By Abai Francis
Chief (Dr.) Bello Oboko, the Ebiyedouwei of Gbaramatu Kingdom who turned 60years on Sunday July 15, 2018 speaks with GbaramatuVoice correspondent recently. In this interview, he narrated the state of marginalisation of the society he was born into, how it led to the Warri crisis, the intervention by state actors, and the need for justice to take its course as well as for all to embrace peace towards the overall development of Warri South West and beyond. Excerpt:
I am Chief Bello Oboko. I hail from Kunukunuma community of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West. My father is from Kunukunuma and my mother is paternally Odimodi in Burutu and maternally Oporoza, Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene, Azama in Gbaramatu.
I was born into this [Gbaramatu] Kingdom. I was confronted with disenchantment. The people of Gbaramatu I was born to meet felt disadvantaged; we felt marginalised and we were despondent; we were hopeless. So that was the circle I was born into. Freedom was a far cry. Liberty was a far cry. The people of Gbaramatu I met were made to live a restricted lifestyle. What they want cannot come to pass in their lives; it’s other people that determine their lives. This scenario I’m painting gave birth to a forceful transfer of Gbaramatu at a time to Warri North before our very eyes, and also from being transferred back to Burutu Local Government Area. These are the evidences of the machineries of marginalisation, the scenario we met. And we were politically ostracized. That the land is rich in oil wealth that contributes to the common wealth of Nigeria; the benefits of having these resources was not reflected in the lives of my people. No amenity, no light, no good roads, no water, no education. So, this thing happened to my people in anguish before our very eyes to a point where there was to be an election in the practice of democracy; an election to constitute leadership of the local government within our place.
Read the full interview on GbaramatuVoice August special edition
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