By Sylvanus Okpe
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has suspended Special Assistant on Special Duties, Ovie Ossai, for two months over an offensive Facebook post.
Mr Ossai, the governor’s youngest appointee, was reportedly axed for a statement he made, re-echoing a grant of N3.5bn given to the wife of the state governor, Mrs Edith Okowa by a United States-based charity organisation.
The non-profit organisation, the Initiative for Global Development, had a few days ago, through its Chief Executive Officer, Leila Ndiaye, at a sickle cell sensitisation forum organised by 05 Initiative in New York announced a donation of $10m in support of Mrs Okowa’s pet project, 05 Initiative, for the management of sickle cell disease in Delta State.
A top government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to a section of the media revealed that Ossai’s sin was that he issued a statement on his Facebook page amplifying the $10m grant to Mrs Okowa.
The News Agency of Nigeria had reported the grant story but the sins of Ossai which warranted his sack by the governor was that he made the news more prominent through his post.
The source said, “After the statement was posted on Ossai’s Facebook page, one of the governor’s daughters, who was not happy with the publicity being given to the grant her mother received, she confronted him over the issue and expressed disappointment.
“All efforts by Ossai to explain his motive fell on deaf ears, and she promised that he will be dealt with by her father.
“Barely 24 hours after the confrontation, the governor invited Ossai over the issue where he explained things to the governor and the governor asked him to leave.
“Shockingly, Ossai got a suspension letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Chiedu Ebie, for two months without salary.”
When contacted over the issue, Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Aniagwu, said, “I have not gotten the details of Ossai’s suspension.