The Agadagba of Arogbo Ijaw-Ibe Kingdom, Pere Zaccheaus Doubra Egbunu (JP), Opukutu III, has conferred the highest chieftaincy title of the Beleukoriwei of Arogbo Ijaw kingdom on a popular philanthropist and former MEND commander, Chief Bibopre Ajube. GbaramatuVoice reports.
The colourful ceremony took place on Saturday at the Pere’s palace in Arogbo Town, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The traditional ruler who said it was not a mistake that Ajube was honoured with the highest title, noted that the kingdom has been blessed by him and decided to display that by conferring the prestigious title on him.
Chief Ajube was one of the prominent leaders of the Niger Delta who willingly dropped his arms and abandoned violent agitation to embrace amnesty following its proclamation by the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, in his quest to restore peace in the once volatile Niger Delta region.
Ajube hails from the Ijaw riverine Arogbo-Ibe in Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Ondo State.
Among the high profiled personalities at the event includes the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio who lauded Ajube for leading the charge for a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta, noting that he is the face of what can happen in the region.
Dikio called on ex-agitators to emulate the disposition of High Chief Ajube in peace and entrepreneurship.
According to him “with the likes of Ajube, who had undertaken the task of having 400 ex-agitators trained in his Bradama facility under the PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, the dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development is achievable.
“We’re here to tell this community and indeed the world what Ajube means to us. He is very special and we’re excited that he bought into our vision in PAP which is tailored to change the narrative in the region.
“He took the lead of our Train, Employ and Mentor initiative and has pledged to have 400 of our people trained in his facility.
“He is the face of what can happen in the region and there is no doubt that with people like him, the Niger Delta can truly be the place to live and do business.”
Dikio explained that the Federal government has achieved its dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development.
According to him, the present administration has succeeded in curtailing the restiveness in the region through engagements with the ex-militants. While he assured them that government would not renege in its promises to ensure that the region and its people are developed.
However, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who was represented by his deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa described Ajube as a proud son of Ondo State, who had made a tremendous impact in the lives of his people.
He said the honour was a testament of all he had been doing for his people and urged him not to relent but extend similar gestures to other parts of the state.
“We’re gathered here to celebrate a man who through self-development and engagement is where he is today. We’re proud of him as a true son of Ondo State. All he thinks about is development, peace and empowerment which is a good thing.”
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe said Ajube during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta was grossly misunderstood by the Federal Government but as head of the Amnesty Programme, he stood firmly by his side, to explain that he meant well.
He said, “This honour is well deserved. The story and struggle of the emancipation and dealing with the issues in the Niger Delta will not be complete without the mention of Senior High Chief Bibopere Ajube. The story is deep for some of us.
“So, I’m proud that we’re gathered here to celebrate peace, excellence, leadership, strive for sustainable development, honest, and sincere man that loves his God. I know him when he had nothing. He is a man that has the interest of his people in his heart”.