President of the Ejiro and Otive Igbuzor Foundation, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, has said The reason why his foundation has been part of Chief Demas Akpore annual memorial lecture continuously for 16 years is because of the ideas and Principles of the late first elected Deputy Governor of Bendel State.
Otive Igbuzor speaking recently at the 16th Annual Memorial Lecture held at Government College, Ughelli, Delta State, with the theme ‘Between Advocacy and Intervention. The Sacrifices of Chief Demas Akpore’, stated that It is important for human beings to be principled.
According to Igbuzor, “The life of Chief Demas Akpore tells us that it is important to be principled. If you do not stand for anything you will fall for everything. What motivated me to start celebrating Chief Demas Akpore is his ideas and Principles. I did not attend Government College Ughelli, I did not work closely with him but when I was in University of Benin he was Deputy Governor. In one of our conversation, he said Mr. Igbuzor all these people that are telling me to compromise in politics they did not see what I saw that made me to go into politics.
“The essence of politics is service. and I think for me this is important because many people think that participation in politics is a way to steal money you know for me it is more annoying when they see you that you are not stealing money and they think that you are an idiot and they want you to steal money if you have the opportunity.
“I want to encourage all of us to be principled. Today we are celebrating Chief Demas Akpore but all those that stole money are they being celebrated today? NO. All of us will die someday when you die, you will only be remembered for what you have done.
Some of the things that Chief Demas Akpore did back then, some people may not have liked it others may have resisted it because it was not popular.
“Life is not a popularity contest that is why some of us have decided to be ourselves. Me Otive Igbuzor I will do what I think is right I will do what I want to do some people may like it, that is fine others don’t like it that is fine but I want to be myself I am particularly happy because the only one political position I have been interested in that is Governor of Delta State, before it will come to Urhobo land again is 24 years and I will not be eligible at that time so I want to always be myself and do what I know that is right so if people like it, that is fine if they don’t like it that is their business.”
While fielding questions from newsmen shortly after the event, The Executive Director Of The Ejiro and Otive Igbuzor Foundation, Mr.. Monday Osasah said he was grateful to God for a successful event.
In his words, “If you want change in the society and the people that are supposed to cause that change to happen are not taking steps one of the fundamental thing you do is to do advocacy to bring out a change but in the case of Chief Dema Akpore he did not just advocate he initiated a change by himself by building Orogun Grammar School at a time where there was no school any where and the conditions are also not attractive enough for him to relocate to Orogun at the time, there were no roads pipe borne water, electricity and this is somebody that read classics and graduated long ago not in Nigeria, outside the shores of Nigeria. So for such person to come to establish Orogun Grammar School was advocacy in action.
“So far you to be able to do all of that there are a lot of sacrifices, he sacrificed his money, time, comfort so we felt that it is important to really bring that to the fore so that society can learn from him and it is based on that this topic was chosen. Our advise is that for any change you want to see in society, let it begin with you, that is the underlining philosophy behind this convening today so for people that are going into politics let that change you want to see let it being with you.
Continuing he said, “Charity begins at home we came here to learn it is not enough to learn but how do you use that learning now to do things differently in society is what this whole thing is about which has made this event now an annual event to socialize people, to see the need for us to ensure that our leadership are effective and once leadership is effective development will be sure because everything rises and falls on leadership so for political leaders people that are aspiring to go into politics, know that you are a leader and one of the things politics offers is that it gives the person that is aspiring to that political position and who becomes a leader inventually the reason to serve his people.
“So politics is service it is not about you it is about you going to serve because there is something you think society need to have but society do not have it presently so you are going there to make sure that change happens. It a clarion call to our leaders to learn from the virtues of Chief Demas Akpore and become exemplary like himself because this man served society, humanity and of course the bible talking about Abraham Genesis 12:3, what every body said today now is that Akpore is a blessing to humanity let us also try as much as possible to be a blessing to our worlds.
The guest speaker, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo, a journalist and an entrepreneur, speaking on the topic of the memorial lecture series , “Between Advocacy and Intervention: The Sacrifices of Chief Demas Akpore,” said ” talking about Chief Demas Akpore is like opening an endless book or trying to crack a mystery. It is extremely difficult to understand his motivations. They went beyond altruism, philanthropy or even patriotism.
“Everybody seems to understand what should be done to create realities from dream but nobody follows up with the initiative to do what should be done. It would have been more convenient for Chief to lay back and join the usual clarion calls on government to build more schools to address the situation. Armed with a masters degree in classic, he would invent all the compelling communication, written and spoken to place the responsibility entirely on government, he did not. Instead, he relocated to Orogun of 1966 to found a secondary school to address the issue of the day. Instead of talking, Chief Demas Akpore chose working. He walked his talk
“I will say he is the man who gave everything to humanity and asked for nothing in return. Chief Akpore lived a most worthy life. He was impeccably transparent. He is an embodiment of good morality. He did not give so much back to his community out of abundance of ill gotten wealth, he did out of love. With him ,giving was a duty and it was like a dereliction of duty if he didn’t give so much back.”
On his part, HRH Oba (Barr.) Rufus Olarewaju Ajayi Arilewola II, the Oba of Gbomina Ekiti Tapa Kingdom, described Chief Demas Akpore as a man who loved and served his people selflessly. “I have made up my mind that every year that they do this programme, I will always make sure that I am around.”