OBOREVWORI’S VISIT TO FRANK KOKORI
By: Augustine Omilo
The Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori have severally demonstrated that he is a leader that has the welfare of his people at heart. After the subsidy removal was announced by the President of Nigeria, he was one of the first governors to put some measures in place as palliatives to the people. He approved the additional payment of Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000) to the monthly salaries of all the public servants in the state for three months in the first instance.
Less than three months after his assumption of office, the number one citizen of delta gave a directive to the state’s chairmen of local governments to recruit over one thousand teachers to enhance teaching and learning at the primary school level. The man equally stood surety for the procurement of Forty Billion Naira loan by the Local Government Areas. This was aimed at paying off the arrears of pension owed retired local government staff in the twenty-five local government councils. Oborevwori’s acts of love towards Deltans are numerous. The backlog of promotion arrears was not left out as the state commenced batch-by-batch payment since August, 2023.
When the news of the failing health of the renowned labour unionist, elder statesman and democratic crusader, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori filtered into the ears of Nigerians, the Delta state governor was one of the leaders of his calibre to pay him a get-well visit. The octogenarian was so excited by the presence of his governor at a private hospital in Warri where he is receiving treatment.
He could not hide his feelings about it. Vocalising his thoughts, the former General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said; “I never knew Oborevwori is a good man because immediately he heard about my condition, he came to see me. He wasn’t close to me, so I am so happy that he is not a mean fellow. He is a real governor, a man who has such a heart is a good man and I have told him certain things privately, how he will make his name in the history of Nigeria… I have also prayed for him”. The governor equally picked the hospital bill of Kokori and two other patients in the same hospital.
Oborevwori on his part confessed that his visit to the erstwhile labour leader and chieftain of the APC was born out of his belief that he (Sheriff) is the governor of all Deltans irrespective of political or ethnic inclination. There cannot be a better way of recognizing the heroes past than the governor’s approach of recognizing their contributions to the growth of the society and appreciating them while alive.
Apart from the gesture extended to the former senior staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the state governor had earlier committed the state government to paying the hospital expenses of a toddler who was mistakenly shot and seriously wounded by a trigger-happy NDLEA operational staff in Asaba.
There are many similar cases like the ones the governor has attended to in Delta state. But it is obvious that he can only attend to the issues that are properly brought before him. This is where all the other politicians representing their various constituencies are expected to take a cue from the PDP state leader. They owe it as a duty to offer help to their constituents that are genuinely in dire need of such, especially through social, financial and skill acquisition empowerments.
The planet earth will be more interesting for humans to inhabit if men and women truly become each other’s keeper in love. Achieving this requires the avoidance of greed of any sort – struggling to acquire those things that are not needed in the first place, especially when surrounded by friends, relatives and neigbours walloping in abject poverty.
Sustaining the established “protocol” will not be easy without the strengthening of the already laid foundation for social investment programs in the state wherein the widows, the elderly and other vulnerable members of the society can be captured in the scheme.
Meanwhile, one can only implore the governor of the foremost oil-rich state to do all he can to maintain the standard he has set for himself. Those he has positively imparted their lives so far are praying for him to succeed. The prayer and elderly counsel of the ailing Kokori, whom he aptly described as a man who has “paid his dues” can never be in vain.