A group of women under the aegis of CONCERNED OKPOAMA WOMEN OF SUBSTANCE in Brass LGA, Bayelsa State have called on HRM. King Ebitimi Banigo to shun politics in order to attract development to the ancient Okpoama kingdom.

Speaking after a meeting of the Okpoama Women of Substance yesterday, March 27, 2023 in Yenagoa, the spokesperson of the Group Barrister Rhoda Ayebaekipreye recalled that traditional rulers across time and space have a responsibility to maintain law and order in their domains.

As custodians of culture and traditions, it is the role of monarchs to settle disputes, advise government and sensitize the people on their civic duties. First class traditional rulers like His Royal Majesty, King Ebitimi Banigo are expected to support and assist government in the implementation of government policies, plans and programmes. It is against this background that we describe them as apolitical, playing the role of royal fathers in the scheme of things.

Underscoring this role, the PRO of the group Mrs. Lelegite Amaebite asserted that the unique role of monarchs places them as critical stakeholders in promoting good governance. As a result of their higher calling, traditional rulers are supposed to demonstrate sterling leadership qualities such as empathy, discernment, modesty and altruism to build women and youths and leverage their talents and capacities for community development. At this momentous time, this is what the people of Okpoama expect from our adorable King.

The women of substance regretted that since KING Ebitimi Banigo became Amanyanabo of Okpoama Kingdom in 2012, not much has been attracted to Okpoama and her satellite communities in terms of development. We hailed his ascension to the reverred throne with fanfare and optimism because of his sagacity and experience in the corporate world. We had thought that by now the Final Investment Decision on the Brass Liquiefied Gas Project would have been signed. Sadly, this has not come to pass. Other development projects proposed for the community by government are usually stalled because of politics of self-interest, opportunism and parochial interest.


In our view, one of the major reasons for the stagnation in the kingdom is the involvement of the traditional institution in crude partisan politics. Okpoama kingdom is blessed with human and natural resources and we have no one to blame for the lack of development in the area. It is incredible that eleven years after King Banigo ascended the thrown, there is no visible development project in Okpoama. At the State level, the proposed Maritime Academy has not been realized. The proposed Odioama Petrochemical Industry has not taken root. Why then will our King be comfortable when all is not well with the Kingdom?

We the Concerned Okpoama Women of Substance are worried that Okpoama people do not deserve the backwardness we are witnessing now. Our expectations that our well-grounded King in corporate Nigeria would use his connections to attract development to the area are misplaced. We are constrained therefore to appeal in all humility that our amiable King should henceforth shun politics and concentrate on the development of Okpoama.

Okpoama’s development cannot be sacrificed on the altar of politics of hatred, calumny and extreme greed. Politics and development are like oil and water. We need development irrespective of any political party or person that is in power. We love our King much the same way we need economic development and social progress.

A Kenyan activist once said ” The moral authority of leaders is the essential ingredient to human security'” We need security, we need a leadership that is apolitical, progressive and fair to all.

Barrister Rhoda Ayebaekipreye
For: Concerned Okpoama Women of Substance
27th March, 2023.

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