Dignitaries from all walks of life, Sunday worshipped at the First Baptist Church, Eku in Ethiope East Local Government Area, Delta State as Rt Hon Arthur Akpowowo dedicated his victory at the polls and emergence as the Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, to God.
Recall that the late Senator Pius Ewherido, who in 1999 represented Ughelli Constituency became the first Deputy Speaker of the State Legislature from the Urhobo nation in the first tenure of former Governor Chief James Ibori from 1999 to 2003.
When Ewherido was impeached in the second tenure of the Ibori government, Rt Hon Festus Ovie Agas, who represented Ughelli North Constituency One became the second Deputy Speaker from the Urhobo nation.
Present at the well-attended thanksgiving service were the State Deputy Governor, Sir Monday Onyeme; Speaker, Delta State Assembly, Emomotimi Guwor; Chief Ighoyota Amori; Professor Sam Oyovbaire; Secretary to the State Government, Dr Kingsley Emu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prince Johnson Erijo; Senior Political Adviser to the Governor, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo; and Senior Policy Adviser to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Funkekeme Solomon, amongst others.
Speaking during the thanksgiving service commended the persevering disposition of Rt Hon Akpowowo in his political journey to the State Assembly.
The Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevrwori recalled that for twenty years the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP has not won election to the State Assembly in Ethiope East, saying that the thanksgiving was long overdue.
Oborevrwori reflected when Arthur Akpowowo contested for the party’s ticket in 2018 but was denied, and stated that when the time came, he was not only sworn in as a Member of the House but as Deputy Speaker of the most vibrant State Assembly in the country.
He commended the humility and steadfastness of Akpowowo and for remaining with the PDP despite the initial challenges.
Oborevrwori charged Akpowowo to support the Speaker to succeed, promising his administration will provide the needed support that would further promote the vibrancy of the State Assembly.
He said, “As I was coming here, I prepared to speak on humility and being focused but when I heard the message titled: ‘Your set time has come’, I felt touched because the message fits the purpose of why we are here.
“We are here because of Arthur Akpowowo who came to thank God for making him not just a member of the State House of Assembly but for also emerging as Deputy Speaker.
“This is the first time a first-timer is emerging as the Deputy Speaker and so this thanksgiving is very important because indeed your set time has come, Rt. Hon. Arthur Akpowowo”.
He advised the lawmaker to remain humble and loyal to his people, assuring that the best was yet to come for him politically.
“Let me urge you to continue to remain humble and loyal to your Speaker and members.
“Don’t be carried away by power, don’t assume that you are now a leader because you are now Deputy Speaker.
“This victory is sweet because, at your time, PDP was able to reclaim Ethiope East after 20 years of trying.
“So once again, I congratulate you for your victory and wish you greater success in your future endeavours,” said the governor.
The celebrant, Rt Hon Arthur Akpowowo, thanked God for the opportunity that brought him thus far in politics after several attempts and promised to bring positive impact on the lives of the people.
Akpowhowho assured that as Deputy Speaker of the State Assembly, the Speaker, Rt Hon Emomotimi Guwor has his trust and confidence, and that he will work with him to ensure stability in the State legislature.
He paid glowing tributes to Governor Sheriff Oborevrwori for his support and to former Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for laying the foundation that brought him several favours.
On the State Government owned Eku Baptist Specialist Hospital, the Deputy Speaker explained that the recent upgrade was a welcome development and expressed optimism that personnel and facilities needed to make it a standard hospital would be provided.
In a sermon, the officiating minister, First Baptist Church, Eku, Revd Akpotor Eboh, reminded Christians that power belongs to God, stressing that no plan of the evil ones can stop a child of God from thriving.
Revd Eboh prayed God to pull down every obstacle planted in the Wheel of Progress in the State and put to shame the enemies of the people.
The religious minister commended the Deputy Speaker, Arthur Akpowowo for coming to God in thanksgiving, and charged him to work for the well-being of the people.
Special prayers were offered for Rt Hon Oborevrwori to succeed as Governor as well as the Deputy Speaker, Arthur Akpowowo for the multiple blessings in their lives.
The clergyman also prayed for a new dawn in Delta State, asking God to set things right for peace, unity and massive infrastructural development in the State.
A reception that was later held at the premises of the Baptist High School, Eku was attended by a cross-section of the society, including federal and state government officials.