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Ovoke Omagbemi Felicitates Gov Oborevwori on One Year in Office

Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori

By Wale Nice

In commemoration of His Excellency Elder Sheriff Oborevwori’s one-year milestone in office, Hon. Ovoke Omagbemi joins the people of Delta State in celebrating the remarkable achievements and progress made under his leadership.

He said Governor Oborevwori’s commitment to the MORE Agenda has laid the foundation for Meaningful Development, Opportunities for All, Realistic Reforms, Enhanced Peace and Security, and Expected Outcomes throughout the state. In line with his campaign promises, his administration has demonstrated a steadfast dedication to fulfilling its obligations to the people.

Hon. Ovoke Omagbemi

According to him “One of the standout accomplishments of Governor Oborevwori’s one year in office is the substantial progress made in job creation and massive projects across the three senatorial district. Through initiatives such as the Delta State Youth Empowerment Program and the Civil Service Recruitment Exercise, thousands of job opportunities have been generated, contributing to the economic empowerment of Delta’s citizens.

“Furthermore, the administration’s focus on economic growth is evident in the significant increase in the state’s GDP and the substantial improvement in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). By implementing innovative revenue generation strategies, Governor Oborevwori’s government has ensured a more robust financial foundation for Delta State.

“Additionally, the investment-friendly policies enacted by the administration have led to a notable influx of capital into the state. This surge in investment interest underscores the confidence that both local and international investors have in Delta State’s potential under Governor Oborevwori’s leadership.

“As Hon. Ovoke Omagbemi extends his congratulations to His Excellency Elder Sheriff Oborevwori, he acknowledges the transformative impact of Governor Oborevwori’s governance and expresses confidence in the continued progress and prosperity of Delta State under his visionary leadership.”

Joel-Onowakpo charge politicians to move away from primitive politics where opposition is considered to be an enemy

Senator Joel Onowakpo

The Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas has called on politicians to move away from primitive politics where the opposition is considered to be an enemy, just as he charged them to emulate the disposition of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has appointed members of the opposition parties into hia cabinet.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

Senator Joel-Onowakpo made the call while speaking with journalists at Thanksgiving Service of the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to Mark his one year anniversary in office, held at Winners Chapel, Ibusa Road, Asaba, Delta State

He said that Governor Oborevwori extending invitation to all the senators from Delta State irrespective of their political leaning was the smartest and wisest thing that he has done, adding that it will be very timid and very disrespectful of him to have turned down such an invitation even though they from different political divide.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

“First, let me correct one thing: I am a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am not a senator for only APC members in my Senatorial District but a senator for both APC, PDP and all other parties. I am to represent all and bring the dividend of democracy to our people.”

“Note also, the governor of Delta State is the Governor to everyone in Delta State and I do not think he is governor to only those who are PDP members. Moreover, I am a Senator today because Delta State exist, I am also a critical stakeholder in Delta State. For emphasis sake, I represent 1/3 of the State and my other two colleagues from Delta State represent 2/3 of the State.”

” Having said the above, I want to say that, His Excellency extending invitation to all the senators from Delta State irrespective of their political leaning is the smartest and wisest thing that he has done. And I think, it will be very timid and very disrespectful of me to turn such an invitation.The question I need to ask myself if I even think of turning down the invitation is: what do i intend to achieve? And very honestly, I will have no answer to such a question other than telling myself not to attend because the governor is a PDP governor. Which to me is pure nonsensical!”

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

He further said, “As an APC member, I should imitate my APC supreme leader in person of, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is so broad minded in not only relating with members of the opposition but even appointing His Excellency Nyesom wike as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because he recognized the fact that he is the president of everyone in Nigeria.”

According to him, ” I want to say that, HE Sheriff Oborevwori should be commended for being broad minded like our President. I want to encourage him to continue to be broad minded and also being inclusive. I am waiting for the day he will appoint credible members of the opposition party to his cabinet. I also want to say that, I am not aware of the president giving directive to MDA {Ministry, Department and Agency} of government to pass all Federal government intervention programs through only APC members rather all intervention programs are routed through the various State governor’s irrespective of their political affiliation. And this is the way to go.”

” Finally, I want to encourage everyone to move away from primitive politics where the opposition is considered to be an enemy and as such must be punished. This country needs a cross fertilization of ideas to have rapid development. We are elected into office to represent our people whether you are APC, PDP or any other party. We can be in different parties but with one common goals- the empowerment of our people and the development of our environment. We most not lose sight of this. “

Oborevwori Has Learnt From Tinubu In Relating With Opposition – says Joel-Onowakpo

Senator Joel Onowakpo Thomas

The Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has described Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State as a broad minded politician for his disposition in relating with the opposition, saying that he has learnt very fastly by emulating President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who appointed opposition party member in the person of His Excellency, Nyesom Wike as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

Senator Joel-Onowakpo made the call while speaking with journalists at Thanksgiving Service of the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to Mark his one year anniversary in office, held at Winners Chapel, Ibusa Road, Asaba, Delta Stare

He encouraged Governor Oborevwori to continue to be broad minded, as well as being inclusive, adding that he was waiting for the day the Governor will appoint credible members of the opposition party to his cabinet.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

“I want to say that, HE Sheriff Oborowori should be commended for being broad minded like our President. I want to encourage him to continue to be broad minded and also being inclusive. I am waiting for the day he will appoint credible members of the opposition party to his cabinet.”

Stressing on the need for opposition parties to work together for the overall development of the state and Nigeria at large, he said, ” I also want to say that, I am not aware of the president giving directive to MDA {Ministry, Department and Agency} of government to pass all Federal government intervention programs through only APC members rather all intervention programs are routed through the various State governor’s irrespective of their political affiliation. And this is the way to go.,”

Answering a question on why he attended the Thanksgiving Service being an opposition Senator, he said, ” First let me correct one thing: I am a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am not a senator for only APC members in my Senatorial District but a senator for both APC, PDP and all other parties. I am to represent all and bring the dividend of democracy to our people.”

Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas

” Note also, the governor of Delta State is the Governor to everyone in Delta State and I do not think he is governor to only those who are PDP members. Moreover, I am a Senator today because Delta State exist, I am also a critical stakeholder in Delta State. For emphasis sake, I represent 1/3 of the State and my other two colleagues from Delta State represent 2/3 of the State ”

” Having said the above, I want to say that, His Excellency extending invitation to all the senators from Delta State irrespective of their political leaning is the smartest and wisest thing that he has done. And I think, it will be very timid and very disrespectful of me to turn such an invitation.The question I need to ask myself if I even think of turning down the invitation is: what do i intend to achieve? And very honestly, I will have no answer to such a question other than telling myself not to attend because the governor is a PDP governor. Which to me is pure nonsensical!”

” As an APC member, I should imitate my APC supreme leader in person of, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is so broad minded in not only relating with members of the opposition but even appointing His Excellency Nyesom wike as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because he recognized the fact that he is the president of everyone in Nigeria.”

” Finally, I want to encourage everyone to move away from primitive politics where the opposition is considered to be an enemy and as such must be punished. This country needs a cross fertilization of ideas to have rapid development. We are elected into office to represent our people whether you are APC, PDP or any other party. We can be in different parties but with one common goals- the empowerment of our people and the development of our environment. We most not lose sight of this.”

LG Polls: Ukodhiko commends PDP for choice of Ogorugba’s as Isoko North PDP Chairmanship’s Candidate

Hon. Jonathan Ukodhiko
By Sarah Ogodo
The Member representing Isoko Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Jonathan Ukodhiko, has stated that yesterday’s affirmation of the immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, Elder Prince Godwin Ogorugba at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Secretariat, Ozoro, as the Isoko North PDP candidate for the forthcoming local government election, brings further hope to the good people of the Council Area.
Hon. Jonathan Ukodikho and Elder Prince Godwin Ogorugba
Ukodhiko stated this while responding to questions from pressmen shortly after the unanimous affirmation of Elder Prince Godwin Ogorugba by the Party as Flag-bearer for the July 13 Local Government Elections in Delta State.
Hon. Jonathan Ukodhiko
The Lawmaker, who is the Deputy Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology said the huge turnout of party faithful signifies the acceptability of Elder Prince Ogorugba, who, due to his unrelenting hard work and dedication as Chairman of PDP in Isoko North Chapter, has won the hearts of many within and outside the Party.
Hon. Jonathan Ukodhiko
Having emerged as the sole contestant for the primary election, Elder Prince Godwin Ogorugba was declared winner by the Returning Officer for the primary election, Uche Aligo.
In his acceptance speech, Prince Ogorugba commended the party faithful across the state and local government areas for the peaceful conduct of the Councillorship and Chairmanship party  primaries.
Ogorugba said that the process reflected the wishes of the masses while urging all party faithful to unite ahead of the July 13th Local government polls.
Ogorugba also emphasised that with the peaceful and acceptable conduct of the party primary through out the state shows a total demonstration of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s epitome of wisdom and leadership style in bringing true democracy to the  door steps of grassroot by allowing the people to chose those who will represent them at the Local Government Council.
He said the governor has done extremely very well and most of his projects, such as the dualization of Ozoro-Ughelli road, construction of Emevor-Orogun road, the establishment of College of Health Technology Ovrode among others were visible to Isoko North people and they are very happy with the Governor’s performance in his first year in office.
The Executive Director Finance and Administration of Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Chief Kome Okpobor, commended Isoko North party leaders and faithful for the peaceful conduct of the party primary, saying the jubilation and celebrations by the party faithful shows that the party candidate, Elder Prince Godwin Ogorugba is the man of the people and an experienced grassroot politician, who is generally accepted by all.
Speaking in affirmative of the party’s candidate, Hon. Bernard Odior, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Onojaeme, and  Hon. Mary Samuel described the victory of Ogorugba as well deserved.
Hon. Mary Samuel and Prince Godwin Ogorugba
Hon. Mary Samuel, SA to Governor Sheriff Oborevwori on Women Development
Also speaking, the SA to Governor Sheriff Oborevwori on Women Development, Hon. Mary Samuel assured Isoko North women of Ogorugba’s commitment to bringing more meaningful development across the length and breadth of the Council Area.

Outrage as Okpebholo commits sacrilege against the Oba in US, fails to impress Edo Diaspora Community …He is not his own man,’ source at the meeting says

What the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has been hiding from the people for some time now has been exposed in far away Maryland, US, where the Edo diaspora community, has now expressed “reservation” about the quality, competencies and capacity of the candidacy of Senator Monday Okpebholo, of the APC for the September 21 governorship election in the state.

Okpebholo, who had an interactive session with a handful of members of Edo Diaspora community was said to have displayed palpable lack of self confidence as well as general lack of knowledge, capacity and competence needed to govern the state.

A source who was present at the meeting described Okpebholo’s outing as “very poor and unconvincing and he generally lacks everything needed to be the governor of our state. He doesn’t come across as his own man. Others were in charge. He was just there, maybe as an observer or to just show his face. Let’s just say as a figure head. That isn’t good at all. We didn’t go to that meeting to listen to those hired speakers. We wanted to hear from him but he failed to impress,” the source stated.

The source fumed about what happened and called it “outsourcing his primary and lead roles to others whom they described as the chairman of the party and another they described as the Leader of the party. Are these the guys that are going to run the government for him? He must be joking. He should be the one in charge and not those guys. They will most likely hijack his government and powers and he would then be their puppet. We don’t think that is the kind of person we want. He is not his own man,” the source fumed severally.

While Senator Okpebholo struggled to assert himself during the event, Pastor Ize Iyamu and the APC state chairman, Jarret Tenebe, reportedly stole the show as they took charge of proceedings, relegating him to the background.

A picture of the event seen online had Pastor Osagie and Jarret conspicuously at the centre while the candidate was pushed to the side of the photo.

The angry source even went to the extent of suggesting that “the man they called Leader was almost acting as the real candidate. That’s an offense of impersonation here in the United States. They are lucky nobody took much interest in who was what. Of the 18 or 20 people in attendance, I don’t think half of us were impressed. It will be difficult for the people to recommend this man for them at home to be voted for as the next Governor of our state.

Beyond Okpebholo’s poor performance, reports by his media aide, who identified himself as Henry J, and claimed to be at the event has been the source of anger and outrage from people back home.

Henry J, in a report of the event he titled: “A night to remember: Senator Okpebholo’s visit to Maryland strengthens Tues with Edo State Diaspora” presented his report in a communique style.

He asserted that, “With a warm smile, he began to share his vision for Edo State, outlining strategies to address pressing issues such as:

1. Insecurity: Senator Okpebholo emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to tackling insecurity, involving community engagement, intelligence gathering, and effective policing.

2. Oba Palace drama with Obaseki: He called for unity and reconciliation, urging all parties to put the interest of Edo State above personal differences.”

The report which is trending on the net has caused no little stir as concerned Edos took umbrage at the temerity of Okpebholo to advise the Oba to “put the interest of Edo State above personal differences.”

Reactions have since Friday afternoon been trailing what many residents in Benin City described as both “foolish, disrespectful and unsolicited advice by Okpebholo to the Oba”.

Henry J named some of those who attended the meeting as Chief David Adolo, the Master of Ceremonies, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Emperor Jarrett Tenebe, Dr. Legend Asuelime, Mr. Osazee Imasogie, Mr. AbdulRahman Abubakar, and Hon. EJ Agbonayinma, as well as others.

He concluded by announcing that, “Henry J, a renowned journalist, was live in Maryland to cover the event, providing a firsthand account of the evening’s proceedings.”

Realizing the anger and outrage that have been trailing the unsolicited advice by Okpebholo, his media team quickly swung into action doing damage control and presenting a false report by John Mayaki titled “It is a sacrilege to drag the Oba in a market square – Okpebholo. The report has, however, been roundly condemned as an afterthought by people of the state.

Why I Chose to Keep My Father’s Surname ~ Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie

I didn’t change my surname to my husband’s surname because I love my surname, and all my documents bear my father’s surname. I don’t have the strength to run around to change it.

People often tell me that I am abusing Igbo culture by still bearing my father’s surname. I laugh when I hear people say this. But the fact is that those women who bear their husband’s surname are the ones abusing Igbo culture. In pre-colonial Igbo culture, women didn’t bear their husband’s surname; they bore their father’s surname. Everything changed when the British colonized us. We then abandoned our own culture and followed British culture.

Chimamanda Adichie

In pre-colonial Igbo society, if a married woman died, her corpse would be returned to her father’s home to be buried there. In pre-colonial Igbo culture, women belonged to their father’s place; their husbands just borrowed them for both to live together and have children.

I am always worried about why Igbo people are ashamed to speak their language. In most Igbo families in Nigeria, parents communicate in Igbo, but immediately when they talk to their children, they switch to English.

I am always thinking about how to make our people understand the importance of our culture and language. That’s why I don’t normally wear foreign clothes. Many international clothing brands have approached me to be their ambassador by wearing their clothes, but I choose our traditional style of dressing to showcase who we are to the world. Many of our students now don’t study Igbo in school. During my time in secondary school, I studied Igbo and took it in my WAEC examination, achieving an A1.

Chimamanda Adichie

I have two children, and I am teaching them the things we did as children while growing up, like “Ikpọ ọga” and many other traditional activities. These are the things that will help them understand who they are. They speak and understand Igbo.

It is time for all of us to come together to restore our language.

Ikolomi’s-led NOA Partners The Pointer To Drive Govt Policies 

BY PRISCA OGBO 

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Delta State, has joined hands with the Delta Printing and Publishing Corporation (DPPC), in driving the policies of governments at all levels for wider acceptance among the citizenry.

The NOA State Director, Mrs Tracy Ikolomi, during an interactive meeting with the DPPC management, and publishers of The Pointer titles, said the agency’s main aim is to sensitise Nigerians on the government’s policies and get feedback.

‘’To reach as many people as possible, the agency makes use of different methods to disseminate information, especially to those at the grassroots like town hall meetings, door to door, town criers, among other methods’’ she said.

She, however, mentioned challenges of finance and mobility which she said, is a major cause for concern, adding that such challenges have affected delivery in its operations.

“We are working to ensure a better society; we are not resting on our oars within our means and the time we have. We will do our best. As the National Orientation Agency, we would do what is necessary, but we would work within the confines of funds available for our operations” she added.

Remarking, the General Manager of DPPC, Mr Godfrey Ubaka, commended the NOA for their visit, pledging to render all the support they seek in educating and sensitizing Nigerians, particularly Deltans, on government policies and programmes.

‘’We are partners and we will partner with you (NOA) in the right direction towards ensuring that the policies of the government are well understood by the citizens, and that the feelings of the citizens are also brought back to the government’’ he said.

Ubaka suggested that the NOA should also explore other avenues of reaching the grassroots, beyond the convention media, adding that mediums such as Town Hall meetings would go a long way in helping the agency succeed in its mandate.

He commended the federal orientation agency for its initiatives in ensuring greater citizen participation in democracy despite its peculiar challenges in Nigeria.

The meeting witnessed the attendance of Mrs Blessing Oyem, Agatha Ojogho, Gladys Grant Omokhudu, Godfrey Eghrudiagbor, Wilbet Ijeoma and Abel Johngold from the NOA team, while the DPPC team including Mrs Victoria Isichei, Mr Patrick Nwanze, Mrs Edna Emeni, Mr Cletus Ngwodo and Mr Patrick Mgbodo, among other officials.

MEMORIES OF UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN -by Professor Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka

1952 was the year I finished secondary school and I had written and passed entrance examinations into the University College, Ibadan which was the only tertiary institution available m the country then. Before the university session started, I got this job in a medical equipments supply company, where I had, this rather prestigious title of senior stores officer grade three! It wasn’t that the office environment or even the store itself was something as prestigious as its title; all there was to the business was this huge barnyard kind of warehouse where we stored equipments like catguts, surgical tools and bales of cotton wool amongst other things. Yet I was enjoying it and had even considered not going immediately into university.

All this soon changed of course, when the admission offer was followed by a Government scholarship. I just could not resist that bait, so I resigned my job as senior stores officer grade three, and packed my belongings together to begin my sojourn in University College Ibadan. The University was still at its old site which was nothing but an ex-army barracks at Eleiyele. We didn’t stay more than the first year before we were moved to the new site, on the old Oyo road.

Prof. Wole Soyinka

Comparatively, I rather liked the old site of the campus for many reasons, although it was no match for the new site in terms of infrastructural beauty or convenience. While the old site at Eleiyele had a kind of English egalitarian atmosphere, at the new site attempts were made to create a kind of British collegiate atmosphere by the hall masters.

This meant that the students’ attitude changed from the natural realistic trend of life to assume very unreal and unrealistic colonial dimensions. Class distinctions became the order of the day, and the proliferations of elitist clubs had begun. Huge ballroom dances came into being which you attended in three piece suits, at which also you wouldn’t be caught dead without a tie. Sometimes a brooch was added too, for good measure. I too wore a tie and even the brooch but, I did not take it as seriously as the other students appeared to. Unlike the others, I didn’t begin to think too highly of myself. Students then felt they were a sort of very “special, very privileged people who were separate from the community, and because of this they took some most outrageous decisions.

I recall once, that the SRC (Students Representative Council) passed a resolution calling on the Government to remove the railway crossing at Sango because it disturbed them when they were returning from shopping in town or night clubbing at one of the many clubs available in Mokola. I found this very hilarious and very amusing, yet it was serious.

Students were suffering from a disease I can only summarise as having an overinflated sense of self.

The culmination of this ego trip was the Sigma Club. This was the Club of socially aware, supposedly exposed and sophisticated (more like coloniated) students who were strangers to poverty, and had become as near to a white man as the white parts of their eyes. They had these parties which were the high points of the social calendar on the campus. They went about, all suited up, even in the most blazing sun and prided themselves in being gentlemanly in their manners and ways, which to me read stiff, aloof and unnatural. Anyway Sigmaites were the conservatives and societal standards of sophisticated beings on campus.

Prof. Wole Soyinka

It was not only Sigmaites who were guilty of this disease called colonial mentality raging through the university like wild fire. Most of the male students were very chauvinistic. They had this attitude to women which I didn’t like. The Bug, a campus journal, was their mouthpiece. The women on campus then, rather few in number, were bugged mercilessly, cruelly and hopelessly. In vicious vitrolic language. They were made to feel like second class citizens and pure trash. Some of the women on campus then, include the present Mrs. Ann Ofure and Francesca Emmanuel (who had such a great voice and was very active in the theatre). One of the ladies I can’t recall her name now, had a very impressive personality and she was also one of those who constantly wore Yoruba attire. I remember The Bug reached its lowest in my estimation, when in one of its editions this lady was bugged. They wrote: Market woman market woman, Jankoliko market woman Jankoliko.

They likened her to a rustic, illiterate market woman because she dared to wear native clothes! My God! that was the point at which I concluded that this disease should not be allowed to thrive any longer. I mean, how could students who prior to the opportunity of going to University would probably have been no more than farmers or traders get into a campus and change so much, forgetting their humble beginnings (some of them were very much below average and couldn’t have paid their way through school if they didn’t get a scholarship), turn round quickly and call those things which they have always lived with, were born into, and grown up with, crude, local, unrefined and crass, and call things which they’ve only being exposed to, for not more than five or ten years as worthy and necessary to give one a veneer of sophistication and worldliness. It only meant, or so I reasoned, that the colonialists (the British) had scored a bull’s eye. They had won a golden victory by colonising not only our land but also our minds. Sadly this reversal of values, of regarding everything of colonial or white-skinned origin as good, and those that were of African origin as substandard quality therefore bad, was the order of the day. The most infuriating aspect of this students colonial mentality was that it had a touch of arrogance in it.

Prof. Wole Soyinka

The only way I knew to quell this unfair, unabashed trampling of African values and the women’s sensitivity, was to start another campus journal which we called The Eagle. We used it to attack colonial mentality. Some of my friends like Aig-Imoukhuede and Pius Oleghe were my co-editors. The Eagle attacked, always, The Bug’s libelous faces. One thing led to another and it became the precursor of one of the most important relics of my Ibadan associations -The Pyrates Confraternity. Myself, Pius Oleghe, Ralph Opara, Aig-Imoukhuede, Ifoghale Amata, Oyelola and Awe found we were like minds, who were determined to add the letters BA and BSc to our names. Yet we believed that a university education should be fun, without the viciousness which was prevalent on campus. We also thought students should map out a character of their own, rather than follow sheepishly the norms and traits of our largely European staff.

One day, seven of us got together in somebody’s room (whose I can’t remember because some of them lived next door to me) and said, ‘Let’s start something’. Everybody was enthusiastic and full of ideas. One person suggested the name, another thought of the attire, another person thought up our initiation ceremony. One thing which we all agreed to was that there wouldn’t be any room for colonial mentality in the club. Thus the Pyrates Confraternity was born. We were going to be a sort of counter revolution against colonialism.

Our first ever initiation ceremony took place in a kind of split level hut behind Tedder Hall. It was a kind of semi bunker (which I guess must have been destroyed now) just on the lawns, and it had a kind of alcove which was raised on a plank. We met there, discussed and held our elections. I was chosen to be the first Captain. We henceforth held our meetings (sailed) there. Although we might have been a little wild, it was not usually due to the influence of alcohol as most people assumed. We didn’t drink anything stronger than beer. Our concoction which was one of the symbols of our mystery was just Krola (the soft drink at that time) mixed with beer. Our noisy and boisterous activities were just the letting loose of otherwise restricted and chained instincts of youthful freedom and exuberance. Unlike popular belief also, the confraternity was not designed to be a secret cult. We sailed in my tIme, on top of the platform. Our performances which was just singing, telling stories and debating (albeIt at the top of our voices) were open to anybody. We discussed everything including politics and anybody who liked or wanted to loosen up was free to join us.

Most of the rites, ceremonies and mystery shrouding the club’s activities were later day innovations of future generations who identified with the ideals of the organisations. For example in my time we didn’t have the pyratical language. Our uniforms were not regularised too. Everybody was required to use his imagination and initiative as long as he came out as pyratical as possible. One of my life’s greatest thrills is to recall that day seven of us formed the Confraternity, and to remember that it not only survived after we left, for it was a phenomenon that spread to and was accepted by other institutions in the country. That it made so much impact on the lives of its adherents such that they didn’t want to stop being a part of it even after they left their various institutions. That this made them form the National Association of Seadogs to which graduate Pyrates have shown so much dedication that they have been able to carry out such humanitarian gestures and succeed in some social reforms. This is very commendable and is an issue of pride to me anytime I recall it.

We were only just beginning to heave a sigh of relief that an instrument was in force which could combat the unnecessary bourgeois circle of bow ties, suits and the regimentation and propagation of false values among the students; we were just beginning to make an impact on students’ life, to persuade them to come down to earth, to stop making a great fuss if Omelette was replaced on the menu by Akara and Moin Moin, which was what in reality most of us had for breakfast in our homes, when a new disease broke out amongst the students. This time, it was Tribalism!

Politics on campus became dictated and dominated by tribal instincts. Tribal unions came into being and some students used to walk to a place near the Zoo and Botanical Gardens at night to attend meetings of such unions. Everything one did was affected first by one’s tribe and later by one’s reason. The situation degenerated into violence sometimes. I remember once, pinning up a notice which was a means of instant communication then, since students always stopped at the notice board to catch up with the latest gist of happenings on the campus. You could always pin up an article you felt somebody else should read and stick on your photograph, so that whoever wanted to continue discussion on your views could identify you. I had something to say about tribalism and I wrote it up and pinned it on the notice board. It was to my greatest surprise that I found a fellow student who had read the article was ready to assail me. He was a Yoruba student who was so furious I thought he was going to beat me up. He stormed into my room and accused me of pretending I didn’t know what was going on. He asked me if I didn’t understand that this thing (tribal fraternity) was a matter of life and death before I went and put up that rubbish? He said what did I think I was? A pious Christian who turned the other cheek when slapped? Didn’t I know what they did to us in the last elections? Such was the vehemence and the animosity of his tribal fury. I simply wrote this off as horrendous. We members of the Pyrates Confraternity had a multi-tribal background. We were least influenced by tribe.

I must not be all negative about the period because the atmosphere was laden with many interesting cultural activities. For one, the theatre was at its liveliest. Our music circle was good and I remember I used to sing to the accompaniment of Christopher Okigbo on the piano. Professor Hill used to entertain us with his guitar to racy Western songs and folk music and life was not bad.

Academic life in Ibadan was just taking off. This could probably account for the fact that honours English which I wanted to read had not begun at Ibadan then. This accounted for my leaving the institution for Leeds University when I got a scholarshIp to study honours English. No sooner had I left than they started the course in Ibadan. However, I recall that I enjoyed my literature classes in Ibadan. Dr Christopherson took us in some kind of pre-linguistic course and he was very fussy about phonetics. There was Oliver Wood and Professor Dike in the History Department. I can’t really recall my lecturer in Greek (maybe because I dropped Greek soon after I got into Ibadan). For a sort of intellectual development, we had the debating society which organised debating competitions.

Perhaps the only part of myself I discovered in Ibadan was my counter-culture person. It was at Ibadan that I realised, and erupted my non-conformist attitude and stance. This led to my participating actively in the thing that gives me the most joy about Ibadan, The Pyrates Confraternity. It has been significant, because even tough my stay at Ibadan was short (since I left for Leeds after the Inter BA examInations), something which I was a part of has survived the forty or so odd years as an enduring part of the University tradition and culture. Although at some point, later day Pyrates diverted from the initial objectives of the Confraternity which was to counter colonial mentality and to protect the ladies from the undeserved harassment of chauvinistic males (a sort of knight in shining armour). We older Pyrates were invited to come in to straighten them out since they had got themselves in things which were downright evil. We came in, probed into the matter, we sunk some of the decks and told others to clean up their acts and separate themselves from some of these things which were really evil.

Somehow I formed some attachment to Ibadan which was not too visible until I went to Leeds. I found I missed the place so much; I remember I used to write quite often and got angry if I did not receive up-to-date gist of goings on at Ibadan. I tried to renew this attachment when I finished from Leeds, although I did not want to go straight into teaching because I wanted to do some research. Fortunately, I got a Rockefeller fellowship which enabled me forgo the research and I set up an acting company in 1969.

My return to Ibadan was a revelation. My first year was not all that pleasant. I clashed with a lot of the staff because of their stiff-necked ideas and their colonial mindedness, most of the staff by now were mostly black. I satirised some of them in my book, The Interpreters. Some of them formed the models portrayed with phony accents. Some of them were very ridiculous; very funny. I enjoyed my work so much that I never wrote up my thesis. I just utilised the materials in articles and in plays because a couple of my plays had been produced.

“Rise in unity to support Tinubu’s developmental reforms” – Akpabio tells Niger Delta Monarchs 

Godswill Akpabio

The Senate President, Senator Godswill Ufot Akpabio, has called on the traditional rulers from South South region of Nigeria to rise in unity and commit themselves to supporting the lofty plans of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and work with him to ensure that hope is renewed for the people of the region.

Godswill Akpabio

Senator Akpabio made the call in his special remarks at the opening ceremony of the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the South South Monarchs Forum holding in the capital city of Asaba, Delta State, saying that it was imperative for the monarchs to join forces with government to address myriad of challenges facing the region.

Represented at the opening ceremony by the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, Senator Akpabio, paid glowing tribute to the Royal Fathers, describing them as “the carriers of our customs, the guardians of our heritage, and the embodiment of the aspirations of our people.”

Senator Joel Onowakpo
Godswill Akpabio and Senator Joel Onowakpo Thomas

“In this historic moment, of our gathering here to discuss the theme of “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration for Development of the South-South Region: The Role of the Traditional Institution”, let us acknowledge the challenges that our great nation, Nigeria, faces.”

” We cannot turn a blind eye to the security challenges that threaten the peace and socio-economic well-being of our people. The unfortunate Okuama Community crises and the loss of 17 brave soldiers serve as stark reminders of the pressing need for robust interfaces on security matters, especially as they impact the security and socio-economic well-being of our people.”

