Prof. Benjamin Okaba is a dedicated, purpose-driving, potentate, patriotic, mogul and benevolent leader. A genial scholar and a frontline Presidential candidate in the forthcoming INC election whose intent is geared towards the rejuvenation of ijaw nation.

BIOLOGICAL HISTORY.
Prof. Benjamin O. Okaba was born 15th August 1961, hails from kpakiama Community in Bomadi LGA of Delta State.

EDUCATIONAL CAREER.
He attended Local Authority School, Kpakiama from 1968-1972, and proceeded to Esenaebe College, Bomadi in old Bendel State from 1973-1978 and obtained his School leaving certificate and Senior School certification. Due to his excellent performance and great passion for educational advancement, he proceeded to the university of Ibadan and successfully graduated.

He holds a B. A (Ed), M.A Degree in African studies of the University of Ibadan (1990/91 session) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology) Degree of the Universities of Port Harcourt (1994-1996) and rose to the rank of visiting Professor (2005) and Professor (2007) specializing in Environmental Sociology, Development Administration and the Niger Delta Question.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT. Prof. Benjamin Okaba as an educationist and a prolific writer, he has to his credit 8 single-authored textbooks, 4 jointly-authored pedagogical books, 5 edited books, 102 journals articles/chapter contributions and 172 public lectures presented at different local community, state, National and International Fora.

He is an editor/member of the editorial board of 11 National and International Journals and other academic publications.

Notable among these academic publications and public lectures are : Why Nigerians Bury their Money (1997) Oil industry and the Paradox of rural poverty (2005), the Ijaw Nation and the Development Imperative (2005), Use Ijaw language and culture or lose it), United Kingdom (2008), Youth and Community Empowerment as Building Blocks of the Sustainable Peace in Gbaramatu Kingdom (2016): Isaac Boro’s Legacies: Lesson for Sustainable Development in the Niger Delta Region. Boro Annual Lecture at Kaiama (2010).
Uplifting the rural poor in Bayelsa. NTA current Affairs Programme (1994), Education and the Struggle for Resource Control, Late Alamieyeseigha Memorial Lecture (2018). Water Resources Bill 2020. IPA Zoom Conference, The Ijaw Nation and The Nigerian Project 2021.

By the Almighty God’s divine providence, Prof. Benjamin Okaba has attended a couple of post-doctoral training courses in some of the best academic institutions in the world and these include, Dynamics of Development Administration,: Management and Leadership for Organizational Success, University of Dubai (2015), Development and Sustainable Change, Brunel University, West London UK (2014) Managing the Curse of the Dutch Disease, Kwame Nkrumah Institute of peace building, Accra Ghana (2012). Strategies for managing lnstitutional and Ethnic-Based Crisis, Flora Grand Dubai (2014).

CONTRIBUTIONS TO IJAW NATION AND THE NIGER DELTA.
Since joining the university system in 1992, Prof. B. Okaba has served as Head of Department, Associate Dean, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the Centre for the Niger Delta Studies both at the Delta State University and Niger Delta University. Provost of the College of Management and Social Sciences, Novena University and Provost, Oleh Campus, Delta State University, Abraka. He was the Pioneer Director of the Institute of Foundation Studies, Later Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Social Studies and now the Dean School of Postgraduate Studies Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State. He is Chairman, Staff Disciplinary committee (Since 2018) and the Current Chairman, Committee of Deans, Federal University Otuoke.

Prof. Benjamin Okaba’s leadership services in other professional organization is worthy of note and these include Vice Chairman (2000), Chairman (2002) of the Academic Staff Union of University of Port-Harcourt, Chairman, Delta State Chapter of the society of peace studies and practice, Secretary, Nigerian Association for the study of The Aged and Chairman, Governing Council of the school of Marine Technology, Burutu. Resource Person/Member, Delta State Think Tank in the 2014 National Conference-Abuja, Member of the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Committee (2015-2017), Secretary, Niger Delta Peoples Congress, National Organizing Secretary of the Oil and Solid Minerals Producing Areas Landlords Association of Nigeria (2016).

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He is also an active member of Ijaw National Congress (INC) since 1996 where he has passionately served this body as resource person, repertoire and chairman/member of many statutory and adhoc committees at the zonal (Western) and national levels.

MERITORIOUS AWARDS.
In recognition of his meritorious contributions to humanity in general, Prof. B. Okaba has been decorated with numerous titles and awards including Fellow of the institute of human resource management (2005), Fellow institute of Personnel Management (2004), Peace Ambassador of the United Nations (2016), CLO Award for the protection of Democracy (2002); ASUU (Uniport Branch) Award of Merit for Outstanding Leadership and Commitment (2004). Silver Jubilee Award of Excellence. Esenaebe College – Bomadi (old boys Ass.) (2005).

