…Dep Gov thanks God, begs N’Delta agitators to stop pipeline vandalism
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
ORDINARILY, it was the 50th birthday event of the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister (Deacon) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, put together last week in Warri, Delta State, by the Society for Peace Studies and Practice, FSPSP, which not only invested him as its Fellow, but publicly presented a book, “Governance, Security and Peace building in the Niger Delta” written in his honour.
But trust politicians, wherever two or more are gathered, the god of politics in their midst, they seize every available opportunity to score political goals and true to form, they expanded the opinionated coast to the globe of religion.
While the governor of Delta state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the new boss of the celebrant reiterated the message God gave him concerning him, his former boss and ex-governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who cut Otuaro’s political teeth so to speak, prophesied on his next political orbit
Pastors of Christ Embassy where Otuaro is a treasured deacon, who had previously released some divine mysteries about the celebrant, stayed offstage as the brand new “prophets” divined regarding the “son” in whom they are well pleased.
The ceremony was chaired by a former Minister of Information, Prof Sam Oyovbaire, a man more known in the state at the moment as Governor Okowa’s political father.
Uduaghan, who also speaks in allegories these days, described him as the ‘Principal’ of the ‘School of Governance Ropes’ which Otuaro attended, a reference to the Prof Oyovbaire-led Delta State Technical Support Committee that Otuaro was the youngest member.
You will move from the creeks to Aso Villa – Uduaghan
Sounding unambiguous in his declarations, Uduaghan, impressed with the deputy governor’s performance since his political sojourn, declared: “Otuaro performed well in all the assignments that I gave to him. One that I would like to mention was when he chaired the Rehabilitation Committee after the Warri crisis/military invasions. Here, now is my prophecy: You (Kingsley Otuaro) will be transformed from the creeks to Aso Rock Villa.”
God’s hands on Otuaro
In fact, anybody who knows that story of Otuaro as a Warri creek boy, how Uduaghan found him, his early stint with power and position today as Deputy Governor of Delta State would know that He is a pencil in God’s hands.
Even he, Otuaro, cannot fathom what is happening in his life as he is only a vessel in the hands of God, Who has been ordering his steps and causing even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Once upon a time before he was summoned by Okowa to run as his deputy, Otuaro also had a dream in which he was told to prepare for a political office and asked get ready his tax documents. He did not exactly know in which capacity, but he took some celestial steps and when the governor finally got a revelation about a man from Christ Embassy being his deputy, he was told how to locate him.
God told me I ‘m safe with Otuaro- Okowa
Governor Okowa, who served as Secretary to the State Government, SSG, sometime in the Uduaghan government before moving to the National Assembly as senator, restated his choice of Otuaro as his deputy, saying that God revealed the pick to him.
Unknown to Okowa, he is rankling nerves somewhere with his everyday reiteration of Otuaro as his God-ordained deputy.
The governor, who noted the conflict resolution know-how of his deputy, said the nation, not just Delta state, was benefitting from his peace adventures through the Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities.
Okowa’s kind words on his deputy regarding conflict resolution, especially the handling of the pipeline bombing by militants are understood because the deputy governor is the man doing the underground work and some of the major inroads the Vice President, Prof Osinbajo made in his Niger Delta assignments for the federal government bore his input.
Hear the governor: “People have to realize that oil facility vandalism is inimical to the state and economy. Fortunately, in the past six months, I must say that resources have improved due to the peace achieved. With more resources, we can touch more lives.”
Stressing the need for more partnerships for peace, he said: “The Federal Government is realising that states are critical components in the search for peace. We need traditional rulers, youths, president-generals and other critical blocs which will be engaged, going forward”.
He promised that the book written by the SPSP in honour of Otuaro at 50 years will be made available to all traditional rulers and president-general of all communities in a bid to ensure peace is fully restored to the state.
Yes, Uduaghan recommended me to Ibori
In his vote of thanks, Otuaro said it was Uduaghan, then Secretary to Delta State Government that recommended him to Governor James Ibori for appointment as Special Assistant on Community Affairs, before further appointing him as DESOPADEC Commissioner.
Okowa, pastor are great pillars
While giving the glory to God Almighty for his journey so far in life, Otuaro went on a roll call of personalities that touched his life, including his Pastor at Christ Embassy, Evang. Eddy Owase, for his assistance in prayers and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for supporting his peace adventures.
N’Delta agitators should stop vandalism
He urged Niger Delta agitators not to shoot themselves in the foot by continued vandalism of oil facilities which pollutes the environment, saying: “Let us think of ways to maximally engage government to benefit optimally from our oil before it runs dry or lose its value in a world gradually shifting its focus to other sources of energy. There are more bridges and road projects and other infrastructure that would require huge revenue and expedited attention in the riverine areas for our socio-economic advancement.”
“Let the intellectuals leading the struggle embark on a paradigm shift and evolve ways of drawing national/international attention to our plight without violence, which Mahatma Ghandi posited is a courageous way of life..
“The FG should hence adopt win-win and avoid win-lose strategies towards reconciling all sections of the country to forge a united, strong and prosperous Nigerian nation, Otuaro pleaded, adding: “The FG should please see no sacrifice as too big to achieve peace in all parts of the country including the Niger Delta.
“Talking about security, let me observe: From when I was at the University of Ibadan on my voyage in Peace and Conflict Studies, I wondered why, say Boko Haram insurgency, IPOB challenge, Niger Delta crisis among others should linger if the Federal Government leverages on knowledge of experts such as my teacher, Prof Isaac Olawale Albert, who was first to introduce Peace and Conflict Studies as a discipline to Nigeria at the University of Ibadan”, Otuaro said.