By Abel Kolawole
Commissioner for Special Duties in Delta State and Public Relations Officer, PRO, of Ugborodo Community Trust, Mr Mofe Pirah, in this interview, speaks on his reappointment by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and how to achieve lasting peace in the community.Mr. Mofe Pirah
How do you feel being reappointed?
Let me first thank the governor graciously for reconsidering me to be part of his government. It shows he wants me to be part of his government for eight years. It is not that I am the best, but I am a consistent and stable character. I understand and believe in the vision and mission of the governor.
Maybe he saw that I supported him a lot. I am the only Commissioner, who is going doing a third consecutive term in the Delta State Executive Council. I was first appointed by ex-governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Surprisingly, your latest appointment came against wrangling and allegations against you, especially from dissenting voices in Ogidigben where you hail from. Why the disconnect between you and your people?
I don’t have a disconnect with my Ogidigben brothers and sisters. Social media is a place where big boys hire little boys to blackmail people. If you watched, when the propaganda came that I was given a road contract and embezzled the funds, I never said a word.
They went further by saying that I was lobbying to be reappointed. They even said that heads must roll. I still didn’t glorify the blackmailers with any response. They are political detractors. I won’t mention names, but people know who is sponsoring them and what reward they derive from that.Also read: Blackhouse Media’s Ayeni, Viacom’s Okosi become fellows of Nigerian Institute of Marketing
Just before the governor reappointed you, your name had been listed, particularly as PRO, among a new Ugborodo Community Trust. Is it still ideal you occupy both offices?
Some people will say that Mofe Pirah went to lobby. Some said I stooped low by accepting to be the PRO of Ugborodo Community. First, I never lobbied for any position. My community (Ogidigben) came to me to discuss the critical issue. They said that while Ugborodo Interim Management Committee, UIMC, lasted, Ogidigben was shortchanged in all their activities.
As a result, the community needed a representative who can match the calibre of people at the executive level of the Trust to be constituted. I didn’t see my reappointment as commissioner coming. What is the job of a Public Relations Officer in an organisation? I am not the Secretary or chairman.
How about looking at it from the point of conflict of interests?
If Ugborodo Community is coming to deal with the Delta State Government where I am commissioner, I can excuse them, but mainly, they are going to be dealing with Chevron, NDDC, Shell, Agip, NNPC, Niger Delta Ministry and sundry stakeholders. The community needs people like us with a good pedigree to be in meetings to interact with these critical organisations. The community needs people in my calibre to introduce ourselves in such meetings.
Talking of credibility, how credible is the new Community Trust?
If I say that I am satisfied with the way the new Trust was constituted, I am deceiving you, but remember, the Olu of Warri has visited the Governor of Delta State to inform him that a new Ugborodo Community Trust has been constituted. Who am I to challenge what the Olu endorsed? I have no such powers.
I dare say, however, that the new Trust Chairman, who was also UIMC chairman must consult critically with key stakeholders and determine, how we can get out of the imbroglio. That is when some of us would offer suggestions on the way forward. I don’t want to see Ugborodo going back to the trenches anymore.
It is a disgrace that the previous management committee chaired by Austin Oborogbeyi mislead the community.