By Ese Adagbra
It is only understood by those who have high intelligence quotient (IQ) to understand when your time has come! But when it is not your time, you struggle with all the efforts in this world and will come to nought.
However, it’ll yield bountiful results with little efforts, if one’s time has come. That is how I want to describe the political history and evolution of the man Honorable Mark Ovwugheghewariota Ikpuri, a silent achiever, political tactician, strategist and founding member of the People’s Democratic Party PDP.
Mark Ikpuri was born on June 26, 1968, by the late Chief Peter Ikpuri of Edjeba and late Mrs. Victoria Ikpuri (Nee Egberien) of Igbudu, both Urhobo of Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State. He attended Ikagbowa Primary School Warri, and had his secondary school education in Warri, as well and obtained both his Ordinary and Advance Levels before he proceeded to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, where he bagged his B Sc in Accounting/Finance.
He proceeded to Lagos, where he attended Lagos Business School and Pan Africa University, where he studied People’s Movement for Strategic Advantage and finally capped it up with Master in Business Administration, MBA, same Ambrose Ali University ( AAU) Edo State. He is presently studying Law in one of the leading Nigerian universities that is famous for the Law Profession.
Ikpuri also did Certificate Courses in Communication/ Speech Writing,. University, Barcelona in Spain and Corporate Governance at the British Training Council London, United Kingdom, respectively, Organisational and Change Management, Negotiation and Leadership from United Arab Emirates and Harvard United States of America,USA.
Upon graduation from the University and completion of his Mandatory one year of the National Youth Service Corps NYSC,1999, He served as Community Liaison Officer,CLO, to NARDA Electrical Mechanical Nigeria Limited, Consolidated Oil Nigeria Limited/Proline West Africa Limited and Nest Oil Nigeria Limited.2000-2003. He was Special Assistant/ Adviser To Former Executive Governor James Ibori of Delta State On Students Affairs.2003-2006. Member, Delta State Scholarship Board/Student Special Scheme ( Bursary) Senior Special Assistant, to The Executive Director of Finance And Administration Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.( Presidency) Member, Project Verification Committee Executive Director of Finance And Administration, NDDC and On South- South Development BRACE States.
Member NDDC Budget Committee Rep. Executive Director Finance And Administration EDFA).
He stepped into active politics even before the present political dispensation and he is a foundation member of the PDP and has contributed lot towards the development of the PDP in Edjeba Community, Warri South Local Government, Delta State and Nigeria as well. He was one of the founders and member of South- South Youth Caucus in 1993. This was the vehicle he and like minded ones used in fighting for the sustainable democracy through awareness campaigns among students/youths across the country.
He was the arrow head of the Joint Association of the Niger Delta Ethnic Youths Committee Forum (JADEYCF), whose membership cuts across political affiliations among the youths of the states of the Niger Delta. This body is in the forefront of the struggle of the emancipation of the people of the Niger Delta region from environmental hazards arising from crude oil exploration. He has been able to use this body as an avenue to convince a lot of restive youths in the Niger Delta, who retraced their steps from violence to embrace peace. It is a body that advocated dialogue as a solution and not unnecessary criticism as a solution to the problems of the Niger Delta.
This body also contributed a lot including several proposals leading to the creation of the Office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Matters (Amnesty Programme) and also advised the Presidency on some of the ways the NDDC can move effective on the Forensic Probe and the creation of the Office of Special Assistant NDDC Presidency. He was also a member of the Niger Delta Ethnic Coalition Group that drafted the memorandum that suggested the creation Ministry of Niger Delta by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
A strong financial and committed PDP foundation member, he was an ardent follower of former Governor James Ibori. He financed and floated some groups notably Vote Ibori Again (VIA) and others that worked within the party to ensure the victory of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as well. Hon Ikpuri was appointed Special Assistant on Students Affairs to former Governor James Ibori following his proposal to the Delta State Government on the resolution of the crisis between students of the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun and Delta State Government.
Ikpuri, along with others, cooked the soup of the Amnesty Programme, and proposed the office of the Special Adviser to late President Musa Yar’adua on Niger Delta Matters, because the idea of the proposal was good, late Mr. President approved. Today we enjoy peace and massive empowerment programme for our teaming youths across the Niger Delta region.
It is on record that it was his recommendation that examinations and admissions process should be done online, which was accepted, including the peace advocacy and infrastructural development on various campuses in the entire state. While he successfully created students’ bodies on ethnic bases, most especially Urhobo and Itsekiri and recommended that a full fledged ministry be created to tackle the welfare of students in the state. He also worked with ex governor Dr. Ewetan Uduaghan, then Secretary to Delta State Government to ensure peaceful and harmonious relationship between Okere – Urhobo youths and their Itsekiri counterparts in Warri.
Having garnered all these working experience as Community Liaison Officer to various companies, student’s/ youth leader, Special Assistant on EDFA, NDDC and Special Assistant on Students Affairs he is good enough to vie for any political office, but he chose to take a shot at the Delta State House of Assembly to represent Warri South Constituency 2, which is specifically and exclusively reserved for the Urhobos of Warri. He took shots to represent the Warri South Constituency 2 in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
The ‘higher level’ Ikpuri, Okiemute will go, Deltans await!
Adagbra, a journalist, writes from Asaba