…Gratuitous noise over UPU backing for Gbagi
By Emma Amaize, NDV Editor
OGINIBU- FORMER Minister of State (Education), Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, is incontrovertibly a hard nut to crack, but not the cruel personality some people have tried to paint him lately, perhaps because of his ambition to govern the state in 2023.
In the past few months, he had bestrode the political landscape with his strategic consultations across the three senatorial districts of the state with group and political leaders, culminating in his contemporary visit to the president general of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, who candidly prayed and gave him his blessings for 2023.
Waiting for applicable time
Though the visit was later caught up in a controversy over whether UPU, as an organization, certified him or otherwise, it was obvious that Olorogun Taiga and other Urhobo leaders approved of Gbagi, but as an umbrella group, the union has to wait for the appropriate time to present him and other aspirants for a final choice, which is the proper thing to do.
Olorogun Gbagi found himself in an unwanted situation over the development, but has since moved on, knowing his pact, God-willing, with Urhobo people and Deltans at large in 2023.
He has since continued with his political consultations that have upset the political calculations of governorship hopefuls, who could not cope with his confounding stratagem in the 2023 race.
Away from politics and surrounding intrigues, Gbagi, a grassroots man, contrary to the portrait of his traducers, was with the people that mattered most to him during the last Christmas celebrations- the physically-challenged and children at his country home, Oginibu in Ughelli South local government area.
“Let us leave politics aside, without politics, we know where we are coming from, do not mind what people say, we know who we are and what God has done for us, we must give back to the society, I find joy staying in your midst. Today is our day, let us rejoice in the presence of God, leave them to talk, you cannot stop them. When we get to Red Sea, we will cross in Jesus name,” he told the physically challenged.
It was actually a special day in Oginibu, December 25, a day the community holds its annual conference, but on the sideline, Gbagi arranged separate get together with children of the community and physically challenged, where food and drink came in surplus.
The conference was not without man-made distractions, as security agents working with a faction in the town, tried to stop the event, while Gbagi and members of the community, who stood their grounds on one side, later prevailed, and the conference held without violence.
N10m fund for physically challenged
Addressing the conference, Gbagi restated his unwavering commitment to the development of the community and ensuring that the collective fortunes of the people are effectively amassed and judiciously put to good use in the overall interest of Oginibu.
The former Minister said he does not see any creature of God as disabled though he acknowledged that somebody could be challenged.
The philanthropist that he is, Gbagi announced a N10 million Medical Research Fund for the physically challenged in the state and appointed Dr. Abedi Harrison, Mrs. Gloria Igumbo and Dr. Broko Onos to serve as pioneer administrators of the fund.
He invited members of the Delta Disability Vanguard to his residence for a get together and it was there that a member stunned the host, Gbagi and thousands, who thronged his home for the get-together. It was indeed an unforgettable day for the ex-minister.
A physically-challenged man with one leg, who proved himself accomplished dancer, challenged him to a dancing contest.
The lawyer and criminologist, astounded by what the man was doing on the dance floor with one leg, accepted his challenge with a thunderous ovation from the crowd.
Whatever it will cost – Gbagi
They danced and danced with Gbagi throwing some youthful boogie steps. He was overwhelmed and happy at his decision to host the group, children and his kinsmen.
Filled with emotion and joy, he announced that he was handing over the physically-challenged man to medical doctors with a charge that they should make him walk again with his two legs no matter the cost, latest Easter, next year.
His words: “I will foot the bill whatever it will cost, we know why God blessed some of us with wealth, and it is that we use to help our fellow men, I will pay the money and by God’s grace, he will walk again.
“As he challenged me to a dance contest, so I challenge you (doctors), whatever it will take, let me know, I will pay it, but this man walk with his two legs by Easter, next year. If this is what God used me to do and round up my activities, this year, I am grateful. But I know the Lord will use me to do more and I am ready,” he added.
“His walking with two legs is the Easter presence I want next year, if you are a pastor, if you a Christian, pray that God will do it. We will not stop there, as God leads us, we will continue to do more, even if man chooses to paint us evil, God knows His children and we cannot afford to fail Him,” he stated.
Members of the Delta Disability Vanguard, overexcited by his show of love, presented him with an award of excellence as the most distinguished philanthropist in Delta state, even as the wining and dining continued.