Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State governor, has sacked his Executive Assistant on Communication, Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, over what he called ‘recklessness and insubordination’.
A few days ago, Oghenesivbe in an interview with a national radio in Lagos, which was monitored in Asaba, allegedly criticised and castigated Governor Okowa and his administration.
The governor is said to have viewed this as an attack on his person and the state government.
Oghenesivbe was quoted as saying, “There are some greedy tribal bigots in Okowa’s administration who have been influencing Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, to either pretend not to recognise his huge efforts in the discharge of assigned responsibilities or to ignore it completely.”
Reflecting on his five years in Okowa’s administration as Executive Assistant on Communication during the interview, Oghenesivbe allegedly disclosed further that he helped a great deal in media management through repelling critical media attacks on the governor and the government by deploying strategic political communication strategies which had enabled the governor to have the conducive environment and peace of mind to deliver dividends of democracy to the good people of Delta State, from 2017 till date and still counting.
He added that he had to reject an offer by President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) national government in 2017, as the Board Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT), Zaria, to provide uncommon media management services that would enable the governor to govern the state with little or no media attacks from the major opposition party and his detractors.
Oghenesivbe, who lamented over his decision to reject the NITT job, accused the governor of failing to do for him what he did for his colleagues from Delta North Senatorial District of the state.
He said the governor deliberately refused to elevate his official status being the only senior communication aide from Delta Central Senatorial District following the “negative influence of some tribal bigots who do not want a non-Ika to dominate the media space in Okowa administration”.
“As an active Eacgov and senior government official, I have no official car, no Secretary and no media assistants attached to my office, no driver. And no provision in my package to employ a personal assistant, and I have to do everything all by myself but my other colleagues enjoy all of these facilities. Two streets in my town of Kokori; Okpe street and Agbonmeyerin street, which my boss, the governor agreed to construct and rehabilitate. The Scope for the roads have been done by the Ministry of Works and long submitted for approval but all efforts made to commence work failed but other roads projects were approved and work has since commenced in other districts.
“The Okpe street and Agbonmiyerin streets are very strategic in Kokori Town and my people will be very happy that in my time as EACGOVDELTA and in Okowa’s tenure, these two popular streets are tarred, and the credit will go to the governor; but the file has been kept in view and I am not happy about it because I am aware of other developments elsewhere via some other appointees in the state. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. A good governor should necessarily be the governor for all Deltans in word and in action. I have no doubts in my mind that Governor Okowa will finish strong, but in finishing strong he would need to do adequate justice, and apply good conscience to all concerned,” he had said.
He had also ruled out resigning from the government, describing it as his last option.
Meanwhile, reacting to the statements credited to Oghenesivbe, which has generated mixed reactions, Governor Okowa on Thursday terminated the appointment of the aide.
A sack letter titled, “Termination Of Appointment”, addressed to the Executive Assistant on Communication, Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, and signed by Patrick Ukah, Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), was obtained by SaharaReporters.
The letter described the action of the aide as “recklessness” and “insubordination”.
The sack letter read in parts: “I write to convey to you the displeasure of his excellency, the governor of Delta state over your conduct with respect to the performance of your duties wherein there has been manifest, recklessness and insubordination. As this trend can never be tolerated, I regret to inform you that your service as Executive Assistance, Communication, is no longer required and your appointment is hereby terminated.
“Accordingly, I am to request that you take necessary steps to hand over all government properties in your possession to the Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Government House and Protocol forthwith.”