By Palmer Ogheneyole Nathaniel
While the lion vaingloriously prides itself as the king of the forest, the Elephant stands towering tall among the inhabitants of the forest. It remains the most massive creature humanity ever saw or heard of. Its body could rival a house for weight, with its tusk as hard as a rock. From the head to the tail, the elephant is a symbol of good news and profusion. Owning an elephant symbolizes wealth in tremendous proportions for kingdoms, but owning a White Elephant presupposes unimaginable riches, it is considered the height of monarchical wealth, power and human sacredness in the time of old.
The story of the pride of the White Elephants reigned in Southeast Asia for centuries. Royals in Cambodia and Thailand kept the luxurious creature as symbols of flamboyance. In fact, scholars who wrote on monarchical politics in the Second Millennium; spanning the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, has added that the possession of a white elephant by a Monarch symbolizes the reign of peace, progress and tranquility. The sumptuousness anticipated of anyone that owned a quadruped of that caliber was great.
Olorogun Evance Ivwurie, today holds the prestigious title of the Eni O’fua’fo (White Elehpant) of Agbon Kingdom. That the traditional institution of his people chose such an expensive title for him was never a mistake. Since the conferment of that prestigious title, Ivwurie has never acted less. Like the White Elephants of Babkok, Ivwurie has brought tremendous pride to his people. Even as a private individual, he has empowered more people than any political office holder of Agbon extraction at that time. And now as a lawmaker representing the good people of Ethiop East, his footprints could be felt in every corner of his constituency and beyond.
The rehabilitation of the Abraka – Agbor road by the Federal Ministry of Works is one among several instances where Ivwurie sprung beyond the limitations of state government apparatus to bring federal presence to his people. Through robust advocacy and constructive engagement, Ivrurie wrote several letters to the Works Ministry, and even at some point met physically with the authorities. He decried the challenges faced by his people as a result of the bad state of the road and appealed that the government came to their aid. Today, even though some of those who sat in their posh offices in Abuja drinking champagnes while Hon. Ivwurie toiled, are laying claim to the project, the people of Ethiop know exactly who is responsible.
The story of how Hon. Evance Ochuko Ivwurie personally led a team of community volunteers to banish marauding Fulani Herdsmen from Abraka and Ethiope East in general is still fresh in the minds of many. He didn’t just give instruction to the people to “go and die”, he personally led the offensive and banked heavily on the protection of God almighty in the daring trip. Irrespective of his status in the society, his relationship with his root has remained firmer than ever. There is hardly a weekend that he is not seen in his palatial mansion in Abraka; a place he assembled long before coming into government.
His effort in combating and ensuring the recovery of Agbon piece of land in Ovre’ Eku, Ovre’ Igun and Ovre’ Okpara which has been hitherto annexed by Presco Plc is legendary. Hon Ivwurie has likened this vast parcel of land to the Jerusalem of Agbon clan and believe that it is not only the sacred and ancestral land of the Agbon Kingdom but he has vowed never to allow Presco Plc or any other company for that matter to take away the land because of the abundance of crude oil in the land.
His outstanding performance as a State Legislator is a matter for another day. In the state House of Assembly, the intellectual content of a legislator is often assessed with his contributions during Committee of the Whole House. As a great alumnus of the prestigious Harvard University where Ivwurie bagged his Master of Science in Public Administration and the Edward Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management prior to an Executive Education Certificate in ‘Senior Manager in Government both from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, he was more than prepared for governance. Having personally sponsored over 18 pro-people and pro-development bills for the smooth administration of the State, Ivwurie’s name has appeared as a co-sponsor in almost all of the intellectually-wired and people-driven bills passed so far by this Assembly.
As he celebrates another remarkable year in his life, let it be known that the White Elephant of Agbon Kingdom has truly brought unfathomable pride and honour to his people. In every area of human endeavours, Eni O’fua’fo has touched humanity in ways that cannot be explained by mere assembling of words. He has shown leadership and in clear manners and has demonstrated clearly his readiness to do more for his people. As the clock tick towards 2019, I am defiantly sure that people of Ethiop East will once more present one of their best in the person of Hon. Evance Ochuko Ivwurie. The reward for one immensely successful tenure; should be another tenure in the House. If the people could queue behind him while he sourjoned in a relatively unknown political platform, I doubt if they will do otherwise now that he is in the mainstream Delta.
Hon. Ivwurie has been asking his constituents to embrace the responsibility of active citizenship and to take action– to get involved in our political process. And over the course of last year, We’ve seen thousands of people answer that call and his efforts made a difference.
Together with his people, he stood up for development and their security, protection and against anyone who hate his people; he has struggled for women’s rights and protested a divisive Federal agenda against youth.
Hon. Ivwurie is doing the hard work for his constituency and pushing erring contractors to their limits in Delta State and he has inspired more Deltans all over again and he reminds us of the energy that will fueled our campaigns and elections in 2018 and 2019. And I know that once again, we can turn that grassroots energy into real, lasting change for our dear country.
Better is not good enough, expect the best from your quintessential representative and the Eni’ O’fua ‘fo of Agbon Kingdom.
……Palmer, a Media Consultant and Public Commentator, writes from Asaba