By Harrison Akamule
I opted to write to celebrate a man who, despite the hard times, hindrances, poor parental background and environmental challenges, was able to make it. He is a man I have carefully watched over time and who, through the instrumentality of Almighty God, has brought life, hope, strength and happiness to the masses, irrespective of their ethnic affiliations, which, I believe, is worthy of emulation in such a time in the political history of Nigeria.
The man, Senator James Ebiowoukeduobowei Manager, from Ogbeinama Community, Bomadi Local Government Area, Delta State,who, devoid of the import of hard times and the economic wilderness, fought his way to prominence by obediently following the conditions set by God in ensuring that the promises made by Him can be achieved. He never allows situations to weigh him down. Though born in the creek community, Ogriagbene, Bomadi Local Government, Area, Delta state over 50 years ago, he is a REAL ROLE MODEL to this generation.
He is extremely interested in developing the Niger Delta region and uplifting the downtrodden in the region. He fought vehemently against scrapping the amnesty programme for the youths who have surrendered their arms in the zone. To him, scrapping the programme would be chaotic as it has helped the youths to gain skills and means of livelihood after the amnesty deal was struck and the youths surrendered leading the peace being enjoyed in the region.
As a former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Manager said any plan to scrap the Amnesty Programme for ex-militants would threaten the continued existence of Nigeria as a nation. The clamour for the scrapping has been based on the huge funds being deployed into the training of the repentant youths in the programme.
But the senator insisted that the programme must remain adequately funded beyond 2015, if the country must continue to enjoy peace in the ever volatile oil-rich region, arguing that the country had been enjoying a steady rise in crude production due to the engagement of youths from the area in productive activities.
Manager, who regularly organises empowerment programmes for the people from the eight local government areas of the Delta South, who he represents in the Senate, is a die-hard proponent of extending development to the people of the region and making life better for the neglected oil-producing zone in the country.
It was him who influenced the construction of Bomadi Bridge which has given a boost to the socio-economic activities in the area. He also ensured the construction of elaborate road network across Delta State. He was also instrumental to the construction of concrete jetties in the riverine areas of the state.
Manager’s inspiring role in pushing forward the Amnesty Programme and the passage of the bill establishing the first of its kind Maritime University, Okerenkoko, has further endeared him to Nigerians, especially the people of Niger Delta.
He is a man, who by ambition, wanted to be a university teacher, but destiny pulled him out for ambitions and put him in the political industry where he can be useful to the society and fulfill God’s purpose in this world. When he was pulled out from becoming a university teacher to the political sector, little did he know that Bomadi community, which became a local government headquarters in 1976, will have its long awaited bridge through his efforts. That single project has positively transformed the whole local government area. He is indeed EBIOWOUKEDUOBOWEI [meaning a man who came from good road].
The Senator was born into the Manager’s family and prophertically given the name Ebiowoukedobowei by his paternal grandmother’s younger sister, meaning a man coming from a good road-a man you can access anytime, and will enable others to access their lives’ desires effortlessly.
This disposition has made his generation proud of him in all ramifications at 57.