10:57 am - Tuesday December 18, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: NIGERIANS in Texas celebrate passage of Nigeria’s First Class Bayelsa Traditional Ruler, HRH KING PETER ODIKEME OKERE, the Amananaowei of Peretorugbene Kingdom ABIRI 1…Hosts Service of Song in Redeemed Christian Church of God House on the Rock, Grand Prairie *Highly respected monarch with no single scandal contribute immensely to Humanity, Human Capital Development for Niger-Delta Youths *Preached love, lived a life of Integrity with unparalleled lasting legacy till he conquered death *Fought for Infrastructural Growth, stopped impostors from enriching themselves with Community loot *Devout Christian, a Chief Pharmacy Technician encouraged spread of the gospel, outreach crusades in the community, detest Occultism in Coronation *Pioneer leader that encouraged youths’ Employment, Skills’ Acquisition and Western Education *Famous Pentecostal preacher, Pastor O.J Kuye reflects on the essence of life in a sermon titled: ‘The King Has Died’ BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

BREAKING NEWS:

NIGERIANS in Texas celebrate passage of Nigeria’s First Class Bayelsa Traditional Ruler, HRH KING PETER ODIKEME OKERE, the Amananaowei of Peretorugbene Kingdom ABIRI 1Hosts Service of Song in Redeemed Christian Church of God House on the Rock, Grand Prairie

*Highly respected monarch with no single scandal contribute immensely to Humanity, Human Capital Development for Niger-Delta Youths

*Preached love, lived a life of Integrity with unparalleled lasting legacy till he conquered death

*Fought for Infrastructural Growth, stopped impostors from enriching themselves with Community loot

*Devout Christian, a Chief Pharmacy Technician encouraged spread of the gospel, outreach crusades in the community, detest Occultism in Coronation

*Pioneer leader that encouraged youths’ Employment, Skills’ Acquisition and Western Education

*Famous Pentecostal preacher, Pastor O.J Kuye reflects on the essence of life in a sermon titled: ‘The King Has Died’

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF

HE WAS A VERY HONEST MAN WHO LOVES GOD TO A FAULT. ALL THROUGH HIS LIFETIME, HE CHERISHED INTEGRITY AND LOVE, THE VIRTUES HE HELD IN HIGHEST ESTEEM TILL HE CONQUERED DEATH RECENTLY. HRH KING PETER ODIKEME OKERE, the Amananaowei of Peretorugbene Kingdom in Bayelsa State ABIRI 1 lived a life of godliness, truthfulness to God and men till he had his last breath. Due to his evergreen positive impact on millions of Niger-Delta youths, Nigerian community from all walks-of-life in Texas converged in Redeemed Christian Church of God’s House (RCCG) on the Rock yesterday, Friday, November 23rd to honor this great Nigerian icon as he finally bid the world goodbye to live in eternity in the presence of saints in Heaven.

Moderator for the ceremony was Albert Kalu, while opening prayer was said by Pastor Wally Bello. RCCG Choir were on standby as they dished out worship tunes to the praise of God’s omnipotence and sovereignty.

First reading was done by Muriel Nicholas, followed by the First Hymn titled ‘When Peace Like a River Attendeth My Way.’ The second bible reading was done by Mitchell Nicholas, with a Second Hymn rendered under the title ‘Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah.’

By the time Deaconess Ebiere Nicholas, daughter and Princess to the monarch was asked to give the Eulogy, it was clear to all present in the church’s auditorium that the bond between her and her father was very strong, as her voice was almost fainting in reading aloud the virtues and inestimable impact of her late Dad to humanity. At this juncture, her husband, Pastor Nicholas Lawrence took out few tissues to wife her wife’s emotionally-laden tears.

Ebiere explained how her father had his eyes on education as the main gateway to success in life, when she said: “HRH King Peter Odikeme Okere (popularly called P.O. By official peers) completed his college education having studied at St. Brendan’s College Now Government College, Bomadi which was the premier college of the Western Ijaw division as a pioneer student from 1960-1964. He gained employment as a Pharmacy Technician in the then Mid-Western Region civil service in 1965. He was among a selected few that was sent for training by the government at the then Yaba School of Pharmacy in the now Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. With his outstanding performance, the government sent him on further trainings to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the Island Maternity Hospital also in Lagos in 1967 and 1968 respectively. He rose up to the highest position in his career as a Chief Pharmacy Technician before retirement. During that period, he worked in the following General Hospitals-Forcados, Sabongida-ora, Oleh, Orerokpe, Ubiaja, Ewhohinmi, Uzebba; Patani, Agbarho and lots more.”

