Delta State mourns as ex-Commissioner slumps, dies
Mr. Joe Utomi, immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture in Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s cabinet is dead. He was said to have slumped on Friday evening and was confirmed dead moments later.
Utomi, a peacemaker, socio-political analyst and grassroots politician was at a time the local government chairman of Aniocha South LGA and was ranked as one of the best chairmen in the entire Delta State on account of his developmental strides and people-friendly policies and initiatives.
Utomi who hails from Ubulu-Uku is a strong Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member who was one of the pillars for the easy triumph of the party in Aniocha South LGA during the recent election.
The President of Ubulu-Uku Development Union, UDU, and a close friend of Utomi, Comrade Jones Ofunne, described the late Utomi as “full of life” before his death.
“He was full of life. He was not sick a couple of days back when I saw him. You can imagine my shock when I was called and was told about his death, I quickly told the caller it cannot be true. How can this be? One minute somebody is standing and dancing with friends, the next moment he’s in the mortuary”.
One of his last assignments as Commissioner was a keynote he presented at the Nigeria Agropreneurs Forum (NAF) Agribusiness Summit 2019 in Asaba.
He said that keying into agriculture had become imperative to sustain human existence and the socio-economic development of any nation.
He said, “It is a well known fact that the dwindling fortune of oil revenue globally has forced many nations to turn to agriculture as alternative and the situation is not different in Delta.”
The commissioner further said that the state government had made great impact in the lives of many youths and women through agriculture.
He said that government’s agricultural programmes and projects included oil palm development, rice production value chain, cassava production and processing, livestock production and agricultural extension.
He said: “Agricultural sector has made tremendous progress and is key in achieving the “SMART Agenda” of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration.