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Thursday, 8 August 2013

And God Spoke to Orubebe

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Godsday Orubebe

The Newsmaker

Chuks Okocha who spent some moments with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, unveils a man he describes as an unusual politician
For those who did not know how the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, began his political sojourn, they are likely to describe him as an accidental politician. Indeed, some are wont to argue that he came into political limelight by riding on the back of some personages, who paved the way for his rise. Such, on the contrary, may be far from the truth, for here is a man who rose through political tutelage and learnt grassroots politics in a hard way. And by divine guidance somewhat, he has been able to glide through an array of challenges.
It is no wonder, therefore, that Orubebe would glibly tell anyone who cares to listen that he acts in obedience to God’s instructions. As a young man, the Minister has had the opportunity to work in different key institutions, including the Nigerian Police force and the Nigerian Customs Service. But he reportedly turned down those offers because according to him, he had the call from God to go into politics and serve his people.
But there was a snag. He is not alien to the Nigerian political terrain and so, the question was: where and how could he raise the money to contest in an election when even as a young school leaver, he had no survival means? But at that point, the journey into a completely different turf began.
With some kind of familiar empathy, Orubebe began to tell his story to journalists in Abuja. Starting with how he turned down job opportunities in critical sectors of the system to heed the call from God, Orubebe probably had an idea how far God was going to lead him.
"God directed me to go and contest election as a councillor in my local community.  I could not believe it because I had no money to obtain the registration form, not to talk of money to spend in the electioneering process. But I obeyed His command and everything just fell in line as I committed my all to the hands of God who called me,” said with reminiscences of fulfillment.
Thus, his first political attempt, he reckoned, was a push from his people of Ogbogbagbene Community of Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State who gathered in solidarity to sponsor his councillorship election. To live his dream, his people, according to his narration, sold their river which was their only means of economical survival to ensure that he contested the councillorship election. True to God’s he not only won that election, it soon led to a chain of political successes for him.
After his successful outing as a councilor in Burutu Local Government, his political career has soared with the trappings of a born to rule. Imagine the chain: he had served as Local Government Chairman; Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori; Minister of Special Duties and presently, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
What more, he has been minister for six good years. And for everywhere he served, he left behind marks of leadership qualities in term of achievements.
The foregoing, however, underpins the fact that Orubebe did not go into politics by accident or had his kernel broken for him by benevolent spirit, as some people now believe. He has passed through the rudimentary political process, thriving on the strength of divine directive.
Placed side-by-side the fact that his call was divine with results of achievement in such areas as human capital, social-economic and infrastructure development, Orubebe may have justified the call to make life meaningful for everyone in the society, age and status regardless.
A fulfilled Orubebe is quick to tell the story of how he brought the people of his community closer to God by establishing Glory Sanctuary Christian Center in Ogbogbagbene. The essence of the ten thousand seater-church, is that it  has not only provided a  worshipping centre for his people at Ogbogbagbene community, but those from surrounding communities including Burutu, the local government headquarters.
This gesture, he contended, has created the opportunity for people to come closer to God and directly spread the message of love and peace which he claimed has made the once volatile Niger Delta habitable.
In furtherance of his human capital development, the minister had established a multi-billion naira skill acquisition centre at Tuomo community where people are taught different vocational skills. His drive for man power development manifested recently with the graduation of about one thousand non-militant youths who came from the Niger Delta Region and trained in such fields like the oil and gas, maritime, welding/fabrication and catering services amongst others.
He has also constructed bridges to link Bolou market through Toru-Ndoro that was hitherto not passable. This singular gesture has enhanced the socio-economic life style of the people.
Beyond the construction of the East-West Road which he promised would be completed by December 2014,  the 18.5km Orhoror Junction-Odorubo-Kpakiama Road Project awarded to Levant Construction Company by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in 2010 with the sole objective of linking up coastal communities in Bomadi and Burutu Local Council Areas of Delta  State was  conceived to foster development in the Riverine areas.
That aside, the minister is embarking on the construction of Ogriagbene/Torugbene road, Gberegolor/Ogriagbene road and canalisation of bridges. By the time these projects are completed, Orubebe was of the view that there would be easy movement of people and goods from one community to the other within communities in Burutu local government.
Apart from being a politician, Orubebe is also a philanthropist who has continued to contribute to his immediate community by providing an enabling environment for them to grow and become useful, both to their community and the nation at large.
Certainly, Nigerians and indeed, his Niger Delta will not forget so soon that under Orubebe as Niger Delta minister and particularly through his programme for Youth Empowerment, he created peaceful and an environment conducive for the oil companies to operate in the Niger Delta Region, notwithstanding the present challenge of oil theft. His effort, however, has resulted in increase in oil production in the country and consequently, national revenue generation.
Particularly instructive is the successes recorded in the Amnesty programme which is a direct result of Orubebe’s commitment order of the late President Umaru Yar-Adua administration. The amnesty initiative, he said, has resulted in transforming the youths of the region.
Against this backdrop, perhaps, it is evident that Orubebe has shown his readiness to take Delta State to an entirely new level even as he makes the management and development of people his one and only concern.

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