WHY AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HONOURED DEIN OF AGBOR KINGDOM
—- TONNA OKEI, PRESIDENT SOUTH CAROLINA ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY
… ARGUES THAT TINUBU WON THE FEBRUARY 25TH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
… SAYS TINUBU’S ADMINISTRATION WILL PLACE NIGERIA AT CRUISING LEVEL.
…SCORES DELTA STATE LEADERSHIP 55 PERCENT.
… HINTS AT THE POSSIBILITY OF AGBOR UNIVERSITY GOING INTO AFFILIATION WITH SOUTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITY.
…CALLS ON ANIOMAS TO SHUN CULTURES THAT DEROGATE/DEBASE WOMEN RIGHTS.
It was planned to be a conventional interview with the Ekuku-Agbor, Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta state born, but South Carolina, United State of America based, Knight Sir Tonna Okei Ikuku Oma, however, at the end the telephone encounter which lasted for about an hour became more revealing than expected. Sir Tonna Okei Ikuku Oma who is the President of South Carolina Organization of African Unity and an Honorable member of the Board of Trustees of Knight of Columbus took time to explain why the recent honour bestowed on His Royal Majesty Benjamin Keagborekuzi (CON) was not only befitting but eminently desirable.
He also used the opportunity provided by the interview to speak on key national and regional issues that borders on recently held presidential election in the country, poor leadership conditions in Delta State as well as the entire Niger Delta Region, and his love for Agbor/Ika/Anioma culture.
Most profound about our personality of the week is that he hails from a family reputed for pioneering spirit and characterized by so many firsts in Ekuku-agbor: his father, Barrister Sir George Okei is the first to get married in the Catholic Church, first Honourable State Commissioner, first Special Assistant, first lawyer from Ekuku Agbor to be called to the Nigerian Bar and he is the first to rise to the position of a Bank Manager via the Central Bank.
The interview was anchored by Jerome-Mario Utomi, Special Projects Officer, Ika Weekly Newspaper. It is a must read.
Question: Sir, it is our culture at Ika Weekly Newspaper that we allow our guest give insight about his/her background. From this standpoint, we request that you introduce yourself?
Answer: Thank you. My name is Knight Sir Tonna Okei Ikuku Oma. I am from Ekuku Agbor in Delta state. I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. My father’s name is Barrister Sir George Okei. My mom is Lady Felicia Okei. My father is from Ekuku Agbor. He’s the first lawyer from Ekuku Agbor and he is the first banker, the Central Bank Manager, the first commissioner from Ekuku Agbor and he is now a grand knight in Mulumba, Catholic church.
So, my father broke all the records in my place; first to get married in the church, first commissioner, first Special Assistant. Everything (record) was broken by my father. So, about myself, I was born in Lagos. I went to some schools like Command Secondary School, Ojo cantonment. I finished from Government College, Ughelli. I finished secondary school in 1991. I was the Sanitary Prefect during my time. I went on to the University of Benin. After that, I moved to England y7 in 1994.
From England, I went to Ireland, Dublin, where I worked as a Counselor in Ireland in 2005. I became an adviser to the Mayor of New Bridge, left Ireland for United States. I schooled at Georgia State University, Atlanta for my BSW (Bachelor in Social Works). I also went to University of South Carolina where I got my Masters in Social Works. When I finished, I worked for the state government, the Department of Health – South Carolina Department of health. I am the Quality Assurance team lead. I am married to Dr. Oluwatoyin Okei. She has her Ph.D. in Counseling and she is a licensed professional counselor. By the grace of God, we have five children. I am a grandfather now. My first child, Onyeka, has a daughter. my granddaughter’s name is Lotanna.
Apart from my official job as the quality assurance team lead, the department of head, I am also a notary public officer of the South Carolina cultural and linguistic Committee. I am a past Grand knight of the Catholic Order of knights of St. Columbus. I am also an usher in the Catholic Church. I am a sacristan also of the Catholic church. And I serve as the President of the organization of African Unity (OAU). I speak some Nigerian languages such as Yoruba, Igbo and Benin language. So, that is who I am officially.
Ika Weekly: I must confess that this is not just deep but touching. You must be an inspiration to many, most especially our teeming youths that are currently at a crossroad. Thank you very much. So, it will not be wrong to describe you as a man of many parts?
