By Binebai Princewill It has become axiomatic that the end of every Government marks the beginning of a new government, this was the case in Okerenkoko Federated Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State on Saturday as the Mr. Akpos Oturubo led exco of four (4) years and nineteen (19) days came to an end ushering in a new leadership in the oil bearing community. The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report.
On his part, Rt. Hon. Julius Pondi, member representing Burutu Federal Constituency who was chairman of the inauguration ceremony held yesterday 19th of June 2021 had in his speech charged the new democratically elected and legally sworn in executive members of Okerenkoko Federated Community to waste no time in tackling the multifaceted issues bedeviling the community. Hon. Pondi who spoke passionately during the ceremony about the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko had emplore the new exco spearheaded by Hon. Shedrack Otuaro to work as excos in collaboration with other critical stakeholders in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Niger Delta and Nigeria at large to ensure the reorganisation and making moves to put in place a law establishing the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU).While expressing his confidence on the Shedrack Otuaro’s led executive of Okerenkoko Federated Community, Pondi maintained that as a University community, they must always maintain peace and tranquility at all times, stressing that he will continue to work with them on common grounds particularly issues concerning the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko and other areas as the need arises. In his words: “To whom much is given, much is expected, I have no iota of doubt in me that as my elder brother, you are going to do wonderfully well to surpass the expectations of your people. I know Shedrack Otuaro as a good man that he will do wonderfully well with his team, May God bless you all.”On his part, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, minority leader, Federal House of Representatives had in his speech during the occasion described Hon. Pondi as a man the people of Burutu Federal Constituency, Ijaws and Niger Deltans should truly be proud of owing to his legislative sagacity.Elumelu noted that they are playing critical roles with relevant authorities in the region in the ongoing constitutional review, stressing that it is their opinion that the State House of assemblies should be independent, judicial independence, local government autonomy, host community matters .Adding that “Niger Delta that owns the oil should be treated fairly, 13% is not enough for our people, i will continue to support anything that has to do with the Niger Delta.”We will liaise with others outside our region in our quest for a better Niger Delta, Chairman of this great community and his exco should prioritise towards working for the actualization of the NMU Bill , i will be available to work for its actualization. We have our own Delta and Niger Delta son Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege as the deputy Senate President who is so passionate about our region and the people. I know that we will be working together to achieve this bill. Congratulations to you all as I wish you a fruitful tenure “. Hon. Elumelu stated. However, Chairman of Okerenkoko Federated Community (OFC), Hon. Shedrack Burutu Otuaro had in his welcome address promised to carry everyone along in the community, stressing that he will work together with his executive members to tackle the multifaceted woes confronting the community. In his words: “It is a unique privilege to stand before you to present this inaugural speech, coming out of an election that was keenly contested and the subsequent emergence of my humble self as Chairman of Okerenkoko Federated Community. I consider my emergence as Chairman of our dear community as a call to service, at this time. I want to sincerely appreciate my brother, Chief Fezigha Odu who stepped down for me following the timely intervention of GOC, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, and my other brother who conceded defeat. I pledge to ensure that, as brothers, we shall work together to achieve the development goals so desired in our dear community.“For there to be a sustainable development in our community, all hands must be on desk. We, therefore, call on the Delta State Government to continue to strive in the development of our community. The Maritime University needs more structures and full accreditation which the Federal Government is required to enforce. We are calling on the state government to liaise with the Federal Government to show more commitment to the actualization of this golden educational quest by providing more engineering and technical gadgets that will make the Maritime University next to non in the World.”The national and multinational oil companies operating in our community (NPDC/NECONDE, NEST OIL, CHEVRON, E.T.C) need to be reminded of their social responsibilities and the building of capacities of the indigenes. “The importance of power (electricity) cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, I pledge to continue with the provision of light in our community as part of this administration’s agenda. I, also, will equally ensure that the ongoing power distribution arrangement from the gas turbine at Jones creek station is vigorously pursued until it is achieved. “Together, we can do it better, is a common adage. I am calling on all well meaning and good spirited men and women to contribute to the development of our community by their unrelenting commitments to development programmes internally organised or sponsored and anchored by the government at the state or federal level.