By Asiayei Enaibo
I have a story to tell you!, this story, it is a story of a selfless leadership, Pathfinder to justice and freedom, equity and fairness, transparency in Governance, accountability in developmental stewardship. A story of a young man called Comrade Ozobo Austin Ozobo, an unusual breed, and a voice in defining the place of Justice in the Niger Delta struggle, an embodiment of self determination and resource control, an offshoot of Ken Saro-Wiwa and Major. Adaka Boro, then he is a new Breed of Tompolo by blood but he Ozobo is an advocate, his voice echoes from the devastated mangroves forest to help humanity in the intellectual phase of the Niger Delta struggle for resource control and fiscal Federalism.
An easy going man that is passionate and committed to peace and Justice, freedom from the oppressive tenet of bad governance of pains inflicting leaders of greed, self-centeredness, his advocacy is simply to change the narratives of the old ways of “combo-combo-bebe” to the general well being of the people.
Yes, advocacy for justice is not everybody’s birth right but innate in some blood.That Ozobo who in the time of old goes into fishing in Yayorogbene community before going to primary school in Burutu and Ayakoromo, that Ozobo who went for fishing in Yayorogbene before going to Burutu Grammar School, because of the aged long poverty in the Niger Delta region, that Ozobo who formed (NIOG) National Ijaw Observers Group in College of Education Warri in 2004 to speak for justice for the less privileged people on good governance, liberation from ethnic branding, fairness of employment, that penniless Self Sacrificing Ozobo is my story today.
That Ozobo who often find a speaking space to express his passion for Nation building in Ijawland found the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative( IPDI) to monitor development and Justice in the Niger Delta, is my story. Yes, commitment for peace building is not often rewarding in a short time but in due seasons the world will blow the trumpet for your services for humanity. Yes, Comrade Ozobo whose voice become loud as he speaks for justice and freedom become on the lookout of the military at a point in his life, Ozobo abandoned his beloved family on the run to hideout.
Yes, It was Ozobo who organized colony of lawyers to sue the Nigeria Army ,under JTF for Extra-Judicial killing in Ijaw land but was intimidated, but he refused to be intimidated for what is right, that Ozobo Austin who advocated against militarization and bombardment of the Niger Delta Region, particularly the Ijaws of Bayelsa state, Delta State, Edo state, Ondo State, River State. Yes, he advocated for the federal government to illegalize Artisan refineries to Modular refineries in the Niger Delta for job creation and stand out distinctive voice to be awarded as a peace Ambassador by Mayorkings agency for his numerous service to humanity, is Ozobo not worthy for this?
This award come as a result of your commitment whose the public have observed for a long period of time, is Ozobo not worthy of such award?
Years upon years, the activist who studied mathematics/Chemistry and accounting turned himself into a journalist because he always find a voice to express what is right and and what is wrong, and no society can develop and be peaceful when a wrong foundation is laid, yes, Ozobo become a Journalist and write the Niger Delta stories in Vanguard Newspaper in the Niger Delta Column, where he extensively speak on justice, human rights, development, militarisation, bombardment and illegal extortion. Yes, Community bad leadership has been the bane of the Niger Delta problems. He was part of those who advocated for amnesty to the Niger Delta Freedom fighters for justice of peace and development of our region, is Ozobo not worthy of this ambassadorial award?
For Development to strive in our communities and we cannot close our eyes for poverty to dictate to us, good governance can bring in social amenities in the Niger Delta coastal communities, Comrade Ozobo Contested for the seat of a Law maker Delta State House of Assembly in 2019 to speak and make laws that can transform the riverine poverty abandoned communities but he could not muscled in, because he has no financial backbone to come into the reality show in that political space, but today, his show of commitment has made him Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on political matters, this is a pathway of consistency, competent and persistent in his dealings.
Yes, award given to people are signs of commitment not sold by financial recommendation, I wish to express my gratitude to the institution that find Ozobo worthy of this historic ambassadorial award. No doubt that in the year 2020 Ozobo was awarded by the GbaramatuVoice media Establishment as the Niger Delta activist of the year, which he was nominated and awarded, is Ozobo not worthy of this?
In 2019, Ozobo was awarded as the advocate of justice Award by Church of God Mission. In 2020 Ozobo bags the Distinguished Niger Delta most active youth personality of the year, from Mayorkings travel agency. In 2019 Ozobo bags a prestigious award of Golden Environmental activist of the year from Sweetlife Bible Church, Rivers state and others too numerous to mention.
Today, I present to you, an activist, an advocate for good governance, human rights justice, and the Chief Executive officer and the publisher of the Congress Newspaper Online, Comrade Austin Ozobo, the Ayakoromo born advocate from Burutu Local Government Area of Delta, has he solemnly move to be awarded with this prestigious peace Ambassador award, Jan. 28th at Bon Hotel Effurun Delta State.
With love and solidarity I write this story of commitment and devotion to duty of passion in telling the Niger Delta story and extend fellowship to congratulate my brother and friend, the Pioneer President of Delta Ijaw Comrade Community for his milestone achievement and recognition.
The Talking Drum
Writes from GbaramatuVoice Media Centre.