Roots and Lineage:
Late High Chief (Dr.) Elder J.G.B.Ari (JP) hailed from Ugh quarters, Kokodiagbene, a prominent part of the esteemed Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West LGA. Additionally, his roots extend to Idede of Alaka Quarters, Effurun Otor Kingdom, Ughelli South LGA, both located in Delta State, Nigeria. His genealogy traces back to Furu and Ugeh, his grandparents, who gave birth to Ekpesin of Kokodiagbene Community, and subsequently, Chief J. G. B. Ari.
Birthplace and Early Years:
Born on the 15th of September 1939 in Otungbo, a satellite community in Igoba under the great Gbaramatu Kingdom, Late High Chief Ari’s formative years were shaped by the rich cultural tapestry of Warri South West, Delta State.
Family and Marital Journey:
Late High Chief J. G.B. Ari entered marital life with Late Mrs. Stella Saka Ari (Nee Mamar) of Azama Town, Gbaramatu Kingdom. Following her demise, his marital journey continued with Mrs. Patricia Ari (Nee Omoyibo) of Oria-Abraka, leading to subsequent separation. Later in life, he found companionship in Mrs. Golere Ari, with whom he shared many fulfilling years. His family flourished with nine children and 20 grandchildren.
Beginning his life in an Anglican family, High Chief Ari’s spiritual journey led him to be baptized in the Anglican church. Later, he transitioned to the Pentecostal family, becoming a foundational member of Life Church of God Min. Inc., where he served as the Senior Elder and Head of Administration until his passing.
Education played a pivotal role in High Chief Ari’s life. Starting at Ebiabor Primary School, Kokodiagbene, he continued his studies at African Church School (now Omotsola Primary School), and Holy Trinity Primary School, Asaba. His educational zeal led him to Abbot College, Sapele, from 1962 – 1966. Beyond the academic realm, he acquired certifications, including a Certificate in Personnel Management & Manpower Administration Course in 1982.
As the Managing Director of Jonathan Ari Nig. Ltd., a company specializing in Civil Works, High Chief Ari significantly contributed to infrastructural development. His involvement in constructing concrete landing jetties, including the Kokodiagbene Jetty, showcased his dedication to marine operations and community advancement.
Honors and Recognition:
High Chief Ari’s impact resonated beyond his immediate community, earning him an Honorary Doctorate Award (HONORIS CAUSA) from Atlas University, America. Notable Leadership Awards in Community Development and special recognitions by organizations like the Rotary Club of Enugu further highlighted his distinguished service.
Service to Community, Delta State, and the Nation:
His dedication extended to various roles, including being a pivotal Community Leader in Kokodiagbene, the General Secretary of Gbaramatu Kingdom (Puwei), and contributions to the Land Use Allocation Committee, 13% Derivation Committee, and as a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Special Duties.
Legacy and Philanthropy:
Puwei Ari’s philanthropic endeavors left an indelible mark. Initiating an Educational Foundation/Business Upliftment Resource Centre and a foundation for the re-orientation and rehabilitation of youths and widows demonstrated his commitment to uplifting the less privileged in Delta State.
Late High Chief (Dr.) Elder Jonathan Gere Bakah Ari (JP) transcends his earthly journey, leaving behind a legacy of selflessness, dedication, and impactful service. Fondly remembered as “Father Abraham,” symbolizing the Father of many Nations, his contributions have woven a narrative of resilience, leadership, and compassion that will resonate for generations to come.