Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the person who will succeed him come 2023 “must be one who keeps the fire in this altar burning”.
Okowa stated this on Tuesday at a thanksgiving service at the Government House Chapel, Asaba, for the blessings of God upon him, his family and the State in 2021 and for greater divine attention on them and the state in 2022.
The Governor who urged Deltans to pray for the Will of God to be done in the state ahead of the 2023 governorship election; cautioned political stakeholders on the need to concentrate on governance and not be distracted ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“Let us approach the next few months with oneness of love. Towards the end of every administration, there are usually distractions here and there.
“We are not stopping people from playing politics but we need to realise that there is a purpose and we must remain loyal and committed to governance until May 29, 2023.
‘’This is a year of politics and as politicians, we cannot avoid it; pray with us, pray for us and pray about the state.
“Whatever positions we are contesting for, let us seek the face of God because if you genuinely pray, God will reveal His will for you.
“As a man, I will also try to avoid people pushing me to a direction that God is not pleased with because if God has made a choice and we go in the wrong direction, it will not augur well for the state.
“But one thing is sure, whoever will succeed me must be one who keeps the fire in this altar burning, and God must direct me on the choice of the person.
“I can never take the place of God in deciding who will succeed me; I will pray for God to direct me and not man so that I don’t go in the wrong direction,” he stated.
The governor, therefore, appealed to politicians and other stakeholders who love the state to pray for the oneness and unity in the state, and particularly for him, to enable God to make necessary revelations to him on the choice of his successor, saying we must all pray, including those contesting for positions.
He urged leaders in authority to have faith in God as He alone could direct their affairs.
According to the governor, who was flanked by his wife, Edith, we recognise as a family and as Governor of Delta, that for all the grace of God in the past year and for all the achievements we have made that we must return to say thank you, Lord.
“In so doing we are asking for greater blessings and there is no doubt that since 2015 when we assumed office, the hand of God has been strong in this state.
“Going forward, I need no one to tell anyone that the hand of God has been very strong and gracious in our affairs.
“We are now in our seventh year and it is a good thing to give thanks unto God because if we rest our faith in God we will be able to do all things; we will be able to show love and empathy to the people.
“In governance, until you touch the lives of people you have done nothing and a life in governance without God is a governance for self because it is not for the people,” he said.
He urged Deltans to pray for him to finish strong, adding that “finishing strong is about being able to reach out to the people to lay the foundation that people can build upon.
“Many communities want to honour us and thank us for what we have done for them. But, each time I tell them that you have voted for us and whatever we have been able to achieve we give thanks to God.”
Okowa appealed to all persons in government to pay special attention to the things of God, counselling that “if you are to succeed in what you are doing, you must abide in God.
“As a family, we will continue to abide in God because by His grace we are able to continue and finish strong to His glory.
“It is our belief that God will provide the resources and the men to accomplish all that we have started.”