At 60, Emerhor unites Delta APC, empower Deltans

As the saying goes, every true leader is a good student of life; they understand life and know how to harness its potentials for the good of mankind. The same can be said of Olorogun O’Tega Emerhor (OON), business mogul, politician and philanthropist, who literally threw the gates of Evwreni town, Delta State, open last Saturday to celebrate his Diamond Jubilee anniversary.

Emerhor’s home town was a beehive as visitors from all walks of life, states of the federation and from outside the country thronged the community to felicitate with the ‘the birthday boy’.

For three days, the town was enmeshed in various activities lined up for the diamond jubilee celebration the leader.An atmosphere of humour was weaved into the celebration during a novelty football match between the male and female friends of Emerhor. The women won the novelty match by four goals to two but the women chose to play with their hands instead of their legs hence turned the soccer match into a game of basketball. But the womenjustified their approach by arguing that after all it was a “novelty game” and every trick in the toolbox can be unleashed.

Free medical treatments and empowerment schemes were delivered to Deltans from the 25 local councils of the state. Some of the beneficiaries of the programme, Mrs. Ofejiri Oketaire, Mr. Jonah Jack, and Mrs. Patient Efetojoba rained praises on Olorogun Emerhor for the philanthropic gesture urging other wealthy Nigerians to emulate Emerhor’s good works.

Mrs. Oketaire, said: “I have been battling with my sight for years before I attended this outreach programme, it was really a golden opportunity for me. The medical team did a great job, they attended to me very well and gave me reading glasses, now I can see clearly while reading, I want to encourage Emerhor to keep up the good work and I pray God to continue to bless

The country home of the business mogul, was literally thrown into jubilation as the celebrant doled out N50, 000 each to 262 women and youths across the 25 local government areas of Delta State. The sum amounted to over N13.1 million. A former speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei who chaired the occasion supported the celebrant by giving out N50, 000 each for 20 widows.

Recipients of the empowerment scheme were full of praises for Olorogun Emerhor praying God to richly bless him for doling out such huge amount of money from his personal purse not government purse. Olorogun Emerhor has never had any political office.

Traditional dance troupes drawn from all the ethnic groups in Delta State showcased their unique cultures and tradition and competed amongst one another for prizes.

Above all, the birthday celebration was an opportunity to x-ray the real state of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. For instance, the ceremony was an auspicious occasion to put paid to rumours making the rounds in the state that the party was in disarray. There was quality representation from the APC members from the ward, local council, state and national levels.

Like Hyacinth Enuwa, an APC leader in Delta North observed on Saturday, the turn out of all the state executives of the party, local council and ward leaders was an indication that the party is united. He attributed the unity in the party to the celebrant. He said: “there is unity amongst the APC faithful and the credit goes to O’Tega Emerhor. I have always said that without unity we can’t win election. Emerhor has shown that he is a worthy leader by making us have unity.

Also, Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Transcorp, who was represented by the managing director of Transcorp, Valentine Odugbo, described Emerhor as a man of “integrity, generosity and emotional intelligence”.

Speaking with some journalists shortly after the free medical treatment at his palatial home in Evwreni, Emerhor said he wanted to use his birthday to touch lives, empower and improve the living condition of the less privileged. He said: “I thought deeply about how I was going to celebrate my birthday; with the mood in the country today and the circumstances for everybody, how should I celebrate being 60? Is it to invite the rich, buy champagne and let’s drink? No. I felt I should use the occasion to reach out to Nigerians under stress. As a family, we decided we come down to my community and do most of the activities here. We designed a medical outreach in about four communities. We tested peoples’ eyes, gave free treatment and drugs and glasses.

“I have a clinic in Evwreni, my town, which afforded most of my friends who attended the novelty match an opportunity to make funding contributions to support the clinic. We staged cultural displays from various climes to help to develop our culture with the prizes won on Saturday, the birthday proper. Sunday was to empower hundreds of youths and women, support them with working capital so they can improve their lives”.

