Birthday Anniversary: How Bashorun ASKIA was honoured in  Asaba

-By Albert OGRAKA, Editor:

The birthday anniversary celebration of the immediate past Managing Director/CEO of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Bashorun Askia Ogieh, FCNA, CrFA on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 was glamorous and memorable, as people from all walks of life graced the epoch making event.

Goodwill messages had poured in like bees on a honeycomb and family members, friends and well wishers, including traditional rulers, religious leaders, political leaders,  chiefs and supporters thronged his premises in Asaba, venue of the celebration and same where the Delta Political Vanguard announced the first endorsement of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as chosen candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ahead of the party’s primary election.

Earlier, on that day, the family went for a thanksgiving mass to commemorate the birthday anniversary, which was followed by a special saxophonist rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song.

The ceremony which drew the presence of crème de la crème /ˌkrɛm də la ˈkrɛm/ in the society was spiced up with a live broadcast debate organized by the Bashorun Askia Foundation (BAF) on the public and private sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, the Governor of the State, had in a statement published in Blank NEWS Online, resonated the prowess of the celebrant.

In a report titled,

BIRTH ANNIVERSARY: Governor Oborevwori felicitates Bashorun Askia Ogieh

,the Governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sir Festus Ahon, described Ogieh as a leader, whose contributions to the growth and development of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is laudable.

He commended the Uzere-born leader for his unwavering commitment to the development of the Isoko nation and Delta State in general.

Governor Oborevwori said: “On behalf of my family, the Government and people of Delta State, I congratulate you on the occasion of your birth anniversary on September 12, 2023.

“Over the years, you have continued to contribute to the peace, progress and development of Delta State, as a staunch Chieftain and a leader in our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“As a quintessential politician and astute public administrator, you have rendered outstanding service to the State, having served as Chairman of the Isoko South Local Government Council and Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Delta State Chapter; Executive Director Finance and Administration (EDFA) and later as Managing Director of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

“As the Udu of Isoko nation and Odio of Uzere Kingdom, you have contributed your own quota to the growth and development of the traditional institution in the Isoko nation and Uzere Kingdom, in particular.

“As you deservedly mark this anniversary of your birth, I join your family and political associates in thanking God for a life of great and sterling accomplishments with which He has blessed you”, the governor’s message revealed.

On his part, the erstwhile Governor of Delta state, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur OKOWA,who was among first of dignitaries to arrive at the Asaba residence of Bashorun Askia, was very well at home in celebrating with a dear friend and political ally.

Okowa’s Congratulatory Message personally signed by him reads:


“On behalf of my family, I convey my warm felicitations to you on your birthday.

Occasions like this provide a good opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future with greater hope and optimism. It is also when family, friends, and colleagues can celebrate the bond that they share with you. I testify that you have been a worthy political associate – loyal, dependable, and focussed. Your passion and determination are unmistakable and have always been your cutting edge in whatever role you find yourself. I trust that God will give you more opportunities to serve our state and humanity.

As you celebrate today, I join your friends and other well-wishers to pray for God’s continued blessing, wisdom, and protection upon you and your family.

Please accept, as always, the assurances of my highest regards.”

The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Guwor Emomotimi Denis in his goodwill message CELEBRATING A RARE GEM, said,

“I wish to on behalf of my family and the Delta State House of Assembly celebrate and rejoice with you my leader and brother, Chief Bashorun Askia Ogieh, on the auspicious moment of your birthday. As you savour this moment, we give glory to the Almighty God for keeping you alive to witness this day,

Undoubtedly, you have touched lives and distinguished yourself serving in different capacities as an astute politician and consummate administrator per excellence. Certainly without doubts, you are also contributing your own quota to the progress and development of the People’s Democratic Party in particular and Delta State in general.

As you mark your birthday, I pray that the Almighty God grant you unhindered access to the glory and manifestation of your new age and the grace to celebrate many more birthdays.

Once again congratulations and happy birthday.”

An incomplete roll-call of political associates and dignitaries present at the birthday event included, Senator Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi OKOWA, Rt. Hon. Rt. Hon Guwor Emomotimi Denis, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly,

Dep. Speaker,

Pastor Michael Diden, (Ejele)

Dame Patience Okwuofu,, (Mother of Govt),

Gov. Sheriff Oborovweri, Governor of Delta State,

Hon. Mrs. Daramola, 

Chief (Sir) Monday John Onyeme, Deputy Governor,

Chief Fidelis Okenmor Tilije, State Commissioner for Finance,

Chief Patrick Ukah, Director-General, Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency (DSCTDA), Dr. Pharm. Nelson Ejakpovi, former CHAIRMAN, Governing Council, School of Health Technology, Ofuoma (DESCOHTECH), Mr. Albert Ograka, Publisher, Blank NEWS Online and many others too numerous to mention.

However, goodwill messages were received from the government of Delta state, Delta state House of Assembly, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, CON, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, CON, Chief Mrs. Grace Askia, Samurai Askia Jr. (Justice of Peace), Maj. Gen. Paul Ufuoma Omu (rtd) OFR (Othuke of Isokoland), Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu Ph. D, OON, CON, Takban Minna, Sardaunan Hausa, Senator Chief (Mrs.) Stella Omu, OON, mni, HRM Udogri 1 (JP), the Ovie of Uzere Kingdom,  HRM Pere Kalanama VIII (JP), the Pere of Akugbene-Mein Kingdom, HRM Oba Ojo Amos Idowu (Ikumoluyi V), the Alaaye of Aaye-Ekiti, His Majesty, Eze Dr. Chukwuemeka Eri, Iduu Eri Kingdom, Aguleri, Anambra state, Prince Sunday Eloho Eke, President General, Uzere Kingdom, Hon. Engr. Jonathan Ajirioghene Ukodhiko, Deputy Chairman House Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives, Isoko North/South Federal Constituency.

