President Goodluck Jonathan
By Omon-Julius Onabu â€¨in Warriâ€¨
Goodwill messages from President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Itsekri monarch, Ogiame Atuwase II, the Olu of Warri and other eminent Nigerians poured in for the Ogoni-Oghoro I, Ovie R.L. Ogbon, as he celebrated his 96th birthday at the weekend.
President Jonathan’s message was delivered on his behalf by Ijaw and Niger Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark, who also chaired the elaborate birthday ceremony, while the Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama (SAN), represented Uduaghan at the ceremony, which attracted the society’s crème de la crème to Olumu, including former governors-Senator Felix Ibru and Major-Gen David Ejoor.
Ogbon, who was installed as the only ordained Anglican Royal Canon worldwide in 2011 and holds the title of “Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom”, is a retired educationist.
Twenty-five years on the throne, he was also installed as the “Okpako r’Orere” (Oldest Person) of Ogoni-Olomu and has remained an articulate orator who often speaks on behalf of royal fathers in the state. He is currently the oldest traditional ruler in Delta State.
However, Mr. President commended his leadership style, commitment to peace and high sense of patriotism and wished him good health to continue to shepherd the people of Olomu Kingdom.
In his message, read by a prominent Urhobo chief, Olorogun Moses Tega, Jonathan said: “As you celebrate the twin glorious occasion of your 96th birthday and the 25th anniversary of your coronation, I congratulate Your Majesty and the good people of Olomu Kingdom on behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is my prayer that the legacy of peace, harmony, prosperity, and steadfastness progress which the Olomu Kingdom has witnessed during your reign will endure perpetually even as Almighty God blesses you with robust health and many more years of fulfilment.
“The ideals of uncommon patriotism, unassailable piety, sterling leadership qualities which you epitomise, are worthy traits which will continue to inspire us in our national transformation efforts. May God continue to protect Your Majesty and bless the people of Olomu Kingdom and our nation Nigeria,” he prayed.
Similarly, Uduaghan said: “Today is very special and historic. Ohworode is a King who is a recorder of affairs, he is the longest serving Ohworode; his reign of 25 years has witnessed unprecedented development. We have many sons and daughters of Olomu who are well placed, what else does he need? On behalf of the Government of Delta State, we congratulate you.
“Of course for being the oldest reigning king in Delta State , we congratulate you. Much as we said the celebration is a worthy one, I am here representing the Delta State people. I want to thank everyone who came for this event; the longevity of our king be your portion.”
Earlier, Clark described the royal father as “peace loving”, saying: “I congratulate you at 96, your reign has been peaceful, you have brought development to Olomu in the past 25 years. I told the President about your anniversary, he sent a goodwill message. By the time you will be 100 any difference still hanging on would have been cleared.”