WARRI- The Deputy Governor of Delta State his Excellency Barr. (Deacon) Burutu Kingsley Otuaro have commended the establishment of Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper as an Utopian dream that has today been translated into a reality.
The Deputy Governor made the remark yesterday during the official launching of the Newspaper’s Website at Okuemi Hotel, Ogborikoko Bendel Estate, Warri in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Barr. Otuaro who stormed the event with commissioners and high profiled political appointees and seasoned politicians across the State lauded the birth of the Newspaper and charged the publisher and editor -in-Chief of Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper to brace up with the rigors of effective reporting by strictly adhering to the ethics of the profession on well researched and balanced stories especially with the launching of the Website that will give it a global outlook.
Deacon Kingsley charged Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper to key into the SMART-AGENDA by propagating it’s policies and programmes to Deltans as they are bent on delivering these promises across the State as promised in their electioneering campaigns. The Deputy Governor also uses the medium to unveil the Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper.
In his words: “I want to fastly say that what hitherto had been an utopian dream, a dream in the realm of ideas today have been translated into reality, that bring to the fore and fact that whatever a man had conceptualizes in his heart, he is able to bring to the fore, my brother i greet you and i love you, i want to use this very special opportunity on the launch of Gbaramatu Voice website, “Media and the Niger Delta Struggle, the Gbaramatu Voice experience”, I want to appreciate and fastly say that your reportage as i have noted you to be will be well researched and of course will be balanced, and like you added in your speech it will also be charged to enhancing the policies of the government, you will recalled that as a government we have promised all Deltans that we are bent on delivering prosperity to all of them, is not a promise casted in the sky, but is a promise burn out of deep persuasions of acknowledging the challenges of our society and we are standing on God believing that we have a latitudinal space to deliver that which we have promised all Deltans in the midst of delivering those things to Deltans, we will not be able to do all of that if we don’t have meaningful peace upon which our programmes and policies will be pivoted, i will also enjoin you and memebers of your team to ensue that you leverage on this platform to ensue synergy with the government.”
The Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Hon. Ernest Okwenze in his goodwill message to the proprietor and staff of the tabloid pledges to synergize and identify with the paper and assist in anyway he can. “This will no doubt showcase the rich cultural heritage of Gbaramatu and Ijaw people. In my place as a commissioner for Culture and Tourism, i promise to synergize with the Newspaper and I will ensure that with the launch of the website, it will shoot it Locally and Internationally.I will make sure that this promise is kept to the later and support the proprietor in any way I can.” The commissioner noted.
Also speaking on the official launching of the website Engr. Jude Sinebe, Commissioner for Higher Education, Delta State charged Niger Deltans and Ijaws to make the Newspaper their own project. “Is not all smile to me because we have actually suffered, each time i see ourselves moving forward i always recalled the fact that when you planted a seed, you must dig a hole to cover it, when the seed is persistent the seed must grow, it defines what is on it and begin to grow. As Niger Deltans and Ijaws we must continue to remain what we are. There is no better platform than what we are experiencing today on the website launch. I wish to encourage our publisher and all of us sitted here that this launch is wonderful as we must take it as our own prroject and lead the struggle forward.” Engr. Sinebe declares.
Dr. Ben Binebai (PHD), a senior lecturer and Head of Department of Theatre Arts, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma Bayelsa State, a pen tiger, a defender of the oppressed and the literary god in his lecture entitled ” Media and the Niger Delta Struggle in an age of Globalization: The Example of Gbaramatu Voice ” speaks on the past, present and future of the Niger Delta region and her people as endangered species in the Nigerian State because of her God given Oil.
Binebai while speaking on the subaltern status of the Ijaws and Niger Deltans quoted Solomon Dersso in the following words. ” The fact cannot be contested that there are certain sections of society in almost all African states who have suffered and continue to suffer various disadvantages, including discrimination and marginalization. These are groups of people who have so far remained without any voice of their own, and whose rights and interests rarely received any attention at various levels within the states they now live in “.
The literary scholar further remarked that ” The Ijaw Nation should have faith in the fact that human beings are the wagons of history. History moves or gets paralyzed by human choices and as George Bush would say history has a visible direction set by liberty. It is the people of a generation who ask and sometimes answer the questions of that generation. Any group of people born into a society at the same time, or who live in a society without worrying about the problems and aspirations of their society, is not only guilty of docility but are also inconsequential. A territory in need of liberation does not need a tower of babel. I conclude this lecture with a call on the Ijaws particularly the Gbaramatu Kingdom to give the needed moral, economic and intellectual support to this great project of Jacob Abai”.
