Power Ziakede Aginighan: A True Prince of the N'Delta
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. - Stephen R. Covey
The world over, transparency and accountability are two principal components of public service, When these cardinal elements are missing, society suffers stagnation or in a worst case scenario, suffer retrogression. That is why states with high transparency indices represent first world countries. The United States, Russia Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan among other developed countries represents the progressive bloc. These states have over the years evolved a sophisticated techno-political system where merit overrides every other interest in the management of the common wealth. Today, accountability and transparency index is the yardstick used to measure the democratic credentials of developing countries.
Nigeria has been widely criticized for its poor transparency record. There is general mistrust about public office holders in Nigeria because of the scandalous and unedifying antecedents of many individuals who often face corruption charges after leaving office. These trends seem to be undermining the credibility of the few exemplary individuals who have maintained sufficient moral rectitude in discharging their public responsibilities.
While we crave for the missing link in the Nigerian leadership, there in need to look inwards for individuals with unquestionable character and historical profile. Therefore PZ Aginighan posses the pedigree and charisma to run a higher office that requires high moral, transparency and accountability standards, the time has come for “a prophet to be recognized in hometown”. One of the most critical factor his people considered in honouring him is his transparent, incorruptible nature and above all his commitment to serve his people.
Brief Biography of P.Z.Aginighan
Pastor Power Ziakede Aginighan was born on January 9, 1959 at Ezebri Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, PZ, as he is fondly called by his admirers had his early education at Local Authority Primary School, Oge-Eze (1965 – 1970), Saint Vincent's College, Okwagbe (1971 – 1972) and Government College, Bomadi (1973 – 1975) where he doubled as the best essayist and best Mathematics student in his final year, a rare feat by any student.
After a stint as an auxiliary Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Integrated Science teacher in then Sagbama Creek Grammar School, Toru Ebeni, and later in his alma-mater, Government College, Bomadi, Aginighan proceeded to University (then college) of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt in 1977 where he bagged the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy in 1981. he also holds the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the same University. He is an associate member of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, (ANAN) as well as Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM).
Aginighan started his public service career shortly after completing his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, and assignment in the old Anambra State in August 1982 with his appointment as Accountant II at the College of Education, Warri, from where he rose to the position of Principle Accountant. He later joined the Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission, OMPADEC, as Assistant Director of Finance and Accounts in April 1993, a position he held until 2001 when he was absorbed by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. He was later promoted to the position of Deputy Director, Finance and Supply in March 2003. He was appointed Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NDDC on the 28th of May 2007.
From his college days through the undergraduate years to his public service life, Aginighan has held various leadership positions in several professional, academic, literary and community rights associations including secretary, press club and the Literary/Debating Society of Government College Bomadi in 1974/75, General Secretary of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Students' Union Government, 1979/80, General Secretary of the Association of Accountancy Students and Public Relations Officer of the Students Literary Movement, RSUST, Secretary of Constitutional Conference of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) held at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in April 1980.
In recognition of his selfless contributions to the growth of Students' Unionism in Nigeria, he was conferred with Life Membership of the Students Union of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology in 1984 by the Students Union Parliament. At the College of Education, Warri where served from 1982 to 1993, Aginighan was popularly elected President of the Senior Staff Association as well as representative of the Congregation in the College Governing Council. He also served as National Public Relations Officer, Rivers State University of Science and Technology Alumni Association and representative of the Alumni Association in the University 8th Governing Council.
Aginighan has also paid his dues in the struggle for better living conditions for the Niger Delta people. He served in various leadership positions in various organizations committed to improving the quality of life of the peoples of Niger Delta and Nigeria in general. He was Director-General of the Ijaw Youths Action League (1980-1983), Secretary of the Ijaw Community Warri (1985-1991), Secretary Delta Ijaw Consultative Committee headed by the Late Chief F.H.E. Brisibe, AIG rtd OFR, moderator of the AII-Ijaw National Convention held at Patani on the 23rd November, 1991 presided over by Chief F.H.E. Brisibe, OFR with Chief Dr. Harold Dappa Biriye and Chief George Albert Weikezi in attendance, appointed Secretary of the Professor C.A. Dime-led Ijaw National Coordinating Committee (INCC) which mid-wifed the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and served as the 1st Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress. He also served in various peace panels under leaders like Chief Dr. EK Clark, OFR, Senator Amatari Zuofa and Dr. Gabriel Okara.