” We cannot afford to sit idly by while our communities are torn apart by violence, insecurity, and unrest. We must come together as a united front to address these challenges head-on and work towards finding lasting solutions. We must commit ourselves to supporting the lofty plans of the present administration of President Bola Tinubu and work with him to ensure that hope is renewed for our people.”

He charged the South South Monarchs to in the face of adversity, find hope and strength in the unity of the people of the region, noting that as traditional leaders, called to be beacons of light and bastions of hope guiding our communities toward a brighter future, “I urge you, our fathers to rise above our differences, avoid political affiliations and personal interests, and focus on the common purpose that binds you together – the well-being of our people.”

Godswill Akpabio

According to him, ” The role of the traditional institution is of paramount importance. You are the lighthouses in your communities. Your influence and guidance are crucial in fostering peace, security, and development. You must lead by example and to inspire unity among our people. You must recognize that your influence extends far beyond the borders of your kingdoms. You hold the power to shape the destiny of our region, to foster unity, and to drive positive change.”

” To address the security challenges that loom over our nation, we must engage in robust interfaces, such as you intend to have in this Assembly, on security matters. Collaboration is key – working hand in hand with government agencies, security forces, and community leaders Through this partnership, we can develop comprehensive strategies that ensure the safety and prosperity of our people.”

Godswill Akpabio

” Therefore, I call upon every one of us to rise to the occasion and take up the mantle of leadership with courage and determination. In the face of adversity, we must stand strong and resolute. We must show the world that we are a force to be reckoned with, a people united in purpose and vision. Let us not be defined by our challenges but by our ability to overcome them.”

Senator Akpabio acknowledged that the South-South Monarchs Forum, as a nonprofit body, has been at the forefront of fostering unity and cooperation, as he stressed on the need for them to build upon the foundation, leveraging their collective strength to make a lasting impact.

The Senate President said, “l implore every one of you, esteemed monarchs, to embrace your roles as custodians of peace and progress. I implore you to lead by example, nurturing an environment of inclusivity, tolerance, and respect. I implore you to let your actions today shape the future of our region and inspire generations to come.”

” In conclusion, let us use this 13th Extraordinary General Assembly as a catalyst for change, and as an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the development and well-being of our people.”

” Together, we can forge a South-South region that shines as a beacon of hope and progress, a testament to our shared values and determination. Let us go beyond providing the oil that runs our country’s economy to lighting the candle of peace and unity to show our country the way to greatness.”

Nigerian Senate

Joel-Onowakpo Advocates For Stakeholders’ Collaboration For Interest of South South

Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has said there is an urgent need for monarchs, government appointees and elected representatives to collaborate for development and growth of the South-South region.

Senator Joel-Onowakpo stated this on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the 13th Extraordinary General Assembly of the South-South Monarchs Forum at the Unity Hall, Government House Asaba, Delta State, where he also represented the Senate President, Senator Godswill Ufot Akpabio.

Senator Joel Onowakpo

Senator Onowakpo, speaking for himself as a South South Senator, after the presentation of Senator Godswill Akpabio’s remarks as the Special Guest of Honour at the event, noted that until critical stakeholders form a united front and deliberately cooperate for advancement of South-South, the development in the region will not be commensurate with the huge contributions being made to the national treasury.

He urged government appointees in the region who are occupying vital offices to always liaise with their elected counterparts as well as the monarchs, whom he described as the custodians of rich traditional heritage, to positively change the fortune of the region.

“There is a wide gap between the revenue we contribute to the national treasury and the development we have as a region. This is quite disturbing, however, if we must change this ugly narrative, all critical stakeholders in the region especially our revered monarchs, government appointees and elected representatives must deliberately work together,” the Senator said.

While urging the monarchs to appoint a liaison officer who can work closely with both elected and appointed officers, he said the traditional rulers are blessed with divine wisdom and have answers to many of the challenges bedeviling the society.

He commended the Monarchs for forming the South-South Monarchs Forum to forge a united front to project the region, promote peace, security and development.

The theme of the event was “Strengthening Stakeholder Collaboration for Development in the South-South Region: The Role of the Traditional Institution.”

He assured the South South Monarchs that they will continue to strive towards ensuring that what is due the region gets to her, adding that the present administration of President Ahmed Tinubu was working towards uplifting the fortune of the people.

Earlier, the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, who declared the event open during his welcome address lamented the poor development across the South-South region despite her natural riches.

He called on all leaders of the region to be more serious and proactive in advancing the course of the South-South.

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