The publisher/editor -in-Chief Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper Jacob Abai had earlier in his welcome address pointed out that what occasioned the formation of the Newspaper and its website is to create a speaking space for the violated Niger Deltans and Ijaws whose stories have been greatly underreported before now hence seeking to bridge the gap.
The address reads in part.”The establishment of Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper came to me five years ago. Before this time i had nursed the idea of publishing an authentic community newspaper that should publish news from the creek perspective, particularly the riverine communities that have been entangled with many issues which plight have not been made known to the public because of our terrain; this voice is a voice for the people. Most of our communities have more to say to the government and the public; I think this is the right time for all our burdens to be made known because information is a global phenomenon.”
“Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper is a monthly Newspaper that officially had its first printed edition on August 2015. As of now it has published its 8th edition /volumes. It is a coincidence that the July edition which is our volume 8th is interestingly out today in the various newsstands across Warri, riverine communities and even here in this hall that we have gathered to launch the official Website.”
“This Newspaper will serve as a channel in propagating the SMART -AGENDA of our able Governor of the state Senator. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and his capable and versatile deputy Barr. Burutu Kingsley Otuaro who have demonstrated rare leadership techniques in leap frogging the state from its enormous challenges.”
“It is no longer a news that the Ijaws and Niger Deltans have over the years experienced ignominious neglect from the Federal Government and the various states that we have been balkanized and squeezed into. At a point we have been grappling with multiple centers of oppression with the Government in one hand, the state government on the other hand and that of the multinational Oil Companies that are operating in our environments.”
“This frightful and gloomy situation have over the years tormented me such that i begin to ponder and wonder on how i can contribute to liberate my people from this iron fisted manipulation that have engulfed us. What can i do to give voice to the voiceless people within our area. Our issues have been arm twisted before our very eyes and ultimately painting a very disdainful picture about us before the entire nation and even the international community.”
“The formation of Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper is to provide a speaking space for Niger Deltans in making sure that the information flow chart will be having down to up approach and not up downward approach that has been the mantra. As a media outlet, we will objectively report our untold stories and contribute our quota in rewriting our hitherto created stories. There are times that when our stories are been published by some of our media outlets within the country, you will wonder if it is our region and people they are talking about with all those words and the intention behind such publications. With Gbaramatu Voice, we will speak back while working in tandem with the ethics of the profession and other ingredients that makes the news.”
“In order to give the paper a more credible, reliable, national, International and authoritative look, we have to create an online Website to house it, with this we can be quoted authoritatively like every other serious and conventional dailies.”
Inside the Web, we have the following sections :
“Inside Niger Delta, National News, Business News, Viewpoint, Health news. Sport news, GbaramatuTV Online, others are Photo gallery etc.”
“Today, there are several newspapers in Nigeria but it is common knowledge to note that each tabloid is existing to serve different interests hence ours cannot be ruled out in giving more attention to the age long neglect of the NIGER DELTA that our conventional newspapers have not been able to report adequately over the years. We have come to bridge that journalistic gap.”
“Those that have been following Gbatamatu Voice especially within this period that we are facing our litmus test can attest to the enormous role being played by this young tabloid in the coverage of our issues and the Nigerian entity.”
“It is said that when a single man dreams it remains as a dream but when hundreds of thousands dreams it becomes a reality. It is on this premise that i want to plead for your continues patronage in whatever way you can to promote this paper that is birthed with lofty and robust ideas that will add more colour to the Niger Delta question.”
“There are so many Newspapers that have died naturally beyond resurrection due to lack of patronage especially financially, It is our prayer that such fate will not befall us as we match to making this tabloid through your contributions in occupying a well carved out space for itself in the genre of Nigerian Print Media .”
“We will not sleep nor rest until the last Niger Delta Community and her people are truly liberated from the shackles of this hellish and wanton neglect we have been pressed and subjected into.”
The occasion was well attended by ebullient political and scholars within Niger Delta, prominent among them are Hon. Julius G. Pondi, Member Representing Burutu Federal Constituency; Engr. Charles Ambaiowei, Acting President, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Pastor P. Z. Aginighan, Former, Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); Chief Favour Izoukumor, DESOPADEC Commissioner, Representing Ijaw Nationality; Hon. Steve Eruotor, Deputy Chief of Staff; Bishop Felix Piniki; High Chief Wellington Bobo; Hon. Shedrack Agediga, SA to Governor on Conflict Resolution; Comr. Rosemary Graham, President, Ijaw Women Connect (IWC); Sir Lucky Ezebiri SA to the Governor on Social Works, Representatives of media agencies with the host of others.