Service to humanity
Perhaps, Aginighan's most valuable contribution to the development of the Niger Delta Region is his selfless commitment to peace brokering and building enduring bridges of friendship amongst the diverse ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta and Nigeria. He was the Moderator of the cease fire peace conference by the Warri Ijaw/Itsekiri Grassroots Peace Front held at Warri Club under the auspices of the Joint Military Task Force in June 2004 which marked the formal end of the seven years of hostilities between the Ijaw and the Itsekiri of Warri. He initiated the peace process that led to the end of the bloody conflict between Ogodobri in Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State and Ekeremor in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in August 2003 by affecting the return of captives of war from Ogodobri to Ekeremor.
In recognition of his role in the quest for peace in the Niger Delta region, Aginighan who plunged into the rough waters of Delta State Governorship race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from 2004 to 2006 was honoured with several titles by traditional rulers of various kingdoms in the Niger Delta.
Amongst them are the Adjerese of Ogor kingdom (meaning intervener and problem solver), the Oruese R'Ovie (the blesser of the king) of Ughelli Kingdom, the Ebi-Agura (the good star) of Obotebe Kingdom, the izon Ebimomawei (the source of hope) of Ogulagha kingdom and the Aduaten (the strong pillar) of Seimbiri Kingdom to mention just a few. He has also received several awards of excellence from various youths, women, non-governmental and community based organizations for his contributions in the service of humanity.
Some of the awards include: Media Commendation Award as the Most Outstanding Friend of the Masses by Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), the most Accessible Public Office Holder in the Niger Delta by National Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDS), African ICON of Our Generation Award by the International Institute of Comparative Leadership for Africans and blacks in Diaspora, Niger Delta Man of the Year 2008 and Niger Delta Peace Ambassador Award, Youth Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and Youth Federation for World Peace and Award of Excellence for Dedication and Selfless Service to the Niger Delta by Nigeria Union of Journalists, Award of Excellence by the South-South Youth Leaders Forum for outstanding contributions towards the advancement and development of the Niger Delta, Distinguished Service Award by Isoko Development Union (IDU) and Prestigious Leadership Award by the Students Union Government, University of Benin in recognition of contributions to nation building and youth development, 2005.
Aginighan who authored two instructional materials to assist students in the mastery of Mathematics during his days as an Accountant/Lecturer at the College of Education, Warri also has to his credit a number of articles in various national dailies commenting on socio-economic and political developments in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. To a very large spectrum of youths in the Niger Delta and Nigeria, he is a cooling personality and a role model. The wide acceptance of this orator, activist and humanitarian in the Niger Delta knows no ethnic boundaries.
As a public sector finance manager, Aginighan represented the defunct OMPADEC as a member of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) from November 1996 March, 1999. Aginighan who has received very wide exposure locally and internationally participated in the prestigious Top Executives Leadership Course at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom and the Executive Briefing Session at the International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations at New York, United States of America.
A noteworthy personality in this context is Elder, Power Ziakede Aghinighan. PZ's life as a public sector finance manager has been widely applauded in the Niger Delta and overseas. The above assertion could be justified by the numerous meritorious awards he has received from various organizations; among which includes: Media Commendation Award as the Most Outstanding Friend of the Masses by Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), the Most Accessible Public Office Holder in the Niger Delta by National Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDS), African ICON of Our Generation Award by the International Institute of Comparative Leadership for Africans and Blacks in Diaspora, Niger Delta Man of the Year 2008 and Niger Delta peace Ambassador Award, Youth Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and Youth Federation for World Peace and Award of Excellence for Dedication and Selfless Service to the Niger Delta by Nigeria Union of Journalists, Award of Excellence by the South-South Youth Leaders Forum for outstanding contributions towards the advancement and development of the Niger Delta-to mention but a few, however the above accolades represents years of dedicated and accountable service to Niger Deltans, Nigerians and humanity as a whole.
In October, 2010, he was awarded the fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, ICEN. The award was conferred on him against the background of his dexterity in the management of men, money and materials in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. He is credited to have re-organized the Directorate of Finance and instituted a transparent due process regime in the Agency. He is still on duty as the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the NDDC.
Aginighan, an ordained servant of God, a Pastor in The Apostolic Church Nigeria and happily married to Amerikaere for upwards of twenty-five years is blessed with four boys and three girls.
From November 1996-March, 1999 P.Z. Aginighan represented the defunct OMPADEC as a member of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). He has received very wide exposure locally and internationally; i.e he participated in the prestigious Top Executives Leadership Course at the Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom and the Executive Briefing Session at the International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations at New York, United States of America.