Others are Chieftaincy tittle: Dike I Ovon Autonomous Communities Abia State 2005). South-South Youth Assembly Awards of Excellence (2012); Nigerian Print Journalism Development Organisation Awards for Distinguished Administrator Par-Excellence (2012); Lamp light News Superlative excellence award for competence in Administration , Probity and Accountability (2012); Eyes of Nobles Innovation Award of Excellence as the Pride of Nigerian Youth (2013); National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) Awards of Excellence as Educational Developer of our time. (2015); National Youth Vanguard, Nigeria. Award of Excellence as the most industrious Professor of Delta State University, Abraka. (2015).

He has prepared and presented several position papers on the Ijaw cause/Ijaw Agenda in Resource Control, Restructuring, Education, Entrepreneurship at different fora including the 2014 Abuja confab.
With the intellectual and administrative capital, he has amassed over three decades on the Ijaw Agenda and development imperative

VISION AND PROSPECT FOR INC.
He is poised to serve the ijaw nation and the benefits are glaring:

  1. Reposition the INC to promote our core values of unity, truth and mutual trust; protect and defend our collective rights, safety and livelihood.
  2. Build an INC with a self-propelling capacity to attract intervention and additional support from international agencies such as the United Nations (UN), African Center For Leadership and Sustainable Development, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), UNESCO, USAID\Minority Rights and Endangered Languages Protection Agencies, Environmental Rights Advocacy Forum, UNPO etc.
  3. Constructively advocate and defend (with credible baseline data on the State of Our environment, security, local economy, education etc.) on our position on restructuring and self-determination
    at local and international fora, such as EU, AU, UN Human and Environmental Committees etc.
  4. Revive and promote Ijaw unity and culture by producing a common Ijaw language, pedagogical texts in Ijaw language for our school children, a composite book Ijaw History, Culture, the INC Ijaw High Fliers, and the Ijaw Annual Cultural Day.
  5. Build internal and external reconciliatory bridges of unity; promote masses driven equal, collective participation and ownership of the INC and the project.
  6. Encourage and engage our ever growing population, particularly the young ones and women to partake in productive activities both locally and internationally where we have Comparative advantage.
  7. Put up a strong voice for the amendment and or repeal of certain laws (Land Use Act, Petroleum Act and related laws) in the short term to address some of our challenges, such as mass poverty, pollution, denial indigenous (beneficial) owner. In line with international best practices and Minerals and other Mining Act, 2007 as amended.
  8. Bring to limelight our cultural heritage by obtaining a Channel on DSTV, GOTV and other platforms and dedicate such to the promotion of Ijaw history, festivals and culture globally.
  9. Advocate for the legitimization of local production of refined petroleum produce.
  10. Harmonize and give direction to our youths/ women bodies and other Ijaw professional groups and associations, in order to actualize our common goals and aspirations as Ijaw people in dare need of self determination and self actualization.
  11. Promote accountability, prudence and disciplined stewardship in the management of the INC.

12 Provide responsive, credible representation of the Ijaw Agenda and the Ijaw cause in the committee of ethnic nationalities, locally and internationally

  1. Constructively engage the STATE, IOCs and the various interventionist agencies on the need for socio-political inclusiveness, environmental friendliness and infrastructural development.
  2. Finally he remains the most consistent, resourceful, outstanding and equipped both in intellectual content, character and political sagacity to move the Ijaw Nation out of the shackles of darkness, misery and backwardness lamentation and rededicate us into the hands of the GREAT PROVIDER of genuine peace and development.

CONCLUSION.
After a thorough study of his track-record, achievements and stewardship, academic pedigree and passion for Nation building, Prof. Benjamin Okaba is worth leading the INC as President.

And we shall ałso foresee the future of this country with the current socio-economic and political quagmires facing Nigeria today. On this regards above, Ijaw Nation need a resolute and intellectual capacity-driving leader like Prof. Benjamin Okaba to rejuvenate our reverse social cultural organization “INC” and build bridges across other ethnic Nationalities in this trying time of Nigeria in all ramifications.

A vote for Prof. Benjamin Okaba is a vote for the rejuvenation of Ijaw Nation.

God bless you ……. God bless Ijaw Nation.

Written by:
Snr. Comr. Abenzi Selekekeme Gabice(Director of Media, Okaba Campaign Organisation) and Engr. Amatoru Torubeni Victor,
(National Spokesman, Niger Delta Non-Violent Agitators Forum) (NDNAF).

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