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Ministry of Information

Like King David, Like Governor Oborevwori

Like King David, Like Governor Oborevwori

By Jackson Ekwugum

After the Supreme Court judgement that affirmed his March 18, 2023, electoral victory, Governor Sheriff Oborevwori stunned the jubilant audience that thronged the church Thanksgiving Service to celebrate his victory when he revealed that he survived a total of thirty-eight pre-election and post-election litigations. You could almost hear some in the audience catch their breath at this shocking disclosure. “No other politician in this country,” Oborevwori continued, “including even Governors that served two terms had to face this number of court cases.” Granted that the Delta governorship stool had never been so hotly contested since 1999, but not many knew the extent of the bile that fuelled the dissension as evidenced in the plethora of court cases that greeted Oborevwori’s emergence as PDP’s governorship candidate and subsequent election as Delta State Governor.

In a sense, Oborevwori’s grass to grace story parallels the travails that trailed David’s choice as the next king of Israel after Saul. From the moment the Almighty zeroed His attention on the young shepherd boy as the next monarch, all hell literally broke loose. He faced rejection, persecution, mockery, and betrayals. The first opposition came from within his family. Even David’s father did not consider him worthy of consideration to be in the line of choice for the kingship and conveniently ignored him until the prophet Samuel insisted on him to be brought from the field where he was tending sheep. At the battlefield to make supplies to his brethren who were arrayed in battle against the Philistines, his eldest brother, Eliab, poured scorn on him.

After his famous slaying of Goliath, King Saul took David under his wings. But as David’s popularity soared, King Saul turned from being his mentor to his tormentor and deployed every apparatus of state to take him out. Even the people of Keilah whom David rescued from their Philistine foes while on the run from Saul, were eager to turn him in to ingratiate themselves with Saul. It was the ultimate betrayal. David was a fugitive for thirteen years hiding from the insanely murderous Saul. Thankfully, he survived all the attempts on his life and eventually ascended the throne upon Saul’s death. There are contradictions as to the actual number of battles David fought during his lifetime, but it is doubtful if any other king compares in that department.

The years in the wilderness, far from being the gloom and doom it portended, became David’s preparation for the throne. It was there he was imbued with the leadership credentials that enabled him to lead the people. He applied the skills he acquired from turning a bunch of broke, busted, and disenchanted followers in the wilderness into an organised, well-oiled fighting machine, to administering the kingdom of Israel. It was under King David that the monarchy was firmly established with proper organization and structure. He ended up being Israel’s greatest king, and became the standard by which successive kings were measured.

That may yet be Governor Oborevwori’s story going by the signs of his first seven months in office. He has demonstrated remarkable leadership qualities of focus, tenacity of purpose, sacrifice, humility, patience, and prudent and judicious allocation of resources. Like David, he has an exciting mix of youth and experience in his cabinet. And like the sweet Psalmist of Israel, Oborevwori also brings a touch of class and excellence to everything he does.

Within his first 100 days in office, he completed and commissioned several projects of the immediate past administration. And without fanfare, several road and physical infrastructure projects have been embarked upon across the three senatorial districts of the state. The construction of three flyover bridges and cloverleaf interchange in the twin cities of Warri and Effurun may have garnered all the media attention but a lot more are currently ongoing in several communities in the state. It is not that the Governor is media shy as some are wont to think; it is not just his style to hug the limelight. A man of few words, he would rather let his work do the talking.

Even more instructive is his welfarist mindset. It is praiseworthy that notwithstanding the distraction of the court cases, the Governor made it his priority to clear the backlog of promotional arrears owed public service workers upon assumption of office. The administration paid five billion, five hundred and twenty-two million, six hundred and thirty-seven thousand, eight hundred and forty-eight naira, and five kobo (N5, 522,637, 848.05) to twenty-three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-seven (23,887) workers in the state public service. The Governor also approved and paid one billion, five hundred and five million, eight hundred and eighty thousand naira (N1,505,880,000.00) as bonus to workers over a period of three months to cushion the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.


He also secured “legislative approval for the local government councils to obtain a N40b bank loan to enable them liquidate their backlog of pension liabilities.” As I write this, he has approved the payment of bursary to students in tertiary institutions. That is the heart of a man who knows where the shoe pinches. By the time he is done, Governor Oborevwori shall, indeed, be “the most underrated” that became “the most celebrated,” as his protocol aide, Pastor Tos Powell prophetically stated.

– Ekwugum is Manager, Communications, Government House, Asaba.

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