Key Achievements in NDDC
He is an associate member of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) as well as Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). He is a distinguished Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Economists, ICEN
1. P.Z Aginighan belongs to the school of thought that the vehement advocacy for job creation for youths is the surest way to curb youth militancy in the beleaguered NDR. The need to create sustainable opportunities for youths who have posed a grave and growing danger to the Ijaw people in the light of unfolding realities that the Ijaw nation is witnessing today can be overcome with deliberate and conscious plans for rapid industrialization.
Here him” The oil multinational corporations (MNCs), have not been able support our people with the kind of opportunities that we need to leave productive lives. They dish out a few jobs, build a few low quality cottage clinics, hand out a few improperly constructed classroom blocks and scream out about how much they have contributed to local communities. If you compare this with what they do in their areas of operations in the western world, you would have no other option than to hate them for ludicrous double standards even when we provide them with crude oil obtained without need for expensive enhanced recovery methods. Pastor P.Z Aginighan said further on NDDC and Int't development Agencies.
On employment generation in the Niger Delta, Aginighan said “There is now popular agreement that NDDC should partner with international development groups to create a World Class Vocational Training Center with satellite campuses in all states in the Niger Delta. The mandate to establish these centers should be placed on the Niger Delta Development Commission within the remits of a Development Solidarity Initiative wherein NDDC with partner with all oil companies operating in the Niger Delta with the guidance of the United Nations International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training UNEVOC . This is not all. Appropriate processes must also be put in place to ensure that ALL graduate and products of this training center will be absorbed into multinational companies and other outlets where learned skills will be put to good use to enable graduates win good jobs and earn good income. The social purpose value of this initiative can never be underestimated.
2. He was appointed Ag. Executive Director (Finance and Administration), NDDC on the 28th of May 2007. Pastor P.Z. Aginighan changed the perception of people about the NDDC and its relationship with the States. Before he became MD of the Commission, there was a suffocating competition between the NDDC and the State. Most of the States saw the NDDC as a parallel government, and this wrong perception stifled initiatives and synergy. Today, the understanding and cooperation between the Commission and the States redound to his efforts in forging that robust sense of collaboration forged under his administration.
3. At the first South-South Economic Summit held in Calabar, Aginighan, though Acting Managing Director of the NDDC openly accused the Federal Government of short-changing the Commission in terms of funding. The Acting MD specifically, accused the National Assembly of under-appropriating the NDDC. This position was highly publicized in most national papers. Most people envisaged that there would be a fractious relationship between the NDDC and the NASS, but because of his understanding of the challenges facing the Region, and the dexterity with which he handles the affairs of the Commission, a Senator described him as ' the institutional memory of the Commission”. It was this voice of reason that prompted the litigation of the Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Commission, TROMPCOM, against the Federal Government for under-funding the NDDC.
4. He is a man who believes that when a man is exposed to leadership, the most critical thing is how the role incumbent uses his powers. As Acting MD of NDDC, he kept very low profile. The fact that he lived in the same apartment he has been occupying in NDDC quarters since his OMPADEC days attest to his humility and robust sense of service to the people. This is the low profile he keeps up till date.
5. In his 111 days, P.Z.Aginighan had repositioned the Commission by redeploying people according to their specialism. By this singular act, NDDC started to operate a new organogram through his exhibition of political will and foresight, while at the same time no allowing power to influence critical management decisions. This initiative instilled discipline, high ethical standards and engendered higher productivity behavior of workers.
In all ramifications, “Odudu” is a good manager and an astute leader. A good manager is a man who isn't worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him. He has motivated his workers and fought against injustice at any level. “The difference between management and administration (which is what the bureaucrats used to do exclusively) is the difference between choice and rigidity.”In the words of Paul Hawken “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them” P.Z. meet both criteria hence he is both a manager and a leader. He saw the onerous challenges facing NDDC and provided very constructive solutions such that everyone in the Commission echoes his nick name a mantra that opens doors.
His track record is inundated with accountability and selfless services. PZ Aginighan is a great personality and role model to a very large spectrum of Nigerian youths because of his ever-ready-to-assist disposition. Aginighan has distinguished himself as a man among men due to his profound transparency and accountability profile, there is no doubt that he will deliver efficiently and effectively whenever he is mandated with any position of higher leadership. Pastor P.Z. Aginighan was voted s one of the 10 most Distinguished Leaders and Managers in the Niger Delta. He has just been appointed as a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, ICEN and his investiture will take place in October, 2011.
He is a leadership generously endowed with astuteness and robust acumen. It is not surprising that most Niger Deltans see P.Z. Aginighan as a man destined to occupy a political space at the Ministerial level, which will serve as a launching pad for his ultimate political ambition of serving his people at the higher level. He is indeed an indefatigable prince of the Niger Delta, with immense followership.
Idumange John and Theophilus Ebikebina