WHEN JONATHAN SET OGHARA AGOG
It was a historic moment Saturday, June 19 2010 when President Goodluck Jonathan and Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan set the controversial Oghara, home-town of ex.-Governor James Ibori agog. Contrary to the fears being expressed fromsome quarters that Oghara youths may prevent Mr. President and his entourage from entering their domain, thousands of indigenes of the community turned out in large numbers to welcome the number one citizen to the area.
It was like a national festival when the president in company of his host, Governor Uduaghan and top government functionaries, arrived the venue of the ceremony exactly 11.09am and first commissioned the gigantic Delta State University Teaching Hospital located at Otefe, birth place of the ex-governor.
Members of the President's entourage included the Minister of Defence Prince Adetokunbo, Kayode, (SAN) Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole , Edo State, Peter Obi Ananbra and Governor Sylva Timipreye of Bayelsa, others are Godswill Akpabio, Akwa-Ibom, and Liyel Imoke Cross- Rivers.
Top military brass led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral I.I. Ibrahim, and Rear Admiral O.F.Oketa, Flag Officer Commanding Logistic Command among other eminent Nigerians. President Jonathan took time off to shake hands with the eminent personalities who had been waited since 7.30am. The multi-billion Naira Hospital has been described as one of the best in West Africa.
Immediately after the commissioning, Mr. President went to the Ovie (king) of Oghara, Oreki II to pay a courtesy call on the monarch.
At the palace, the monarch pledged their loyalty to the Federal Government and donated a piece of land to Mr. President.
Dressed in Delta traditional attire, President Jonathan and his host, Governor Uduaghan in company of top military personnel anchored at the gigantic Multi-Billion Naira Headquarters of the Nigerian Navy Logistics Command, Oghara to Commission the edifice.
In his address on the occasion, Chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral I.I. Ibrahim, disclosed that the logistic command was built by the government and handed over to the Federal Government.
According to him, the command was built to provide essential services to the Navy especially at this period where every nation, including Nigeria is jealously guiding their territorial waters.
He told Mr. President that the command is designed to provide various logistics, such as engineering, maintenance, communication facilities and other various infrastructure needed to boost the activities of the Navy.
Admiral Ibrahim said the temporal office of the command was initially located in Sapele but it was moved to Oghara immediately the headquarters was completed.
He therefore reiterated the effort of the Navy to provide a suitable maritime environment to operate, assuring that the force is totally committed to the implementation of the Federal Government's effort in ensuring peace in our territorial waters.
Governor Uduaghan, who was elated over the memorable occasion, said the state government decided to build the Naval Logistic Command at Oghara as part of governments commitment towards providing a suitable operational base for the command.
'This gigantic project was started by ex-Governor James Ibori in 2006 with the recognition for the provision of manpower development and accommodation for the Navy.
The state government will continue to assist in any area possible to move the state and the country forward,' said the governor, who later handed over the key of the command headquarters to the Chief of Naval Staff.
Amid tight security, President Jonathan in his speech, commended the state government for spending so much money in building the edifice and also handed it over to the Federal Government.
'It is not easy to build such a huge project and hand over to the Federal Government. Some states do write us for the refund of the project executed for the government,' said Mr. President, who was full of praises for Governor Uduaghan and the people of the state.
President Jonathan expressed dismay over the attitude of Nigerians who lack maintenance culture, adding that the nation can only grow if we cultivate maintenance culture, regretting that majority of Nigerians spend money indiscriminately.
He, however, made it clear that the Federal Government is also thinking of ways of utilizing the armed Forces in civil service as done in developed countries, stressing that they should not only be useful in military operations.
According to him, armed forces is made up of professionals and their service should not be limited to carrying of arms and ammunition, and commended the Nigerian military personnel for their gallantry.
'We have well-trained professionals that are ready at any time to defend our country. At this stage, I wish to advise the Minister of Defence, Chief of Navy Staff, and other top military brass to make sure that effort of these professionals are not wasted because in every country, there must be peace and security.
Impressed by the large turn-out to welcome him, Mr. President described the hospital and Naval logistic command projects as unique .