Okowa and the Ego Aria phenomenom: Letter to my Governor

July 28, 2017 Africa , Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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Jerome-Mario Utomi


Your Excellency, Senator Doctor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, though you are a medical Doctor by profession you have left nobody in doubt that you were a very good student of Economics back in your secondary school formation days.

This is evident from the way you punctuate every speech of yours with the basic economic concepts as taught at the introductory stage of the subject. Chief among these concepts is the theory of man’s numerous needs chasing limited resources.

This theory reflects in your actions and inactions, and which you often drive home employing your popular refrain rendered at every juncture in your local Ika dialect ‘Ego Aria’.

For a clearer understanding of this piece, ‘ego aria’ in Ika dialect literarily means ‘there is no money,’ but in your context, my governor, it means much more than that. It connotes that your administration is faced with multiple socioeconomic challenges and your propensity to perform is limited by inadequate financial resources hence the ‘ego aria’ sing song. This mantra of sorts has gained prominence and has become domesticated by the majority of Deltans without recourse to party, ethnic or tribal inclinations.

The above expression has portrayed your Excellency as one, a person with full grasp of the people’s needs. Also, voicing out your predicaments before your subjects is a practical demonstration of the fact that you are human and humane.

But my Governor, voicing out without objectified strategy to solving this problem will also present you as one lacking in vision, creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity.


Imperatively, this piece is aimed at urging you to roll up your sleeves and develop a workable strategy that will bring a lasting solution to this ‘’ego aria’’ phenomenon. There is the need to fashion out a strategy that will ensure that all activities are coordinated and all resources allocated to the right channels. This I believe will assist you in using the state’s financial resources to achieve optimum results.

My Governor, I am not oblivious of the harsh economic situation in the country occasioned by the economic recession. But I am also well aware that hyper proactive governors have since shaken off the negative impact of the recession and gone from ‘’economic recession” to “economic resetting.”


Reinventing the above in Delta State is very possible considering our enormous resources in comparison with other less privileged states. What is required of you currently and very urgently is to develop the political will to practice ‘creative destruction,’ abandoning issues of mere importance for the fundamental ones. You also need democratization of leadership. Remember, ‘the first duty of a great leader is to find the right people and give them their rightful positions.’

Your Excellency, I would like to humbly refer you to this age long adage, ‘if you cannot create, document, and if you are not strong, be smart.’ I am of the opinion that it is time for our state to document all that is happening in other states and the world over in order to replicate it in our state.

Disparaging your person or your administration with this piece is not part of my card, but is to remind you of the people’s expectations.

My Governor, I am aware of your good intentions, resolve and efforts to develop the state as a tour round the state would reveal appreciable signs. But my belief is that you can do better.

Your Excellency, I am positively disposed to the fact that you can creatively harness the present economic situation and deliver on your campaign promises.

Though endorsed and anointed by different groups for 2019, my Governor should bear in mind that it is not yet uhuru as 2019 is still a long distance to accommodate political recalculations and deconstructions, dismantling of power blocs and enthronement of new ‘’principalities.’’

My Governor, please, remember also that in the game of power, ‘you are surrounded by people who have absolutely no reason to help you unless it is in their interest to do so. And if you have nothing to offer their self interest, you are likely to make them hostile, for they will see in you as one more competitor and waster of their time.’

On the allegation that you are being teleguided by men behind the scene, christened ‘godfathers’, if true, Mr. Governor, you need to read this concept on power, ‘power is the ability to fill a void, to occupy a field that has been cleared of the dead weights of the past. Only after the father figure is properly done away with will you have the necessary space to create and establish a new order,’ as postulated by Robert Green.


To this end, I say that one big lesson I would like you My Governor to take away from this piece is that the people that voted for you  are watching and waiting. Whether ‘Egho ri or Egho aria’ (with or without enough resources) they voted for performance and not excuse. They want to see and feel the exceptional growth and development of their state heralded by your administration.

The earlier, my governor, takes steps to address this ‘ego aria’ mentality which the people view as a sign of cluelessness on your part, the better for your political career as it will definitely brighten your political reputation and operational sagacity.

But if not arrested, the electorate shall view your campaign mantra, ‘your matta na my matta’ as used in 2015, as a smokescreen used to deceive Deltans. If viewed from this prism, chances are that it may dovetail into an enormous obstacle thus making 2019 project a herculean task.

Just the way some governors transformed ‘economic recession to economic resetting,’ let my governor become spirit like and transform ‘ego aria’ to ‘egho ria’!





Jerome-Mario Utomi

Jerome-Mario is a Social Entrepreneur and an alumnus, School of media and communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, Nigeria.

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