Sunday, 22 February 2009

Ethnic Nationality Chieftain Advises Niger Delta Youths At Nigerian Literary Icon's Thanksgiving Ceremony

The President-general of Ogbako Ikwerre World Wide, an umbrella socio-cultural body of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality of Rivers State Nigeria, Elder Samson Agbaru has advised youths in the Niger Delta region in particular and Nigeria in general to shun vices such as kidnapping, drugs, cultism, etc.

This advice was given at a thanksgiving ceremony yesterday in Aluu, Rivers State, when the family of the renowned novelist and playwright, rtd. Captain Elechi Amadi organized a thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate the literary icon's freedom from kidnappers earlier in the year. Rtd. Captain Amadi was in january this year at his Aluu country home, abducted by some armed men. The writer was released within twenty-four hours.

"We are aware that our youths are finding it difficult to make ends meet due to the harsh economic situation in the country, but vices like kidnapping are not the way out", the Ogbako Ikwerre Chieftain advised. "Our Governor has already put in place schemes to cushion the effects of these hardships, so our youths should take advantage of these schemes", Elder Agbaru concluded.

The ceremony which was to begin by 10.00am, with a church service at the Saint Paul's Anglican Church Aluu, was shifted to 2.00pm, this, according to an unconfirmed information, is to accomodate the schedule of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who was listed on the programme as the guest of honour.

The thanksgiving ceremony was attended by people from all spheres of life. The literary icon in a brief remark, thanked "all those who in various ways expressed solidarity with the family during the time of trial".

A very noticeable aspect of the ceremony was the direct take over of organization of the vital segments by The Rivers State Government House, despite the absence of the Governor and other government officials. A protocol Officer who refused to disclose his name to chidi opara reports volunteered thus, "the celebrant is an internationally acclaimed writer, so we do not want spoilers to use this occassion to embarass his Exellency".

It is not yet known why the Governor whom chidi opara reports learnt is very close to the literary icon, did not attend the ceremony. Our checks within security circles in Portharcourt however, revealed that "the Governor's movements are now greatly minimized, except for very necessary important official and unofficial engagements, because of the recent threats to his life by militants".