Mr Oghenekome Okpobor is an Isoko-born businessman with diverse business interest across the globe and in many sectors, ranging from real estate to oil and gas. He is one person that is excited by the good governance strides of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, and is committed to the attainment of the laudable objectives of the governor. As he sees, every responsible Delta State indigene should work towards supporting the governor to build an economically strong state. In this interview, Okpobor gives a snapshot of his youth empowerment initiative in support of Governor Okowa’s administration.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
For starters, I am a product of the University of Benin, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. I also got a Diploma in Data Processing from the same institution. Beyond that I have taken other certificate and affiliate courses in the field of computer science and technology by way of continuous improvement and upgrade. On a general note, I love interacting with people as long as time and space permit irrespective of status and tongue. I have come to realize that every man has his own uniqueness, which he brings to the table of life.
More recently, I have become involved in politics after I got thrilled by the performance of Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, in his first term. I saw the need to join forces with him to build a stronger Delta where every tribe and tongue will feel the prosperity agenda of the governor.
I am the Chairman of Kome Support Group – a group that converges social, political and communal interests.
What is your overall objective?
Our objective is to positively touch the lives of as many youths as we can by training and empowering them not just for self sustenance but also to become wealth creators and employment generators. The vision is to see youths who will grow to become mega merchants and business disruptors.
On the political aspect of our existence as a group, we hold firm visions, gestures and acts that tend towards the improvement of the state. This informed our unalloyed support for the re-election of His Excellency, Sen.(Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa having critically examined his performance in his first term and we rated him very highly and believed strongly that Deltans will witness more prosperity in his second term.
We mobilized both human and material resources including 10s of billboards and banners, several branded cars and thousands of t-shirts and face caps, to see to it that he was returned and we are happy that the result came out as expected.
We also take interests in improving communities around us. It is our belief that the welfare of our communities can be improved not just by the government alone but by all well meaning individuals. Everyone has a role to play and truly, everyone can contribute something. This is why we donated a brand new 500kva transformer to Otor-Iyede community which was in total blackout as a result of the faulty transformer that was there.
Also, in our little effort to put smiles on the faces of our mothers in these rural communities, we doled out over 500 bags of rice and 1000 gallons of vegetable oil to help them celebrate the 2018 yuletide.
It also has additional objective of community development support schemes aimed at improving the economy and social wellbeing of rural dwellers and their communities across the state.
What prompted the idea of giving back to the society?
Well, I believe that the micro-ethno system of this world is not only interrelated but also interdependent. That means, you need me and I need you. God never blesses a man for himself; He blesses you so you can be a blessing to others. I see myself as a conduit for God’s blessings to get to others, so every opportunity to give back to the society is always a fulfilling for me.
The task of having a better society can only be achieved when all hands are put on deck and not just to assume that the government alone can shoulder all the burdens.
In line with this belief, we are sponsoring a skill acquisition training and empowerment programme for 500 youths. Participants in the programme would be trained in the following areas fashion designing, textile production, shoe/bags and other leather works, catering, events management and confessionary, production of cleaning agents and operation of cleaning agency as well as carpentry and joinery.
Who influenced your growing up?
Growing up in Nigeria is a career itself. The society is a bit tough but I’m grateful to God for giving me parents who were there to help cultivate and nurture my dreams. Both parents were of great influence in my growing up days. My father, being a primary school teacher, instilled great hunger for education in me while my mum emphasized on imbibing the right virtues of life. I’m sure they are proud to see their lad grow up into a man who didn’t ignore their admonitions.
What has life taught you as a person?
Every day is a learning curve. The day you stop learning you start dying. Specifically, I have come to realize that wealth and greatness are in every man’s gene such that it takes only a moment of opportunity for it to materialize. That’s why we must invest in other people’s lives no matter how small we may think it is because you never can tell how far he or she will go. That little smile you put on someone’s face can make him just live another day with faith and hope for a better future. The sum of it is “Be Kind.”
What is your take on the rampant suicide cases among the youth, any advice?
I think it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of every well meaning individual. No one will be comfortable seeing a loved one exit this life in such a matter, no matter the reason. This is why we must become more brotherly towards those around us because he or she usually contemplate suicide when they think they aren’t loved anymore.
Again, we need to activate more guidance and counselling centers across the state and country where anyone in need of an ear to talk to can trust. Everyone needs comfort in one way or the other at some point in life.
Our religious institutions must become more available to their followers. The pastor shouldn’t be in a hurry to leave church after service. His or her office should be more accessible. The Imams and all others must be more approachable.
My counsel to the youths is that they should realize that living is a challenge God expects us to overcome. Challenges will come in different shades and forms but we have the capacity to triumph. Suicide isn’t an option. It’s the way of losers and cowards.
The moment you exit this world, you’re forgotten. The hospitals won’t stop working, banks will not close, no human activity will cease because of you. You would have only succeeded in passing your pains and sorrows to a greater number of people in your family and that is wickedness. Brace up to life’s challenges and you’ll definitely win.
Where is your favorite holiday destination?
I really can spend my holiday anywhere depending on the mood. At times my hometown gives me that ambience I desire. At other times, I could spend my holiday in the United States or anywhere else but all I look forward to is to interact with people and have cherished moments.