Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is a shining light in Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The soft-spoken former medical doctor turned politician has been at the forefront of the rejuvenation of a political party in bad shape after tasting its first defeat at the centre for the first time in 16 years. Internal wrangling within the PDP were threatening to tear the PDP apart after the party found itself in opposition. Party chieftains were often at loggerheads over who should get what in the party.
One man who stepped in at a time the tension was very high within the party was the Delta state governor. He was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the party gets a new leadership and also a presidential candidate without rancour.
On both occasions he delivered. As chairman of the PDP special convention committee, Okowa organized a credible election that witnessed the emergence of the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee of the party.
He also led a committee that conducted PDP's national convention to produce its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The convention is arguably the party's most transparent internal election since 1999. The convention was beamed live on national television throughout and the proceedings were visible for all to see. After the election, not one of the contestants protested the result.