Others are Hon. Julius Gbabojor Pondi, Chairman House Committee on Environment, Burutu Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, Hon. Nnamdi Ezechi, Chairman House Committee on Nigeria/ South Korea Parliament, Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, Olorogun Hon. Barr. John Obukowho Nani, Chairman, Delta state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Hon. Goru Karo, Member Representing Udu, Ughelli South, Uvwie and Urhobos of Warri South on the Board of DESOPADEC, HON. HIGH CHIEF VICTOR OKEMEN EGBO M., COMMISSIONER, ISOKO ETHNIC NATIONALITY DESOPADEC, Hon. Michael Tidi, Ph.D, Chairman, Warri South local government council, Dr. James Ekerare Nemonebor, FCNA, President/Chairman of Council, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Dr. Ifeanyi M. Osuoza  for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Delta state Chapter, Amb. Dr. Comrade Lucky Shedrack Agediga, Velas Facilities Ltd., Hogh Chief Dr. Lawrence Eduje, Clan Oriya of Olomoro Kingdom, Director General HOPE ALIVE World Wide, Comr. Chief Amos Ogbokor Etaluku, President, Isoko National Youth Assembly (INYA), Worldwide, High Chief Prosper Iwoma Edo, Founder/President, Prosper Edo Empowerment Programme, Hon. Ifeanyi Eboigbe, Director General, Delta Political Vanguard, Amb. Immortal O. Efi, Chairman, Ten-Man Committee, Hon. Mrs. Blessing A. Uzoge, Vice Chairman, Isoko South LGA  and Coordinator, Market Women and Men Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ojeih Ezekiel Oghenetega, BoT Chairman, M. O. R. E Students for Sheriff 2023., Abubakar Kabir Babawo, Director General, ATIKU Support Organization, Apostle M. T. O. Oki, International President, Isoko Christian Association of Nigeria and Overseas (ICAN), Dr. Edirin Jeroh, Associate Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka, Comrade Lawson Efenudu, Dr. Christy Loromeke, Principal, Uzere Grammar School, Uzere, Comr. Blessing Ekokobe, Chairman National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Isoko South Taxi Branch, Chief Emmanuel Owigho Alighomuwu, Director General, Samuel Askia Movement, Mallam Azahidu Abdulahim, Chief Imam, Muslim Community, Isoko South, Odio Hon. Obaro Godspower, Chairman PDP, Isoko South LGA., Chief Friday Inang, President, Non-Indigene Association, Isoko South Chapter, Chief Solomon Ogba, a two-time President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

The man, BASHORUN SAMUEL ASKIA ALAGO OGIEH, By Hon. Justice Olusola Adetujoye, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria.

Life indeed is like writing a story in three parts; the beginning, middle and an end.

However, what we call the beginning is usually the end of a previous beginning, while the supposed end actually marks the beginning of yet another plot in an unending cycle of stories, often discordantly laid out in stages or phases and marked by valuable lessons.

About 50 years ago, at ISHOKUN BAPTIST DAY PRIMARY SCHOOL, OVO, OYO STATE, I was in the same class with a young, brilliant, promising, kind and handsome boy I usually made jest of his name and called him SAAMU ALAGO. We were both young and innocent with determination to make impactful futures. I remember that during examination periods we usually keenly and closely fought and contested for the 1st position, but no matter who got the 1st position, we remain very close friends. We became inseparable as we were always together both in school and after school.hours for the five years we spent together. The foundation of our friendship was solidly built on true friendhip and fear of God based on the Christian values we were raised with. We looked forward to attend the same secondary school, OLIVET BAPTIST HIGH SCHOOL, OYO but suddenly his grandma came to take him to continue his education in his hometown/region and state, we painfully lost contact. All efforts to meet again proved abortive as we both pursued our careers. Fate brought us together again some years ago and since then till now our friendship continues.

I was not surprised at his success and political trajectory having been known as an avowed progressive and indeed a man who saw tomorrow.

An auspicious occasion such as this therefore avails me the good pleasure to write this tribute, in the celebration of your Birthday, in order to let you know how much you meant to me as a friend. If anything, it could be a great understatement to describe you just as a mere friend. You are indeed a brother, as well as an inspiration. We give God all the glory for keeping us safe under His Wings for this

long, to enjoy the great blessing of having someone like you to be called my friend and brother.

I dare affirm that for the past years of your life, you have never stopped giving, caring and loving those around you. Your presence at every gathering light up the whole place, bringing not only warmth but succour to many. The plethora of tributes on your special day also confirm that you are indeed held in high esteem for your character of giving, caring, loving and compassion to profit humanity.

However, while praying for an encore of a day such as this, I pray that your life brings you so much joy and happiness as you journey on. I also pray that God blesses you again and again, with the good fortunes of this world, and may this celebration mark the very beginning of greater accomplishments in your life.

As Divine hands guide you away from the old age of your youth into the youth of your old age, it is my fervent prayer that whatever you ask may you receive, whatever you seek may you find, and whatever you wish may it be fulfilled today and always. I also wish you grace, love, respect, more honours, success, and good health for the journey ahead.

SAAMU ALAGO, I celebrate you and how far you have come and what you have become as an inspiration and role model to those who truly know you. Continue like the Diamond, sparkling and unbreakable.

Many Happy Returns!!!

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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