EDITORIAL: Pere Of Gbaramatu, A Unifying Factor In Ijaw Land

By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board

On that day, in that place, at that time, while giving his acceptance speech shortly after receiving his Staff of Office in the month of December 2016, he left no one in doubt that he is a man with a conceptualised vision and unstoppable dreams.

He also, through his actions and inactions proved to all present on that day that he is a man with singleness of purpose, disciplined attention, and with a herculean but simplified task.

That task is to place not just the Gbaramatu Kingdom but the entire Ijaw nation on the world map for good reasons. This goal has become history as he has not just achieved but surpassed the target.

The above is the synoptic summation of Prince Williams Naira Seigha Ogoba, the Pere of Gbaramatu effigy.

Born into the ruling family of Oboro from Benikrukru community, Prince Williams Naira Seigha Ogoba very dutifully completed his education in record time and just immediately, dabbled into a business where he was doing exceedingly well before the mantle of leadership and service to his kingdom came calling.

He was then selected on the 25th of February 2016, as the 26th Aketekpe, Agadagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, having been found to be a man that has leadership acumen bequeathed on him by both nature and nurture.

These two attributes made him visibly visible as the right and anointed personality for the position, thereby making the job of the kingmakers easy.

With the selection process loyally completed, His Royal Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II, (Aketekpe, Agadagba), Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom was officially crowned as the 26th Pere on March 15th, 2016 at Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State.

Having completed these rudimentary processes, Senator. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State presented him with the Staff of Office on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016.

His Royal Majesty, Aketekpe, Agadagba, Oboro-Gbaraun II, in his address at the Staff of Office presentation promised to maintain good relations with his neighboring towns and villages especially the Itsekiris, Urhobos, Ndokwas, Isokos, Igbos and the larger Nigerian State.

He specifically thanked former President Goodluck Jonathan for coming to witness the occasion and the Governor who came in person to present the Staff of Office to him while also charging his subjects to always be law-abiding. He particularly warned against any form of social vices that will bring the integrity of the kingdom into question and disrepute.

Less than two years after that speech, he has proved to the world that he was not paying lip service or playing politics when he made those remarks as he has religiously walked the talk.

Upon assumption of office, the Pere as a great leader decided to demystify the conventional by taking a very bold step to visit all the communities in his domain preaching peace and harmonious coexistence.

The above gesture, his subjects told GbaramatuVoice, has started yielding results as all the communities within the kingdom has embraced peace. His people are also grateful for this milestone as many of them claimed not to have seen the Pere of their Kingdom in the past as they were not in the habit of leaving the palace.  

His Royal Majesty did not stop at his domain but has taken this crusade to other Ijaw towns and villages within the Niger Delta region preaching the same message of peace and unity; a development that has brought a visible reorientation within the Ijaw nation and beyond.

Though not the only first-class Royal Majesty in Ijaw land, he has by his actions become a leading light in the Ijaw nation making others describe him as ‘the leader of leaders’.

The torrent of homage paid to him by the leaders of Ijaw communities of the entire Niger Delta lays credence to this fact.

Again, within this space and time, His Royal Majesty, Aketekpe, Agadagba, Oboro-Gbaraun II has succeeded in turning his onetime volatile domain to an abode of peace.

GbaramatuVoice was told by the people that the Pere as he is addressed is a leader with a Midas touch. This he has exemplified in the showing of concerns to the personal and collective needs of his subjects via educational support and economic empowerment; a development that the Federal Government can harness in their endless search for peace in the region and the nation at large.

Outside his domain, the story is not different as GbaramatuVoice discovered that he has since designed, developed and maintained peace among his neighbouring communities of Ijaw and non-Ijaw origin.

However, one striking attribute we learned about this Royal Father that stands him out from the bunch is that, despite his interfaces with the high and mighty, government officials at local, state and federal levels, he has continued to be apolitical in posture, unlike his peers that have gone into political partisanship.  

With the above attribute, it is our opinion that if the government at both state and federal levels are interested in getting the true picture of situations as they are in the oil-rich region, such a man should be the first point of call as he has a disinterested personal gain.

It is equally our views that such a leader should not be ignored in the government perennial search for peace in the Niger Delta region as he has worked and earned the respect of his subjects.

More so, we would like to use this medium to call on other traditional rulers in Ijaw land to emulate the virtues of His Royal Majesty, Aketekpe, Agadagba, Oboro-Gbaraun II when handling the affairs of their people.

We made this call having discovered as a media organisation that operates in the creeks that some of these traditional rulers are always highhanded when handling the affairs of their communities for pecuniary benefits thereby becoming a reality that their subjects worry about.

This act in some cases have polarised some communities, led others to a full-blown communal or inter-communal wars which has, in turn, resulted in the loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties.

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