Answer; Na you get your mouth (laughs), well. You are free to describe me in any way you wish to. And mind you, I was not born and raised in Bendel. I grew up in Lagos. I only stayed in Ughelli from 1989 to 1991. I used that opportunity to learn Urhobo and Itsekiri. But if you are fluent in Yoruba, you’ll know Itsekiri. It’s like Igbo and Anioma. I left Nigeria over 29 years ago. I left Nigeria in 1994, few weeks to the world cup but I still speak our language.
Ika Weekly; Thank you. Now let’s go to the kernel of today’s meeting. A few days back, a double-barreled celebration took place in Ika nation. First was the recognition of His Royal Majesty, Dien of Agbor in faraway United States. Secondly, was the historic/working visit to the United States by Honorable Festus Okoh, Member of the Delta State House of Assembly representing Ika South. What is your reaction to this positive development in Ika nation?
Answer: To answer this officially, let me go back small. I serve as the President of the South Carolina Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) and I have used this platform to appeal to African nations. I’ve lobbied for some national government, paid government, and assisted them in promoting culture. That is what we do here. We promote culture, defend our people, protect our interests, engage with state government where necessary for the good of the people.
So, last year I also was able to get the then Governor of Delta state, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the key to the city of Colombia from the Mayor of Colombia city. The mayor of Colombia City gave Okowa the key to the city of Colombia. And Chief Peter Idion the Adolor Dein of Agbor kingdom who was serving then as the political assistant received the honor on behalf of Okowa. This is not the first time this is happening. I’ve been championing the course for our people in Africa. So, last year July, Governor Okowa received the highest honor from Colombia City.
Question: So, for the purpose of clarity, he received that award based on your intervention?
Answer: By the Grace of God (Osonobue nu Dazi) ne nmor Agbor I will say Yes. As the president of the Organization of African Unity in South Carolina, I felt I have assisted other nations. For my Delta state, I have tried to reach out to them but maybe as the saying goes ‘a prophet is not recognized in his hometown’, it is like maybe they don’t value my person because I’m from Delta but other African and Nigerian states have worked well with me.
So, from last year, I was able to speak with the Mayor of Colombia and he gave the key of the city to Governor Okowa. This year, I felt that my king, the Dien of Agbor who has been working so well with the people of Agbor, the people of Delta, and for the good of all have been working so well, he should be honored. I sent his profile, I called His Majesty three times, texted several times for him to direct his aides to supply me with his Profile so as to send it to the South Carolina Legislative Assembly but he Majestically refused saying what has he done to be so honoured? That let us continue working and maybe in the next decade awards may come, so I turned to the following eminent Agbor men, Chief Elder John Ehikwe (My maternal uncle and my mentor), Chief Peter Idion (Adolor Dein), Attorney Martins Imudia and Dr. Ben Orewa. These men assisted in providing by text or orally the needed information so as to build a profile to send. I thank them for assisting me. Without them I certainly wouldn’t be able. I recall pre covid I had sent a profile to the legislative on His Majesty but there were some fundamental errors so this time I decided to drink from the fountain of knowledge of these statesmen. I thereinafter, discussed with the South Carolina legislature and presented the profile and appeared before the SC Legislative Black Caucus and only yesterday, his Majesty Dein, Doctor Kiarekugbei was given a state resolution by South Carolina legislative to honor him for his good works, for Agbor and the world at large.
The king spoke to the chairman, Hon. Dr. Ivory Thigpen, the Honourable Chair of South Carolina Black caucus (the association for Black Legislators). They spoke about mutual interests, things that will benefit Agbor and Anioma, and also the king directed that I take the award on his behalf.
We received the award on behalf of the king, That’s one part of the question.
On the other part, when I received the call that Hon. Chucky Dandy will be visiting South America for the Agbor Convention taking place now in Atlanta, Hon. Chucky Dandy called me and said he has a day or two that is free. I immediately went to town, spoke to the Sheriff, spoke to the state legislature, spoke to the University of South Carolina and they all agreed to grant an audience. So, that’s when the state audience came. So, it became historic. He became the first Nigerian to pay an historic state visit to South Carolina. And on Wednesday, Chuky Dandy arrived in Colombia. We went to the University of South Carolina to see the Dean of education.
Our discussion was centered on the University in Asaba and the University in Agbor, to see how we can twine the Faculty of Education, South Carolina with those two universities, to see how they can have an affiliate relationship where anyone graduating from Department of Education in Asaba or Agbor would already have passed their state exams in South Carolina to teach as a teacher. That’s where we’re going to.
Ika Weekly: So, this particular intervention is also going to be of benefit to the state?
