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When Barrister Kingsley Otuaro emerged running mate to Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the governorship standard bearer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, his name came across to many as new and a bolt from the blues. This is despite being up to that moment the Commissioner representing the Ijaw ethnic nationality on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

Emmanuel Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Vanguard Newspapers explained it all when he described Barr. Otuaro as “a development activist and quiet performer”.

The choice of Otuaro, the reported High Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo's nominee, was irresistible to Okowa essentially because Otuaro fits in perfectly with Okowa's prosperity pact with Deltans anchored on peace in Delta State.

It was former Delta State Governor Chief James Ibori who however first discovered the potential for state-wide peace in Barr. Otuaro and made him Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Affairs from 2005 to 2007. His appointment apparently followed his impressive performance as Chairman of Warri Ijaw-Itsekiri Grassroots Peace Front, an active non-governmental initiative that propelled fighters out of the battle lines, to achieve, in June 1, 2004, the final cessation of inter-ethnic hostilities in the then raging Warri crisis. In achieving this, Otuaro related with notable Itsekiri activists including Daniel Reyenieju who is now the Honourable Member representing Warri Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Thomas Eyiritomi, a prominent chief, Matthew Itsekure and host of other prominent Deltans.

Otuaro's detribalized credentials were further demonstrated when in 2009 following the unfortunate Joint Task Force (JTF) war in the Warri creeks, he dispensed relief materials to both Ijaw and Itsekiri communities alike as Chair of the Delta State Rehabilitation/Relief Committee. As a deacon of the Christ Embassy Church, Otuaro has long found it easy to relate with all ethnic groups as children of God.

Ten years after the 2004 Warri peace feat, Barr. Otuaro is not done seeking proficient ways of achieving peace. This informed his voyage to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, for a Master of Arts programme in Peace and Conflict Studies which he rounded off in May 2014.

Otuaro's peace advocacy and understanding of dynamics of human relationships are inviting. His record of defence of Delta State's interests and knowledge of state-craft were imposing and impacted on his new Principal, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa who envisioned for his 2015 campaigns a 5-point SMART agenda of Strategic wealth creation, Meaningful Peace-building, Agricultural Reforms/Industrialisation, Relevant Health and Education Policies and Transformed Environment through Urban Renewal.

As a member of Delta State Technical Committee charged with feeding facts to the Delta State Contingent on the Ledum Mittee Committee on the Niger Delta, Otuaro capably met the rigorous challenge of defending Delta State interests in working with prominent Deltans including Prof. Sam Oyovbaire. This Technical Committee was retained after its successful assignment as Standing Ad-hoc Committee to study strengths and weaknesses of enabling instruments of state-owned institutions/agencies and recommending amends for better service delivery. Such agencies included DESOPADEC, the Community Development Committees (CDCs), Ministry of Environment, etc.

There is more to Otuaro than this space can allow mention. Suffice it to say that Tompolo was not the first to throw up this eminently qualified Deltan for state service. His nomination by Tompolo is however a testament to Tompolo's mission to ride in tandem with visioners for peace and prosperity in Delta State.

Written by Bulou Kosin, of the Delta Rebirth Initiative

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