Delta Governor Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said that for Nigeria to truly develop as a nation, there must be a partnership between government and the people, predicated on equity, fairness and justice.
The governor stated this at a State Banquet in honour of retiring Chief Judge of the state, Justice Marshal Umukoro, on Saturday night in Government House, Asaba.
He said that in such partnership, consideration of equity and rights of all was paramount and that the people must be treated fairly and equitably in all dealings.
He said that the country was in disarray because of injustice and unfair treatments to some sections of the country and called for a nation where fairness, justice and equity would reign.
“You have heard a lot of narratives concerning the resolutions of the Southern Governors’ meeting here in Asaba, but I am happy that people are beginning to change their voices on the decisions taken.
“It was in the best interest of the nation that we spoke because it is the best way to regain our nation.
“It is my hope that Nigerians will realise that for us to truly develop and have the Nigeria of our dream there is a need for a partnership based on equity, fairness and justice, and a partnership that realises that we are all equals,” Okowa said.
He disclosed that there was mutual respect between his office and that of the Chief Judge which accounted for the successes they had both achieved.
The governor thanked the retiring jurist for his outstanding accomplishments in the state’s judiciary and urged him to always render advice and mentorship as a role model to the new generation of judges in the state.
“I am truly very happy that we have been able to host this dinner in honour of our retiring Chief Judge who has served the state for 28 years and for six years as Chief Judge.
“I am happy because for two occasions I was sworn in as Governor, he performed that role of administering the oath of office on me.
“I thank God that throughout his tenure in office we worked very closely and I had the full cooperation of both the legislature and the judiciary and if it had gone otherwise, I am sure we wouldn’t have been able to do what we have achieved,” he said.
Okowa assured that he would continue to be guided by the truth in all his dealings with the people and sued for continued cooperation of the people in the remaining two years of his tenure.
“I do know that there is a lot to do in our state and it appears that everybody is worried but I want to assure our people that there is hope because there is nothing God cannot do.
“Sometimes when I speak people are not able to read my mind and they misinterpret me, but when I am leaving office in 2023, I will not be in a situation to deceive our people.
“People can continue to speculate but for those who mean well for Delta they will want to hear the truth and the truth they will hear from me.
“We will continue to stay on the side of truth because it is the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and I will continue to work for the people of Delta till the end of my tenure,” the governor said.
Justice Umukoro in his remark, thanked the governor, the state government and guests at the occasion for the honour done to him and his family, adding that he would remain grateful to the governor for granting full autonomy to the judiciary during his tenure as Chief Judge.
He appreciated all judicial workers in the state for their support and cooperation and urged them to extend the same to his successor.