Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, his predecessor, Emmanuel Uduaghan were among other prominent politicians as well as past and serving political office holders that gathered on Friday at the KFT Centre, Warri, for a public lecture/book presentation to celebrate ex-militant and incumbent deputy governor of the state, Kingsley Otuaro who clocked 50 years.
Those familiar with militancy in the Niger Delta region testified that it is a known fact that, Mr. Otuaro was once deeply involved in militancy in the creek and also served as a legal counsel to his blood cousin, dreaded most wanted ex-militant and commander, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpomupolo AKA (TOMPOLO) who sponsored and spearheaded his deputy governor ship nomination in 2014 through a deal struck with the incumbent governor, Okowa.
HardReporters learnt that the Delta state deputy governor, Mr. Otuaro, was allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of foreign workers, destruction of Oil facilities, running combat operations against the Nigerian military and terrorising Itsekiri communities in Warri.
Checks by HardReporters also revealed that Mr. Otuaro, with alleged criminal like nefarious background, was Secretary General of an alleged terrorist militant group, Federated Niger Delta Ijaw
Communities (FNDIC); founded in 2003, was said to have operated alongside the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, (MEND) and in 2009 when the militancy had already gained upper hand in the region, Otuaro became FNDIC’s President after displacing its then President, Bello Oboko.
It was further revealed that FNDIC which in 2006 took hostage of nine expatriates was listed as a terrorist group on the online database of Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, (TRAC), United States’ Defence services also reported on the activities of the group, revealed on the wikileaks files.
Confiding in HardReporters crime editor, a prominent politician in the state who pleaded for anonymity further revealed that Tompolo, Otuaro and others allegedly led militants in the Gbaramutu creeks of the Niger Delta who were responsible for the alleged execution of eleven soldiers and operating illegal refineries, bunkering, vandalising oil pipelines, engaging in kidnapping and piracy among others.
In what looks like a confirmation of his involvement in militancy in the creek, the state deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro while delivering his speech during his investiture as Fellow of Society for Peace Studies and Practice, FSPSP with a book launch to mark his 50th birthday, gave a brief history of how he was discovered
by former governors, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan and brought out from the Creek where he was into supposedly community development work, championing peace and security.
“It would be difficult to here and now recall all who have touched my life significantly. Let me begin by a gratitude to my dear mother; to the good people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the Ijaw and Niger Delta people for their contributions in forging the man that Chief James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State appointed SA Community Affairs on the recommendation of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who later become Governor and appointed me Commissioner in DESOPADEC representing the Ijaw ethnic nationality. These appointments complemented my beginnings to prime me for my adventures towards peace in the Niger Delta and governance.”
Speaking at the event, Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa called for collective efforts for peace to be achieved in Nigeria.
“This is a good way of celebrating a man who has worked for peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria, we should all be involved in achieving peace in the country, the traditional rulers, youths, everybody should be involved in achieving peace because, it is participatory, peace is elusive without partnership.
“I congratulate my friend, my deputy for turning 50 years, I thank God that this kind of ceremony has been put forward for him because, it is a very good way of celebrating a man who has spent the larger part of his life finding peace, building peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria,” Okowa stated.
On his part, immediate past governor of the state, Emmanuel Uduaghan expressed joy that when he gave the deputy governor, Otuaro appointment he did not know that he was grooming him for the position of deputy governor and commended the role he is playing to achieving peace in the Niger Delta while the Chairman of the occasion, Same Oyovbaire decried the state of security in the country and other parts of the world.
Delta state former Deputy Governor, Mr. Benjamin Elue, Anambra state Deputy Governor, Mr. Nkem Okeke, Mr. Peter Nwoaboshi, Mr. Kingsley Esiso, commissioners, were among numerous other personalities that graced the event to celebrate the ex-militant deputy governor, Otuaro.