Answer: Yes. We want a mutual relationship with South Carolina. There is acute shortage of teachers in South Carolina. So, the aim here is to accommodate the State Teacher Certificate into the curriculum in Asaba and Agbor. So, what does that mean? If you are graduating from the Department of Education in Asaba or Agbor, you have already passed all the certification in South Carolina. So, when you graduate from the Department of Education in Asaba or Agbor, you are employed in South Carolina. You know what that means for Asaba and Agbor?
All the students in West Africa will want to go to Asaba and Agbor because they know that when they graduate from the Education Department, they already have a job in South Carolina waiting for them. So, that is one of the major factors that will make Asaba and Agbor the center of education in West Africa. It is going to make the University sustainable. That would make those two universities sustainable. They would not need to depend on the governor. You can imagine that anyone in West Africa when they hear of this information, they can be sending their kids into Asaba and Agbor because when they graduate, they already have a job waiting for them.
You know, South Carolina every year goes to Romania, South Africa, and non-English speaking nations to employ teachers and yet, we have teeming youths in Asaba, in Agbor, in Delta state. You know what that means for Anioma. If your brother or nephew can go to education department in Asaba and Agbor and they graduate, there’s a job already waiting for them in South Carolina. That is going to be a landmark project. That is number one. That is what we discussed. So, it is now up to the Delta State government to take up this project, work with myself and the South Carolina University to see how we can actualize this dream project for our children and growing children. That is number 1.
When we left there, we went to the Sheriff of Richland County. We discussed areas like security, how the sheriff can come to Delta state to increase capacity in Delta State Security Network, to work with them, to assist them in areas of modern-day security, how to be diplomatic, how to respect laws. So, that is what we discussed with the sheriff. The sheriff was willing and told him that once they have the necessary invitation of Delta State with me, they are willing to work with people of Delta state. So, that was the major one also.
When we left there, we went to the South Carolinas Legislative arm where the Hon. Chuky Dandy met with Chairman of the State Legislative Office. They discussed on areas of mutual benefits where maybe Delta State House of Assembly members can come down to South Carolina for a retreat or to observe them doing plenary; to discuss how they can add value to Delta state legislature in terms of what it means to be a legislator. So, they discussed a lot and I believe that Delta state will be better for when implemented. We discussed also how they can use the legislative arm in South Carolina to assist Delta in terms of education in terms of science.
For example, most of the science equipment they no longer need or have in surplus, they can adopt Delta State as a twin city where we offer Delta state equipment for free using OAU as a platform. They agreed that they would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) when the state legislature visits South Carolina. These were the things discussed using my platform as OAU. I am proud to be a son of Delta State because for me, anything that adds value for Delta is what I will stand for. So, I’m happy that Hon. Chuky Dandy was honored in South Carolina. I believe more to come in terms of assistance to our people in Delta State.
Question: For the purpose of clarity, I will like you to synoptically state the significance of the award or recognition given to the Dien of Agbor. And probably the lesson other traditional rulers should learn?
Ika Weekly; Okay. If the Dein of Agbor kingdom can be so honored in faraway South Carolina, it shows that the world is a global village and anything you’re doing, be it in Ubulu-uku, Issele-uku, Ekuku-agbor or Okpanam, the world will recognize you. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep doing good. The good you do will never go unnoticed. So, for him being in Agbor and we know what he had done, he has worked to unite his people, he was one of those who solved the Niger Delta issue, if the South Carolina government could honor him, this tells the Olu of Warri, the Asagba of Asaba, the students, the politicians, the Vice chancellor and even journalists that if you do what is right, you can also be honored. That if your people do not honor you, outsiders will honor you. It also gives you the honor. You can be walking anywhere in Anioma and tell people that the king of my territorial district was honored by South Carolina. It is an open door for everyone.
Ika Weekly: There is no doubt any more that His royal Majesty; the Dien of Agbor is a performing traditional ruler. But from your own personal perspective, which part of his leadership sagacity thrills you the most?
Answer: The Dein of Agbor is a very eloquent, intelligent, well-read leader. I love his ability to converse with the good and bad, faithful and unfaithful, ugly and beautiful. He is a wise king. There is no doubt he has the wisdom of king Solomon. Last year, I was able to get him to address the United Nations during the side meetings. You could tell from his dexterity that he is not only morally upright; he is socially, intellectually up there. So, the people in Agbor must be lucky to have such a king who is well known, well-travelled. And I think he is using those means to bring unity to the people of Agbor. He is using these means to add value to Agbor. That is why I am his fan. I love to promote the palace. My family has always worked for the palace and as for me, when my king is honored, I am honored. The good of the palace is my good also.
