Good Leadership Is Not For Violence—Mr. Obaduemu
The beleaguered President- General of Ibrede community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, Mr.Shadrack Chukwuma Obaduemu recently sued for peace. Since three months now, Ibrede community has turned into free for all fight over the purported ownership of Odabor land while one self- elected and acclaimed President-General, Mr. Enifoke Onomewerike decided to take laws into his hands by masterminding the Ibrede crisis through the support of some highly placed persons in the community.
Mr. Shadrack Obaduemu believes that the Ibrede community belongs to everybody while creating problems for ourselves. Ugbo's family property has been razed down by desperate power brokers, which cost over #700 million while my three buildings out of five were burnt to ashes but what I need, is peace. Only the Ibrede stakeholders can resolve this issue now. In this exclusive interview with Godday Odidi,the retired PHCN officer and renowned philanthropist told his own side story on the ownership of Odabor land and other issues affecting the Ibrede community.
Can we meet you sir? I am Shadrack Chukwuma Obaduemu from Ibrede community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State. I retired as PHCN officer on the 30th of April 2014 and was elected as the bona fide President-General of Ibrede community on the April 12th, 2012 at the general conference.
It has been alleged that you are no longer the President-General of Ibrede community, how true is it?
I remain the authentic President- General of Ibrede community. I contested for the position of President- General and I won. So I was not conscripted on my people. On September 5th 2012, I travelled down to Ibrede and I held a meeting with the Odiologbo of Ibrede HRH J.D Illiromah, at that meeting, some issues were raised which never augur well with me, then the entire community gathered to deliberate on the same issue again but I saw some kangaroo motive and I stood my ground.
I knew as the President- General of Ibrede community, if any happens, I would be held responsible, so I did not compromise my leadership. On the 8th of September, on my way to Lagos at Ore precisely, one Lucky Iko, the speaker of Ibrede community called me on my cell phone that I have been overthrown.
I told him no problem but I knew I was the authentic President-General of Ibrede community. The so-called desperate President- General, Mr.Enifoke Onomewerike decided to mastermind the burning of all Ugbo family properties and three houses out of the five I built were destroyed. In fact 52 houses of Ugbo family were razed down by desperate power brokers in Ibrede community. We lost over #700 million properties to this crisis.
What was the major cause of this crisis in Ibrede community?
The major cause of this crisis in Ibrede community was the bonafide ownership of Odabor land. Right from time, Ureubo's family has been in possession of Odabor land. The Odabor land is shared between Ibrede and Ugbo's family. We normally shared the Odabor land into three parts while one part goes to Ugbo's family and two parts to Ibrede community.
We believed that Ibrede community belongs to everybody but when Town planning was carried out by the government and it passed through the Odabor land, It was now dawn on the people that Odabor land cannot be shared to Ibrede community again than 50 percent to each family and the community. The Odabor land is blessed with natural resources that prompted Enifoke Onomewerike to initiate the burning of our houses in Ibrede community. It was illegally declared in the community that Odabor land was no longer in our possession than the Ibrede community.
You said you intended to relocate to Ibrede community on August 2014, now that out of your five houses; three has been razed down, what is your next action?
Well, Governor Emmauel Uduaghan of Delta State has arrested the perpetrators of this act and presently serving their jail terms at Ukuwani prison. The government has asked them to build our houses for us. What I need now is peace because our people most especially Ugbo's family are living in refugee camp at Ashaka community.
When the crisis started Ibrede community ostracised Ugbo's family from all activities of the community before they finally chased us out. I was elected in office at the general conference to serve four years but was thwarted by powers that be. My leadership has not expired and all Ndokwa East President-Generals recognised my leadership. Even till now some boys are still engaging the police with their arms.
The Ugbo's family was seriously embarrassed that led to the arrest of some of the initiators. Ibrede community are peace-loving and my regime will not experience bloodshed in Jesus name amen. I was duly elected as the President-General in accordance with the Ibrede constitution. I tried as best possible to settle the Odabor land issue but no avail.
Any regret as the President-General of Ibrede community?
Good leadership is not for violence. I was elected to serve my people and not to destroy them. Within the short period of my leadership, I was able to bring computers to Ibrede Grammar School, site pipe borne water, market and others. I was intended to make sure they tarred that Ofagbe/Ibrede road is just 60 km away from the community. All I need is peace to reign in Ibrede community.
Are Isokos marginalized in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State?
Point of correction! Isoko people are not marginalized in Ndokwa East LGA. When I was elected as the President- General of Ibrede community, I discovered that Isoko people were not attending their meetings and I have to pay all the dues and forced them to join Ndokwa meetings. We must live as one family. The Vice-Chairman of Ndokwa East LGA is from Ibrede and are we marginalized now? I never had interest of community funds because God has blessed me.
You speak like a politician, are you one?
I am yet to be a politician. In your own house there is politics, so everybody is a politician in Nigeria not until you contest for any political office.
What is the way forward?
First, my life is at stake but we cannot run away from Ibrede community. Let peace reign in Ibrede community now.