• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Ibori; Public Leadership And Amassoma Declaration By Utomi

Jun 17, 2024

Ibori; Public Leadership And Amassoma Declaration

By; Jerome-Mario Utomi

Dennis P. Kimbro Ph.D., in his masterpiece ‘What Makes The Great Great’ wrote, ‘wisdom is acquired by living purposefully and objectively. The individual who knows where he or she is going and is determined to get there, will find a way or create one. There is no grander sight in the world than that of an individual fired up with a great purpose, dominated by one unwavering aim. Those individuals that society labels great reach high levels of performance by developing their talents to a very high degree in the field of their choice”.

Crucially also, for those that have carried out the critical of politics and political personalities in the Niger Delta region will discover without labour that the above quote fittingly established a link with, and  captures the attributes of Chief James Onanefe Ibori, the former governor of Delta state, who was recently in Amassoma, Bayelsa state, honoured with a deserving traditional title of Opu Ekie of Ogboin, by His Royal Majesty,  King Oweipa Jones Ere III, The Ebenanwei of Ogboin Kingdom, as part of activities marking the 20th Coronation Anniversary of His Royal Majesty,  King Oweipa Jones Ere III

As a background, Ibori was honoured alongside his friend, the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, who was bestowed with a posthumous chieftaincy title in his hometown of Amassoma as the Ogboin Okurizi of Ogboin kingdom while the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Chief Samuel Ogbuku, was given the title of Ebi-Koriweni Owei of the kingdom.

Accompanied to the ceremony by Mr. Chiedu Ebie, Chairman, Governing board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), among others, Chief Ibori, soon after receiving the title of Opu Ekie of Ogboin, reportedly declared,”I am proud to be recognized as a son of the soil. Let me remind you that this is the hometown of my comrade Dr. DSP Alamieyeseigha who has gone to the great beyond. You know the bond that we share and all the things we went through on behalf of our people. I want to thank you (the king) for remembering my great friend all the time and for extending such recognition and honour to me also”.

While the euphoria that trailed the event may have died down, the event on its part, more than any other thing else confirmed as true what has been on the minds of Niger Deltans of goodwill.

Beginning with the Niger Delta as a region, the latest honour has further lent credence to the belief that as the Delta state governor from May 1999 to May 2007, Chief Ibori was not only interested in ushering into the state, durable development but was also consumed by the burning desire to emancipate and bring about a holistic development of the Niger Delta region. This particular understanding partially explains his relentless struggle as a governor, for resource control for the people of the region.

Whereas highlighting details of resource control as it were, is not the plot of this piece, it will however, be gratifying to underline that Chief Ibori’s purposeful and objective public leadership in this direction, characterized by the spirit of ‘greater good for greater number’ over the years earned him a  large number of friends and teaming followership across the states of Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and beyond. Same is applicable to all tribes in the region; Urhobo, Ijaw, Isoko, Edo, Efik, Ibibio, Arogbo, Ndokwa, Ika, Anioma/Enuani among others.

Still, as the governor of Delta state who emerged in an era described as ‘nascent democracy’, the Odidigboigbo as he is fondly called built the state from the scratch to an enviable position among a comity of states.

Very significantly, he built political and socioeconomic bridges across the three senatorial zones of the state, developed the state infrastructural-wise, respected and gave traditional institutions their pride of place.

SEE ALSO:https://www.ikaweekly.com/nddc-and-the10th-nass-as-partners-in-niger-delta-development/

It is also factually backed that as a governor for eight consecutive years, Chief Ibori equitably shared political offices and dividend of democracy among all tribes and ethnic nationalities in the state, senatorial zones and every political interests.

By the same token, this piece believed and still believes that Chief Ibori’s success in public leadership and of course a glaring reason why his achievements as state governor have become impossible to dwarf after about two decades of leaving the office, is a function of, and attributable to his unique quality of choosing the right people to work with and placing same in rightful positions.

Says a public affairs analyst from the state, in the 8years of his administration in the state, over 50% of Deltans that served in his cabinet as Commissioners, Special Advisers among other strategic offices, were well foresighted enough, and eminently qualified to govern the state’.

In like manner, because of the quality of bills daily generated by his well foresighted administration and transmitted to Delta State House of Assembly during his days, the House was not only vibrant but reputed for engaging in intellectual, knowledge based and people focused debates.

There is also a veiled agreement among Deltans with critical minds that Chief Ibori rewards loyalty-an attribute many believes is a defining reason as to why his political relevance has been catapulted to the national levels.

In fact, reports have it that those who served in his government and others who did not, but at different times and places had one or two things to do with his political train/voyage, and remained loyal till date, have no reason to regret their decisions and actions.

In addition to these sterling leadership qualities, this piece on its part is of the view that Chief Ibori is not a ‘fair weather’ friend. This conclusion was signposted following a mark of gratitude to Chief Ibori, at the ceremony by Mr. Seleaka son of the late Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha.

According to him, “It is very humbling. I want to thank the king for recognizing my father’s achievements not only in the Ogboin clan but across the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta. I’m sober but also very happy. What we are seeing today, the works of his hand, people still celebrate, and recognize his achievements. I am greatly honored that His Excellency (Chief James Ibori) has also taken the role of a father in my life. He is someone that I can reach at any time without hindrance’.

What the above expression tells us is that Chief Ibori did not abandon the family of his late friend. He is truly an authentic leader and a true friend of all season.

For me, what happened at Amassoma was not only about chieftaincy title. Rather, it was a platform for the declaration of Chief James Onanefe Ibori’s public leadership prowess.

Finally, this piece will conclude with an extract from Dennis P. Kimbro’s Ph.D., words. Going by the above account on Ibori’s public leadership diary, it will neither be considered hasty nor characterized as unfounded to describe Chief Ibori as a man who acquired wisdom by living a purposeful and objective life.

Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA). jeromeutomi@yahoo.com/08032725374.