Acting as the special guest of honor, he commended Otobotekere, also known as ‘The Poet King,’ for his integrity and urged the political class to follow his example.
By Nengi Champion:
Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, attributed Nigeria’s challenges to the avarice and self-centeredness of a majority of the nation’s political leaders.
During the Literary Swansong and Day of Tributes event held in memory of Christian Otobotekere, the late paramount ruler of Tombia community in Yenagoa Local Government Area, the Deputy Governor expressed that successful nations are led by patriotic and altruistic leaders.
Acting as the special guest of honor, he commended Otobotekere, also known as ‘The Poet King,’ for his integrity and urged the political class to follow his example. The Deputy Governor emphasized that the 98-year-old Bayelsa monarch, whose burial was scheduled for Saturday, exemplified a lifestyle free from greed and self-interest, enabling him to govern the Tombia community for approximately 50 years and serve as the clan head of Ekpetiama Kingdom for 14 years without experiencing significant internal or external conflicts.
Ewhrudjakpo said, “Selfish countries are less progressive. Nigeria is not progressing because of the greed and selfishness of most of her leaders over the years. The less selfish a country’s leaders are, the more progressive it becomes, and vice versa. Our father, whom we have all come to honour today, clearly lived an impactful life.
“He was not greedy. He was not also selfish. And so, we really have to imbibe and follow the footsteps and positive legacies of people like him for us to be able to make good progress in this country.”
He praised the late Otobotekere for his significant contributions to the intellectual advancement of Bayelsa State and the wider Niger Delta region through his remarkable literary works, stating that he deserved to be commemorated.
Dr. Seiyifa Koroye, the chairman of the event, recognized Otobotekere’s impact on the literary development of society, noting that he had authored numerous anthologies containing over 400 poems.
During a 30-minute review of Otobotekere’s works, Prof. Kontein Trinya from the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education in Port Harcourt emphasized that although the late poet’s creative writings had not gained global recognition, they were exceptionally noteworthy, particularly in the genre of poetry. Prof. Saviour Agoro, representing Prof. Trinya, mentioned several of Otobotekere’s works such as ‘Live Two Lives,’ ‘Beyond Sound and Voice,’ and ‘All Around About,’ describing him as a contemporary poet of esteemed ancestral significance.