into the shape we want but you can make something out of it. We have not had it like this before. In 2023, you will see more young people coming into power.

Some people say since youths have more knowledge of technology, they could override the adults. What is your take?

We are in the digital generation. However, I always tell elders don’t see any young man with ideas as a threat, rather harness the potentials in that individual. There is nothing like when you sit down at your old age and you see that young person is your product.

That is why I appreciate my boss, he brought out things in me. He brought out some potentials in me which I never thought I had. He gave me a platform to grow. You should give your follower the privilege to harness their potentials. A lot of young persons today have dimmed their shine may be because they are afraid of the person they work for. If they shine too bright, it will send a wrong message.

Never outshine your master and at the same the leaders should not reduce the confidence of their subjects because one day will take its course on you.

Youths should be pateicne with leaders, leaders are watching youths, thinking if they give this persons this position will he hold it well

What is your advice to Deltans?
The governor said he is working towards a stronger Delta. It is not only for the governor but for all of us in the state. There is nothing like when you walk outside the state and say Delta state is now peaceful. Delta state is now an employment hub courtesy of the governor. Its not him alone, it is all of us. We should be good ambassadors of the state. Lets place Delta first in all things we do.