Oghara wears new look Following Ibori’s Expection This Month
LAGOS DECEMBER 3RD (URHOBOTODAY)-Oghara, the county home of former governor James Ibori in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State is wearing a new look following his expected homecoming this month.
The community plays host to various bodies and government parastatals such as logistic headquarters, Nigerian Navy, Police, Army, all the security agencies and the Delta State University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH).
Our correspondent who visited the community to feel the pulse of the indigenes and non-indigenes noticed that many of them are involved in the preparation of Ibori homecoming, which is tentatively fixed for December 20.
Already, streets in Oghara are being decorated just as hotels and drinking joints are also undergoing renovation to give the city a complete facelift. Findings by Saturday Telegraph show that various social clubs, schools and market women are already mobilising for the big reception that will be held at the Oghara Township stadium. The former governor is described by his people as ‘Odidigbogbo of Africa.’
It was learnt that the state government is also having elaborate plans for the former governor who is political godfather to most government appointees. Reports have it that the state government is presently working on the major expressway leading to the city by constructing double lanes on both sides of the road as well as installing traffic lights and provision of adequate security network in the area.
When contacted, the Ovie (king) of Oghara Kingdom, His royal Majesty, Noble Oyibo Eshemitan, declined comment but referred our correspondent to the palace secretary, Chief Solomon Egbiviorie. Although Egbiviorie refused to comment on the community’s plans, he confirmed that there was speculation that the former governor would return this month.
He said: ‘Every Oghara sons and daughters are certainly happy over the cherry news, but I must say that Chief Ibori homecoming has not been made known officially. ‘It is actually being speculated that ex-governor Ibori will regain his freedom, by the grace of God sometimes this month (December). But it will be premature to talk on the issue now. ‘We will surely receive him, even our revered and highly respected king will not be left out of the joyous celebration.
But I am advising that we should get confirmation before making comment. So, I won’t be able to talk on the issue’. On the present security challenges prevailing tin he area, Egbiviorie said: ‘You are talking of the past. There is nowhere in the world where there are no security problems but I can assure you that Oghara is one of the most peaceful kingdom in the world.’ Traders, mostly women of Oghara market are not hiding their happiness over Ibori’s homecoming.
One of them, who sells dry fish, Madam Oyibo Ogheneovo, described the homecoming of the exgovernor as ‘divine, God’s favour and completeness.’
‘We don arrange to welcome am and I go donate one full basket of dry fish for the party’, an elated Ogheneovo said in pidgin English. Saturday Telegraph was told that one of Ibori’s friends (name withheld) has volunteered to fix faulty electrical appliances, do the painting of the mansion among other necessary things to give the edifice a new look. A peep into Ibori’s premises shows there is ongoing renovation on the building.
Some young men were also seen clearing the grass and cutting the flowers. As part of the preparation, it was learnt that a bushy rubber plantation of about 20 hectares of land had been cleared to serve as parking lots for visitors expected to attend Ibori’s reception. The President-General Oghara Elite Forum, Mr. Tony Omene, who described Ibori as ‘political juggernaut of south-south politics’, deserved to be welcomed because of immense contributions to the development of Oghara. He said: ‘We are in joyous mood because this is no doubt a cherry news. We love Chief Ibori and nothing too big to do for him.
‘If you take a critical look at all the nook and cranny of this town, you can see that Chief Ibori, during his tenure turned Oghara to another London and Dubai. We are really proud of him because he did not forget to develop his home town and also spread development to every part of the 25 local government areas of the state’.
When asked if he would advice Ibori to take part in the next political dispensation when he returns, Omene said: ‘Every human being is a political animal.’
‘We cannot say because he encountered some problems so he should stay out of politics. He did not become the governor through other means but politics.’ Ibori’s closest associate and former Senior Political Adviser, Chief Ighoyota Amori, has recently said the former governor will soon be released. Amori dropped the hint in Oghara at the 50th birthday anniversary of former Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Ben Ibakpa. ‘Chief James Onanefe Ibori will spend this 2016 Christmas with us here in Oghara, Delta State, Nigeria,’ he said.
He urged the people to remain steadfast in their prayers for Ibori, insisting that, ‘his coming is as certain as death. We will all gather here to give him a wonderful reception and our lives will begin again once he returns to the country’. Ibori’s corruption charges started with the filling of petitions by his kinsmen, under the auspices of Delta State Elders and Stakeholders Forum influenced by the foremost Ijaw leader, Chief E. K. Clark. The petition was sent to a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, who initially failed to act on the petition before the forum dragged the ex-governor and EFCC before the court to compel his prosecution.
– New Telegraph.