This enviable monarch was respected as man of peace and a bridge-builder. Princess Ebiere continued: “Peter Odikeme Okere was acknowledged as abridge builder between the Management of the Pharmacy departments of these General Hospitals, the State Hospital Management Board and the Ministry of Health, Benin City. As he was always called to restore peace and the dignity of the profession whenever, wherever crises arose within the pharmacy departments of those General Hospitals. He was an epitome of discipline, truthfulness, both at his workplace and secular life-he became a model to many.

Peter Odikeme Okere voluntarily retired from the civil service in 1985 after putting in twenty meritorious years in the service. He worked in the Pharmacy department of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Warri and Port Harcourt until he decided to answer the call of his people to the Royal throne as the Amananaowei of Peretorughene in 2005.”

This correspondent gathered that HRH King Peter Odikeme Okere immensely contributed to the development of humanity in the generality of Izon-ebe and Peretorughene community. He has always been high driven to his career oath of saving life as a medical practitioner, Human Capital Development especially among youths and Conflict resolutions.

Princess Ebiere in her Eulogy narrated that “HRH King Peter Odikeme Okere loved his brothers, sisters and other relatives including anyone known to be from Peretorughene with so much passion that it even caused an envy in his family. In several occasions, paid tuition fees for his brothers, sisters’ children to encourage them to go to school when his own biological children tuition was not yet paid.”

This great monarch fought the epidemic of Cholera outbreak in 1971. A year after the Nigerian Civil War, there was an out-break of a great epidemic that claimed so many lives in Western Ijaw Division of the then mid-Western State and Peretorughene was not an exception, which was not an exception that medical experts confirmed as Cholera. Till date, the success story of Bayelsa State cannot be told without mentioning the heroic contribution of HRH Peter Odikeme Okere who was a pioneer in the community that encouraged and assisted the youths to gain employment, acquire skills and western education.

In Ebiere’s words: “ HRH King Peter Odikeme Okere lived a truthful, plain and undented reputation of straight-forwardness in character and relationship. He was a teacher and advocate of peace. In 1994, he was the spokesperson for the Peretorughene community dialogue with Shell Petroleum Development Company and Julius Berger. He was undoubtedly a lover of extended family unity and a gong of appreciation.”

There were Testimonies and Tributes by some of the children and grand children who all hailed his courage, discipline, love for honesty and integrity in all ways of human endeavor. That was followed by a Third Hymn titled: ‘On a Hill Far Away.”

Highpoint of the event was when Pastor O.J Kuye, lead pastor of House on the Rock for RCCG mounted the altar, where he preached reflective messages from the books of Ecclesiastics to Isiah, John to Corinthians as delved into the essence of living and need for Christians to live a just, faithful lifestyle under the theme: ‘The King has Died.’ This law graduate, richly knowledgeable in the word of God comparatively analyze reasons why Christians must live a life holy, acceptable to God as the only living sacrifice. He explained: “Death is a price everyone has to pay. It has no respect for a white person, nor a black person. It has no respect for the poor or the rich.”

Pastor Kuye the invited other pastors in the congregation to come up the alter and join him in conducting prayers for the family. Another ‘man-of-God’ from Nigeria, Pastor Kayode eventually rounded up the family prayer.

Offering was conducted by Deacon John Awe, as the Closing Hymn titled ‘It is so Sweet to Trust in Jesus’ readily came in handy. Pastor Nicholas Lawrence, husband to Princess Ebiere gave the ‘Vote of Thanks.’ And the final Closing Prayer & Benediction was done by by Pastor Mrs Moji Peters.

The historic ceremony had Nigerian full representation. Speaking with Motola Oyemade, an undergraduate of University of Texas, Arlington, she said: “As you can see everyone invited and in this church to witness this Service of Song for His Royal Highness, King Okere are all Nigerians who identified with all that he represents. He was a man of courage, honesty and charismatic in leadership. May his soul rest in peace.”

Onura Chike, a Civil Engineer from Bayelsa State representing the Ijaw Community of Niger-Delta told this reporter: “HRH Peter Odikeme Okere, Abiri 1, was the greatest gift of Niger-Delta from Bayelsa State to Nigeria. I can assure you that we can no longer have a disciplined and focused traditional ruler of his mould in Nigeria. He was an icon of trust. A man who believe with genuine love and integrity, you can have peace with God and live a contended life. We truly missed him.”

For Temedu Goodluck, a Graduate of Communication from Houston University, “Nigeria has lost a legend, a legend, an outstanding pacesetter who champions education as best legacy for the community. He loved the youths throughout his life and stood for only the truth in all ramifications.” 

He was married with 11 Children amongst whom are the first male and female Petroleum Engineers from Peretorughene community and blessed with 20 Grand-children.

 

 

 

 

 

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