All is not well at the moment for former Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Barr Vincent Nwabuwe Adaikpo, as the onetime special adviser to former state governor, Chief James Ibori, on political matters and policy implementation now lives from hand to mouth.
The Abavo born lawyer who is now visually impaired said that his predicament started after he mysteriously fell on the ground one evening while alone in the house and managed to regain consciousness later. The septuagenarian disclosed that since the unexpected incident happened to him more than three years ago, he has been handicapped, stating that he now suffers partial stroke and impaired vision.
When our reporter visited the once busy Imade Chamber at 87 Tete Street, Boji-Boji, Owa, the Chamber was a shadow of itself. The Chamber has become moribund due to the health challenge of its principal partner, Barr Adaikpo. The chamber now serves as residence for the principal partner who owing to his health challenge at the moment could hardly read clearly with his eyes or write with his hands.
Born into the Onyegwam Adaikpo family of Udomi Community, Abavo, in Ika South Local Government, in present Delta State more than seventy years ago, Barr Adaikpo undisputable, is one of the best brains and finest lawyers Ika nation has so far produced.
According to him, “I did my primary education at (St Patrick Catholic School) and secondary (Okotie-Eboh Grammar School) education, in Sapele where I grew up as a child. My parents took me when I was a toddler to Sapele in 1945 to start living with an uncle, Mr. Pius Adaikpo of blessed memory who fought in the Second World War. My parent’s decision was prompted by the fear of not loosing me at infancy. My parents told me that they lost twelve of their children at infancy before I was born. My immediate younger brother, Osadolor was not lucky to be alive too. My other younger siblings, Lucy and Comfort managed to survive at infancy.
I was a brilliant student and had alpha in Latin, History and Literature-in-English Language in my School Certificate Examination. I read Law at the University of Lagos, Lagos State. After my call to the Nigerian Bar in 1961, I practiced briefly at Maidoh’s Chambers before setting up my own, Imade Chamber in Agbor.
During my time with Maidoh, I had a golden opportunity to become a judge but, out of arrogance and ignorance I refused the offer. There was nobody to advise me to accept the offer the not even Maidoh who described me as an intelligent lawyer. That has remained my biggest regret in life. If I had accepted the offer I would not have been suffering today.”
On his life as a politician, Adaikpo stated, “my sojourn in politics was a good one. I worked with late Professor Ambrose Alli, former governor of the defunct Bendel State, Olorogun Felix Ibru of blessed memory and late Hon Humphrey Iwerebor. I handled a free case for Iwerebor in Lagos. Unfortunately, he disappointed me when it was time to present a deputy governorship candidate to Olorogun Ibru. On that fateful day, Iwerebor told me to go to my house and get dressed that he was going to introduce me to Ibru as his deputy governorship candidate in Ughelli. I quickly ran to my house to get dressed only to return to Iwerebor’s house and discovered that he had gone to Ughelli with Simeon Ebonka. I later joined them at Ughelli, where I personally complained to Ibru about what Iwerebor did to me. Ibru promised to make me the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of the State if he wins.
To the glory of God, Ibru won the election and fulfilled his promise to me. Unfortunately, our government was cut short by the military in 1993.I went back to practice and also remained relevant in politics. I was one of the founding fathers of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State. Upon the emergence of Chief James Ibori as governor in 1999, he appointed me his adviser on political matters and policy implementation.
During my period with Ibori I did my best to help develop Abavo, my home town. I assisted many of our people to get employed by the state government. I was one of those who contributed immensely to the growth of modern Abavo. I was a major sponsor of Hon Martin Okonta’s election into the State Assembly in 2003 after Dr Cairo Ojougboh approached me to help Okonta win his election. During my active days as a lawyer, I did everything possible to promote my people and community, unfortunately, nobody today recognizes my efforts. I was doing well in my law practice and managing my life, until three years ago when I mysteriously fell in my house and suffered a partial stroke and impaired vision.
Since the ugly incident happened to me I have not been able to get back my health. Things have gone very bad and difficult for me since then. My wife is late and my children have no enough resources to take care of my bills. Presently, I live from hand to mouth; I struggle to feed each day that passes. My doctor advised me to go for surgery for my eyes but, I am finding it difficult to do that because there is no money. I put out my land in Asaba and another property at Abavo for sales to enable me raise money for my feeding and medications, surprisingly nobody has agreed to buy. The only person who came to buy the one at Abavo later declined, saying that the size of the land will not be enough for him to grow a palm plantation.”
On the question if government, kinsmen and friends have not come to help him since the story about his ill-health was first published in Ika Weekly newspaper last year, Adaikpoh said, “I have not received any assistance from either the government or my Abavo people. I must thank one Chief (Dr) Onyekpeze and Barr S.O.A Gbenoba for their support. I also thank a young lady who cooks for me. I need money to support her in her business so that she will not stop feeding me. If not for the food she gives to me every day, I would have been no more today. To my greatest surprise, some persons do call to ask if I am still alive. I don’t know if they want me dead when my time has not come.
I regret coming from this part of the world where service to the society and humanity is hardly recognized. Martin Okonta that I invested hugely financially in his election never remembered me one day. He managed to give me and late Barr Ibude a cow in 2003 Christmas. There was a day we mistakenly dialed his phone number and he called back to ask how I am doing. I told him that I am passing through a difficult period. He promised to visit me anytime he is in Agbor.
Till today; Okonta has not deemed it fit to visit me even when he is always in Agbor. I helped Okonta to come to political limelight I wondered why he is running away from me. Chief Ibori called sometime ago to say hello to me, I am hoping he will send me money when next I will approach him. Ibori was very helpful when my wife died. One of my family members once visited and promised me that he will take my case to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa ,up till this moment, I have not heard anything again from him.
I am therefore using this medium provided by Ika Weekly to appeal to the Delta State Government and concerned individuals and corporate bodies to assist me financially so that I will be able to feed and also go for my medical checkups. I am handicapped at the moment. People who are healthy and are working are finding it difficult to feed three times a day how much me who is handicapped. Times are really tough and rough for me; I will appreciate any help given to me.”
Barr Vincent Nwabuwe Adaikpo said that he could be reached for any assistance through his phone number: 08037024854 or his house address: 87 Tete Street, Boji-Boji,Owa, Delta State.
Editor’s Note: Ika Weekly Newspaper sincerely appeals to individuals, Corporate bodies, philanthropies, Ika South, Ika North Local Governments, Delta state Government and well meaning Nigerian to give a helping hand to a son of the soil who has contributed in no small way to the development of Ika nation. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the management and staff of Ika Weekly Newspaper has decided to champion this noble course and we pray and urge all well meaning Ika sons and daughters to key into it.