“Success on our development goals is dependent on the continuous demonstration of unity by all indigenes of our community. Therefore, I appeal to any aggrieved person or group of persons by reason of my emergence as Chairman of our communities to sheath their swords and let us work together as one people to make Okerenkoko Federated Community the dream city we all envision. “I thank the electoral body for the successful conduct of a process that produced a no-post election petition. My thanks and appreciation also goes to my fellow contestants for their peaceful conduct in helping the electoral process.”We will internationalize Okerenkoko, declare state of emergency on its development –PRO, Amb. DekaweiNevertheless, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Okerenkoko Federated Community (OFC) had in an exclusive interview with The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide assured the people of Okerenkoko that he will use his office as the image maker of the town to internationalize the community before the World by telling the development story of Okerenkoko. He noted that he will be working closely with his chairman and all members of the exco to ensure that they declare state of emergency on the continued development of Okerenkoko Federated Community, stressing that they will keep pushing for a better Okerenkoko. Speaking further on the strategies they are going to use for the development of the community, the image maker of Okerenkoko, Amb. John Dekawei noted that the exco will liaise with both national and multinational oil companies to sell the developmental agenda of Okerenkoko for them to contribute their quota as part of their cooperate social responsibility. He assured the people of Okerenkoko Federated Community in Gbaramatu Kingdom that a more united, peaceful, better and stronger Okerenkoko is in the making as the new exco can’t afford to fail the people, stressing that better days are here for them. Dekawei asserted that programmes will be designed, developed and carried out to positively engage and empower youths, women, the elderly as well as other groups to benefit from the present administration headed by Hon. Shedrack Otuaro. Amb. John stated that they will continue to mount pressure on the Delta State Government, the Federal Government of Nigeria, relevant stakeholders in the polity as well as other agencies, ministries and commissions to ensure that Okerenkoko gets her own share in terms of development of any kind from the aforementioned. He particularly appreciated his teeming supporters, members of Bibopere Zion and all members of Okerenkoko Federated Community for the mandate given to them, stressing that they will not betray the confidence reposed in them as the exco will work hard to bring about the needed development to the community. Meanwhile, High point of the event was the taking of Oath of office/allegiance which was conducted by the duo of Barrister Jerry Otuaro and Barr. Samson Bebenimibo who administered the Oaths to the new executives. The newly inaugurated exco members and their positions include Hon. Shedrack Burutu Otuaro-chairman, Hon Segun Mulade – Vice chairman, Mr Andrew Bebenimibo- Secrtary General, Amb John Dekawei- P.R.O, Comr Stanley Adebayo – Assistant secretary, Mr Samuel ijeleba- Asistant secretary, Mr Sokoto John- Treasurer, Mrs Beauty Johnny- Financial secretary, Mr Godluck Sinwa- Auditor, Mr Amos Ekpebide- Chief organiser as well as Mr James Governor- Asistant organiser. Some dignitaries that graced the occasion include: Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, minority leader, Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Julius Pondi, member representing Burutu Federal Constituency, house of representatives and also chairman of the occasion, Hon. Emomotimi Dennis Guwor, member representing Warri South West, Delta State House of Assembly, Amb. Dr. Shedrack Agediga, ED, PRS, DESOPADEC, Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, Commissioner representing Ijaw Ethnic Nationality, DESOPADEC, Chairlady of the day-Madam Beauty Ebifagha Warejuowei, Senior Legislative Aide to the deputy Senate President of the federal republic of Nigeria, Dr. Alfred Mulade, Registrar NMU, Barr. Pereotubo Roland Oweilaemi, former president Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Chief Amb. Comr. Sheriff Mulade, National Coordinator, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ)Others are Dr. Philip Tonfawei, Chairman of Kokodiagbene Community, Comr. Pedro Bekenawei, Bishop Felix Piniki, Elder Pafiegbegha Gbakena, Gbaramatu Traditional Council Of Chiefs, Cluster of Community Chairmen in Gbaramatu Kingdom, women groups in Gbaramatu Kingdom, High Chief P. T Heaven, Chief Roland Ekpemupolo, Elder Guinuwa Deregbangha, High Chief Wellington Bobo, Gen. Adowei Freedom, Chief Apst. Mosco Johnny, Rev. Benjamin German, Senior Bornergee Amas Olorun, Prince Owei Boumieghan, Chief James Alapalepe, Chief Simeon Bebenimibo, Comr. Ernest Bebenimibo, founder of the Ernest Bebenimibo (EBF), Gbaramatu Youth Council with the host of others too numerous to mention.The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide can report that the well attended ceremony was anchored by two renowned Niger Delta born masters of ceremony, the duo of Justin A. Bebenimibo, popularly known as Mc Colabo and Mc Karinade Abioka, alias Niger Delta prince of talk that thrilled dignitaries with their magnificent jokes.