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The Guardian Online - http://www.ngrguardiannews.com
Saturday, April 15 , 2000



The best is yet to come - Uwaifo
Interview by Wale Fatade

ON Monday, April 10, Governor Lucky Igbinedion etched his name further in the annals of democratic Nigeria by becoming the first governor to appoint a musician as commissioner. "Guitar boy" and Akosa music exponent, Sir Victor Efosa Uwaifo, 59, was sworn-in to head the newly created Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, part of which was carved out of the old Ministry of Information, Youth, Sports and Culture which incidentally is being manned by a former teacher of Uwaifo while he studied Fine Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City, Dr. Izivbagie. Moments after the swearing in ceremony, Uwaifo and the three other commissioners who are all female attended the state executive council meeting. Thereafter, he proceeded on tour of his new office after which he retired into his College Road residence where guests were entertained. Amidst a crowd of people from all walks of life, Uwaifo granted this short interview exclusively in fulfillment of an earlier promise made to the reporter last February. A nice way to start for a public officer, one would say. Excerpts:


You are the first musician to be made a commissioner in Nigeria, does this strike you in any special way?

Well, I was just doing what I know and that I am the first is just probably destiny. Definitely, musicians are being honored by my appointment, but not by way of chance, but by dint of hard work. By this appointment, His Excellency, Governor Lucky Nosa Igbinedion has given a new meaning to recognizing my talents, hard work and potentials.

So, the old age notion or misconception about musicians as being no good or lay about has been proved wrong with your appointment?

But I have since proved that wrong because if you look at my credentials, track records, you will find out that I have always put excellence in the forefront even though I was playing music, and I still feel that the best is yet to come because I believe I have not even started.

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Very soon your tenure will end as it will soon be three years, what are your major goals or objectives in office?

No, that is not meant for publication lest one starts making empty boasts. It is better left for the records to speak for themselves. You know what is happening to NEPA today and also the promises made by the person heading the place some months back and today you know what situation things are now. But I know I have set goals even as I don't want to make promises but I know there are going to be reforms, innovations, something that has never happened will come into play by the grace of God. As much as I would want to put everything I have in me into this new ministry, we would look at it from every angle: government support, financial, moral and God's blessings, but above all, when God says yes nobody can say no. Above all, I am set. Even though it is a new ministry I am heading, there is nothing on the ground, I'm starting from level zero but with time, the help of God and the support of the governor, we are going to turn things around and set new standards.