The APC leader also used the opportunity to explain his political philosophies and why he wants to be at the helm of affairs in Delta state as governor. “I needed to impact my immediate society”, he began, “particularly Delta State through the quickest and most impactful way possible. I saw the government that was ruling in Delta from 2006, culminating in 2007 when I ran for governorship under PDP. I felt a lot could be done better. That was the motivation. As an individual, no matter how rich you are, setting up industries and employing people, you can’t really directly impact people as would if you’re running a state.

I have learnt so much in business, as a chartered accountant. I set up financial control in banks –Fidelity Merchant Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank and in Citibank until I became MD in Crystal Bank. I had the background of managing and ensuring resources are used efficiently.

Today you’re the leader of APC in Delta State. What is the state of Delta APC?“We come from a history of opposition. My attempt in the PDP to change the system didn’t work because PDP was a closed-club. I tell you a personal experience. When we went for primary in Ogwashi-Uku for the 2007 governorship election, as an aspirant, I had to fight to get in. Security will not allow you not to talk of my supporters because it was a done deal. The person to be the candidate had already been crowned. When I saw that, I realized something had to happen; the opposition elements had to come together.

“So I joined the opposition. Today, the opposition has the greatest chance to end the dynasty that has been misruling Delta for more than 18years. That’s what APC represents today. APC has attracted a robust assemblage of all the strength in the state opposed to the worsening misrule going on. I am excited that finally we have assembled a team that will ensure that, in 2019, Delta will be rid of people who have squandered our resources for over 18 years.

“Only people who don’t know politics or simply want to deceive the public think that way. When APC was coming together at the national level, didn’t you see the characters that came? They were all strong, and you need strong and independent characters to build a strong party. Great Ogboru has been a strong opposition. His wide followership and strength is recognised; he is now in APC. Victor Ochei was a Speaker and came third in the 2015 PDP governorship primary. He has pulled that strength out of PDP. Cairo Ojuogboh just pulled out half of Delta PDP to join APC? Ojuogboh was National Deputy Chairman of PDP. With what I have built in the APC from the scratch and with all the party machinery on ground, we are set to take over Delta State in 2019.”

Even the man often described as Emerhor’s arch political enemy, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, could not hide his admiration for Emerhor.
The governor, through his chief press secretary, congratulated the APC leader in Delta State, as he turned 60 years.Okowa lauded the exemplary contributions of Olorogun Emerhor to the banking and insurance industries in Nigeria, adding that his foray into politics has enriched opposition politics and deepened democracy in Delta State through his personal sacrifice and leadership by example.

The governor commended the APC chieftain for the series of empowerment programmes lined up to mark the diamond jubilee of his birth, saying “It is with profound joy that I write on behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta State, to express very warm felicitations to you on your 60th birthday.

“It is gratifying to note that our administration will continue to welcome constructive criticisms from accomplished, highly respected, statesmen and committed patriots like you as we vigorously pursue our SMART Agenda.

“As you deservedly mark this landmark anniversary, it is my prayer that Almighty God will continue to grant you good health, even as He guides, guards and prospers you in the many more years of fulfilling service ahead of you,” Okowa said.

Traditional rulers from many kingdoms including those of Evwreni, Agbarha, Enwen and Ellu graced the event.Eminent personalities and APC chieftains who attended include, Prophet James Erue, Austin Ogbaburon, Tunde Okorodudu, Evans Akponana, Chief Adelabu Bodjor, Rebecca and Mrs Lawal, Apostle Yemi Omaghomi, Alhaji Yahaya Saiad, Elder Uba Donatus, Mr & Mrs John Onojeharho, Dr Omawumi Urhobo, Ebiakpo Ezebri, Chief Andrew Orugbo, Wife of the Nigeria Ambassador to Vietnam; Mrs Efeduma, President General of Evwreni Kingdom; Chief Victor Ohare, Chief Terry Otuya, Chief Sir Mitchell Nwagwu, Chief Sir Obiuwevwi Ominimini, Barr Omasan Agbajoh, Barr. Awele

Others are, Prince Okareme Maikpobi, Hon. Lucky Ikperi, Hon. Newman Akpore, Emmanuel Oki, Princes Shirley Atiyota Poge, Emmanuel Pippa, Chief Unutame, Hon. Ewerode, Hon. Rufus Edoja Akpodiete, Rev Francis Waive and several others.

In this article:
Olorogun O’tega Emerhor
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