Numbing shock, is still the dominant response expressed by the vast majority of persons following news of the death of Keniebi Okoko from a failed surgical procedure at a Lagos hospital. Okoko was a politician and billionaire businessman with interests in oil and the power sector. He was a pastor with the Salvation Ministry, a popular Pentecostal church in Rivers and Bayelsa states. The 42 year old Okoko from the oil rich Obunagha community in Bayelsa state, was the son of Prof. Kimse Okoko, one time President of the Ijaw Nation Congress, highly respected for his vocal, strong leadership of the apex Ijaw socio cultural group.
A gathering of Ijaw people in Nigeria and the Diaspora, Ijaw People’s Assembly, IPA on Saturday, April 18, 2020 paid a condolence visit to the Okoko family at Aluu near the University of Port Harcourt, Choba. The team met Mrs Franebi Okoko, Mother of the departed, promising Keniebi and Prof Okoko, in what was a very solemn interaction that underlined the depth of the loss. The living room where the interaction took place, had several prominent Ijaw personalities present including Rear Admiral Promise Fingesi rtd, Chief Chris Youdeowei, his wife among others. The group led by Amaopusenibo Bobo Brown presented a condolence letter to Prof Okoko and expressed their sadness over the tragic death of Kenebi, assuring him of support all the way.
Leader of the team, Amaopusenibo Sofiri Bobo Brown who spoke after the visit noted that, ‘Our people know good leadership. When you serve our people to bring hope to them, when you give our people a horizon that lifts them, they are with you to the end. What we have seen here is that Ijaw people are with their leaders to the end and it’s very comforting for us”.
The IPA team included Mr. Dennis Banigo, Dr.Ibinabo Ishmael, Ms. SolariInkoTariah, Ms. Ibiba DonPedro , Prof Victor Dappa, Ms. Irene Jumbo , Mr.TomInko Tariah, Victor Richard and Dr. Andrew Warri. A team from the Ijaw Youth Council Eastern Zone led by its Acting Chairman James Tobin, was part of the delegation.