Ika Weekly: What does OAU stand to gain in all these professional moves and alliances?
Answer: Okay. So, all politics is local. Today, I sit as the president of OAU and I am a big-time player in South Carolina. First and foremost, I am from Agbor, Anioma Delta state. So, to promote Anioma, to defend Anioma, to protect the course of Anioma is a priority to me at any given time. If Anioma is promoted, it is a good thing for me. As I said, the African-Americans only know the Yoruba culture. If I am able to promote Anioma culture here, I think I’ll be very happy. Now, you have some scholars here dressing in our Benin, Anioma long robes, wearing our akwa ocha.
Personally, I want to rival the Yorubas. Yes, I am an in-law to the Yorubas but first and foremost, I am an Anioma and I want to see Anioma culture well known overseas. That is what is driving me. Apart from that, what is there for OAU? OAU is there to protect the African Culture and community and Anioma. I am happy. I think I am the father of the pan African community here. I am loyal to the pan African community. So, any part of the pan African community that makes progress is a plus for me. It means I’m doing my job because my job is to protect, promote and defend the interest of the Pan-African community and if it means to better Anioma, then my job is done. Americans would say buy one, get 1 free. So, as I’m promoting the community, I’m also promoting my own which I’m promoting by the name of my daughter, Nkeonyeasoa.
Ika Weekly: On the 26th of February, presidential election was held in the country and as we speak, a president emerged. What is your general impression about that election?
Answer: Thank you. I personally believe that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu won that election. There was no way Atiku and Obi would have won if both of them were in that race. If Obi was not in that list, Atiku would have won that election hands down. That election was for Atiku to win. Obi himself did well in the South but he was never going to clear the North. Anyone with good understanding of how Nigeria works would have known that Obi was never going to win. I likened Obi to Trump in America. Donald Trump was well liked by the whites but the blacks never liked him.
So, every time the whites were celebrating Donald Trump, we on our own were saying ‘okay, so that’s the savior of the whites, we are not going to vote for him’. That’s the same thing Obi was to the South of Nigeria. He was their political savior and that was working against him in the North. Every time the South celebrated Obi, the North saw him as a threat. That is why I likened him to Trump in the US. Every time the whites celebrated Trump; we the blacks saw him as a threat. Every time the South saw Obi as their savior, the North was asking who is he coming to save? What was he coming to save? What was he coming to change? So, he was a threat to the economic and security interest of people in the North.
I knew right from day one that Tinubu was going to win. One major threat to the black man not only in Nigeria is not poverty. it is not posting colonialism. It is intolerance. Those are the things that kill the black man a lot. Looking at the Nigerian election from here, anyone who said Obi or Atiku was going to win is being unfair to himself. Those two did not do honour to themselves. They should have gone to the extent of creating an alliance with themselves and kwankwanso. If these three formed an alliance, they obviously would have outrun Tinubu politically. But Tinubu was in the race, Atiku was in race, Peter Obi was in race, Kwankwanso was in race. The hate was for Tinubu and Tinubu won. What does this portray for Nigeria?
I personally think Tinubu has a legacy in Lagos. Obi cannot match Tinubu’s legacy in Anambra. Obi is fiscally disciplined. He spoke well, talked well. We could point to Tinubu’s legacy not only in Lagos, but to the people he groomed; Babatunde Raji Fashola, Femi Gbajabiamila, Prof Yemi. Osinbajo, Musliu Obanikoro and so on. Those were people Tinubu had on mailing.
Take for example, the appointment of the new Federal Inland Revenue guy. I think his name is Adedeji. That guy got a first class in OAU or Ife. Look at all those people he has appointed, first class materials. Look at the women, the women are not only beautiful but are intellectually formidable. I think Tinubu will do well but unfortunately; he came in with two banana peels. One is the oil subsidy which Buhari left as a banana peel for him. Two is the Niger Republic coup. These things Tinubu did not envisage when coming in but he has come, and I think it will set him back slightly but I feel he will overcome. If Nigerians support Tinubu, I believe he is going to do well.
Ika Weekly: So, in other words, he will deliver?
Answer: Tinubu will not only deliver but Tinubu will groom the next set of leaders that will take over from him. Tinubu’s job is to make Nigeria cruise. Once we start cruising, his boys will now take us to greater heights.
