Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State yesterday in Asaba, the state capital, directed all ministries, departments and agencies in the state not to use government funds to buy media space to congratulate him on his 56th birthday coming up on July 8.
The governor, who handed down the order while swearing in 12 commissioners and five special advisers, passed a similar message to his friends and well-wishers, urging them to channel such funds to the empowerment of less privileged persons in their communities.
Speaking to the new appointees, Okowa charged them to be honest, diligent and responsible in the discharge of their duties, warning that activities of government will no longer be business as usual.
He said his administration has zero tolerance for corruption in the management of government business and called on the new appointees to join him in the fight against corruption in order to retain the implicit confidence and trust of the people.
“Corruption starves the state of valuable resources that could be used for infrastructural development, improve our educational systems, boost our healthcare system and take care of the poor and needy, even worse is that anywhere it is allowed to fester, the cost of doing business becomes prohibitive.
“I want to seek the support and partnership of all public office holders to lead the fight against corruption in their respective offices because that is the only way to retain the trust and confidence the people have bestowed upon us”, he stated.
Okowa, who congratulated the new appointees, further charged them to shun ethnic politics and sectionalism and regard the entire state as their constituency, stressing that they must be fair to all Deltans.
While imploring them to key into the S.M.A.R.T agenda of his administration especially the job creation programmes, the governor stressed that, “it is incumbent on you to make the attainment of these lofty goals in the agenda your watchword, they must be the focal point around which all your decisions and actions will revolve”.