Ika Weekly: So, the presidential election tribunal was right in their decision?
Answer: They were very sound. I listened to that tribunal. I woke up by 4am and from 4am to 5pm, almost thirteen hours, I sat down. I did not move a second. The only time I moved was to go and get my food, maybe to have my lunch.
Number 1, he who alleges must prove beyond reasonable doubt. Even in the court of law in America. There’s a reason why they said prove beyond reasonable doubt. I think the court was very apt; was there rigging? Were there malpractices? Did INEC betray the trust of the people? Yes. But did INEC violate any constitution? No.
As somebody from a quality assurance department, I always tell blacks, two things that kill the black: one, we don’t adhere to law. No matter what you do to me. The first thing I’m going to ask you is to give me the law establishing such relationship. For instance, as a journalist, If you tell me you’ve been sacked, the first thing I’ll tell you is I want the law of Ika Newspaper staff engagement. I want to see the policy. That’s the first thing I’ll ever do. The first thing to always do is ask for the law. I go to the authentic law.
First, I want to know what the law says about it. What am I entitled to say and do? What can I not do? You can never go wrong anywhere you find yourself with the law. So that’s what I tell blacks. Check the INEC electoral act. Is there anything that says INEC must do electronic transfer? I don’t think so. It is a policy and policy is not an act. So, they did not violate any Nigerian electoral act. When they did not violate any electoral at, you can’t give what you don’t have. I would have talked more than this but let me stop here so we can move on.
Ika Weekly: thank you very much Sir. So, what advice do you have for our President?
Answer: The advice I have for him is to groom the next leaders. Tinubu did not win because he was the best. Tinubu won because of his legacy and his ability to groom youths which I think is a message to our politicians. Tinubu must always remember that. So, he must do well. He must do better now that to whom much is given, much is expected from. He should know that he has the chance now to rewrite history. He has the chance to solve Nigerians’ fundamental issues. I am happy he has taken to the subsidy issue. What the president before him couldn’t do. He should use this opportunity to amend the constitution to empower local government authorities.
I am against the state government. I believe the state government is the greatest threat to democracy. Anything that empowers the state, I’m against it. Rather, empower the local government. So, I am for anything that empowers local government. I want a lot of power to be taken from the state government and given to the local government. I am so allergic to the state government and I think we should abolish state government. I would donate anything I have to see Nigerian state governments abolished. Tinubu should work to empower local governments. Those things that are fundamental to the growth of Nigeria, Tinubu should work for it.
Ika Weekly: Delta State has been led by the People’s Democratic Party since 1999 till date. How would you access the party’s leadership in the state?
Answer: I would give them 55%. 55% because I am trying to be political and I know how our people can be very parochial in nature. The next thing is that somebody is going to my family house to kidnap my people. So, to be political, let’s give them 55%. But truly anyone from Delta or Niger Delta that gives their state government A+, is just a liar. He is just a joker. It is painful that I know the money that comes into Delta. I know the FAAC allocation that comes to Delta and Niger Delta. We have the NDDC. We have the Niger Delta Ministry. We have other international donors coming into Niger Delta and the state of Delta state. I get annoyed when I hear Ndi Hausa, Ndi Yoruba is stopping us from developing the Niger Delta. That is a gimmick. It is a misnomer. Delta State and Niger Delta Ministry should be ashamed of themselves. With the billions of monies coming in, what we see in Delta does not match what has come into Delta state/ Niger Delta.
Take Akwa Ibom and Cross-River states, they are the moral example of Niger Delta. The money coming into Rivers and Delta state is enough to change Delta. For example, Akwa Ibom is developing. Look at the roads, look at the state. Delta state and Rivers State for me have not really done well. They have done what they can but I think they should do better.
Ika Weekly: How would you assess the cultural practices of Ika? Is it in line with what the progressive minded individuals expect?
Answer: I think first and foremost, the world is a global village. So why I might be dwelling on Ika, that’s the same thing happening in Ubulu-uku, Osogbo, Ijebu but unfortunately, we have the youths who are not interested in our culture, who are not interested in advancing the culture of the people because of what I see as the law of individualism versus communalism. During our time, it was more of communalism. And I think that is what is killing our people.
Our people are so parochial today and that is what is killing them. Ika nation can do better. There must be a change for a united Ika nation. What I see in my people now, let me quote Ojuku ‘What I say today, I have been saying since’. My voice may have changed but the substance has not changed because of the persistence of the problem, persistence of the needs and the possibility of not being heard. Ika’s of today are balkanizing themselves. I am Agbor, I am Igbodo. We are all Ika. The earlier my people know that, the better. We are all in one united Ika for the good of Ika.
While the whites are busy building Alliances G20, G7, NATO, black man is interested in dividing into smaller kingdoms. Do you think the whites are crazy for building Alliances? Look at the black man. We have Ubulu-uno, Ubulu-okiti, Ubulu-uku, some people still want to divide. The black do not want to understand that the world is a global village, that we need to understand it. So, the earlier Ika’s understand it, the earlier Anioma understands it, the better for us because all of us are one. There is strength in unity.
For example, in South Carolina, the white politicians see me as one of the must go to political figures because I control the number. So, if Anioma or Ika can be united, you can’t bully them. Politicians only see numbers and money. Look at NATO, their clause 5. Attack one, attack all. You know what that means? Nobody will want to attack them. If Ika and Anioma can be united, the Urhobo, the Itsekiri. The yoruba’s will say ‘Anioma, ahh. Attack Ubulu-uku and the whole Anioma will come after you’. There is strength in unity. Aside from that, they must tear down that wall and build a united Ika for the good of our people.
Ika Weekly: What are the cultural practices in Ika land that you cherish and still hold in very high esteem?
Answer: I like the way in Ika or Anioma we discipline our children. A child who is not disciplined will fail. Anyone who is not disciplined will fail. We treat them how to be content. Anyone who is disciplined and content will succeed even if they’re just mechanics. I have been round the world and I have come to the conclusion that discipline with contentment is better than money. I trained my children most especially to be disciplined.
Any child who is not disciplined and not content will not succeed. Where are the Azikiwe’s, the Okotie-Eboh’s, the Tafawa Balewa’s, the billionaire’s or multi-millionaires’ children of yesteryears today? It tells you something that discipline and contentment are the two key ingredients the people of Agbor should adopt. Now, if there is any practice I will like to stop, that practice where women are not seen as equals. I do believe the man is the supreme head of the house but we must learn to love and protect our women. When you train a woman, you train a nation.
My wife has a Ph.D., my two sisters have master’s degrees, my mother is a graduate. I believe we should promote our women. Women make better managers. I personally believe women make better managers. Men make better leaders when it comes to a single task but when it comes to multitasking, women are the best. So, I believe in the promotion of women.
Those are what I think African culture should talk more about. Supporting our women. I believe women should be entitled to inheritance. I believe if a woman doesn’t have a male child, she should not be abused. The ability to get a male child is from God. So, let’s promote our women, let’s promote our children, let’s learn to love our children, talk to them. When we were younger, our parents never spoke to us that is why some people come to America and misbehave. Be interactive with your children. I can close my eyes and predict what my children are doing today. I know them and they know me. Just looking at them, I will tell you what they have done. I hate that belief that elders do not do wrong. No, if an elder makes a mistake, the young ones should be able to respectfully correct them.
We should stop those things like an elder can do no wrong, a woman should not be talking when men are talking. When it is official regardless of your gender, it all does not matter. What matters is what you can do. Your private life should not affect your journalism. I’ll stop here for now
Ika Weekly: What is your message for the Dein of Agbor?
Answer: I am so proud of Dein. South Carolina has honoured him. He should not stop there. He should continue doing what he knows how to do. To carry the Agbor culture with grace. To continue to serve as an agent of change. He should continue to liaise with his Royal brothers in Delta or outside Delta. We need more of such people such as the Dein in the traditional circle to bring about that change.
Ika Weekly: Final message?
Answer: Nothing really. My major issue is that I want to see a change in Nigeria, I want to see a change in Delta but that change will only come when we understand that the world is a global village. Communalism should triumph over individualism. We should respect the law. The Igbos will say ‘ nma obodo ka nmma’. The good of the community should be a priority and not one man. The younger ones should see me as an example. I was not born and raised in my place, I never worked in Bendel state but here am I still talking about the good of our people, very conversant, and speak the major languages. It’s only Ijaw I can’t speak. They should see me as an inspiration. They must be disciplined, they must be content, respectful of tradition and law, must be vigilant and alert, and be ready to be the best at whatever they do but carry along their women. If we do that, it can accommodate everybody. The sky’s the limit. Anyone can do it.
Ika Weekly; Many thanks for time.
Answer; you’re welcome.