‘A Third Party Has Not Settle Querrel For Us In Our Marriage Of Over 40years’ – Octogenarian
Pa (Evang.) Emmanuel Odushu, the Ibeokosuwei (eldest man) of Furupagha clan in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, recently marked his birthday. In this interview with Info Daily in his Eku residence, Delta State, the Preacher of Church of Christ reveals the secret behind his smooth and crises-free marriage of over 4 decades. The Octogenarian also speaks on some impasse in his clan, the need for the clan and the entire Ijaw nation to speak in unison.
Que: Your name, sir?
My name is Emmanuel Odushu, I am a preacher of the Church of Christ and by God’s grace the Ibeokosuwei (eldest man) of Furupagha clan.
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Que: You marked your birthday of recent, how old are you, sir?
Last December 22, 2019, I marked 82 years stay on earth.
Que: How is the journey so far as an Octogenarian?
Well, I was born into a fairly comfortable family. Comfortable in the sense that my mother was averagely well to do woman, she was the one who was training me. The most unfortunate part of it however was, April 22, 1963 my father died but I still had the hope that my mother was alive, then I was in class 4 in Ondo Boys High School. So, September 30th my mother died also hence I became a full orphan within few months; my life was turned upside down. Then during that period, I thought all hope was lost. But my elder sister whom I called my mother, Binigbolo Ekpelese (popularly known as Iye) took up the challenge, she was the one who stood by me for me to able to complete my course, that is my secondary education in Ondo Boys High School in 1964. Since then Life became unpleasant; I traveled from one place to another; I sought help from my people. In 1965 I had the opportunity to write an examination, that is, police exam at Akure, that was when police was police. I was to be trained as Inspector Cadre, there after I was to go for training in abroad for nine months and back to Nigeria for another nine months training. But that period they demanded money, 30 pounds. My sister whom I call my mother was sick, she was at Ofunuama, present Edo State. Then no body to render that help because she was down with sickness. A uncle of mine had the money at that time. I approached him to render the assistance; many people even begged him to render that assistance to me but the question he called me to ask was that, if I become policeman and subsequently a big man would I bear his name, that was a set back in my life, I could not help it so I traveled to Akure. It was in my presence that those to be recruited were driven out to Lagos to attend the only police college, Ikeja, Lagos as at then. I became upset, in fact, I did not know what to do, committing some atrocities even came to my mind at then. Along the line I became more or less a wanderer; I traveled to Ibadan and later to Lagos and finally in January 1st 1967, I left Ebijaw my own town with nothing for Delta State, then it was Bendel State. I went to my uncle, K.D. Muje’s place, there I remained with him but he did not threat me the way he ought to have treated me. This was the time Gof now metamorphosed to Chevron just started operation, I would have worked there but he never gave me the room or opportunity though he was closed to the secretary of the company; just a recommendation would have secured me a job. So, I stayed with him, I became servant to his wife; I was selling for her, doing all the home) chore. From the beginning I put my trust in God, so along the line, one night, one Mr Hoark was coming to Oghara, I was writing letter for them because I was little educated. So, I was taken to Sapele at Job’s place who happens to be my uncle. That was another breakthrough for me. So, I was with Job for some time. I later went to Warri and came back, and finally, along the line I settled in Warri. I was in Warri, and being that NPA was John Holt, I worked there. As I was passing through all these unpleasant situations, for no cause they said I should go on time off, so I went. And later when I resume they said somebody has taken my place, I became annoyed to an extent that the little pay-off they offered me I rejected it. When I left there I did not know where I was going but I left. So, I was curious in so many things. Then one day, one Preacher of Church of Christ, Vincent Oritsejolomi was preaching. That day, my aim was to go there and disgrace him because we see those people as troublesome. So, I went there to ask him some questions in a way to disgrace and redicule him but to my surprise, the answers he gave bounced back on me. This is how, not too long, I became a christian. When I became a christian, I became inquisitive of many things. So, not quite long, a letter came from Ibadan that they need some young persons to be trained as preachers and that was how I left Warri without hope though the preacher gave me 3 pounds then. I went to Ibadan in 1970. I was there for two years, after which I became a preacher. While from then till date I am still a preacher.
Que: Do you mean your highest academic qualification is High School with this Queen English you speak?
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No. I later did correspondence from Manchester University where I had diploma in business English with distinction. This gave room and effectiveness in my work as preacher. So, in 1980 letter came that they needed teachers. One of my friends told me I should apply. I went there to apply, that same day I was interviewed and given appointment as an English master, and I taught in the school for good four years, here in Eku, Delta State. I pulled my weight in the teaching job. I tried to learn how to write lessonnote. Diligence in my work earned me a kind of regards and respect. But a time came they planned to flush out auxillary teachers from the system, you know they called us auxillary teachers. I therefore made up my mind that I was not going to wait till they sack me, so I volunterily tender my resignation before the plan came to materialisation. This is how I left teaching job and face my preaching job squarely.
Que: You have been married for the past four decades but your marriage still remains untact. What are/is the secret?
You see, there’s God’s guidance. I think God really guided me in making choice for life partner. If I start narrating how many girls I wanted to marry that turned me down even from my place alone, they are over 15. All came with one excuse or the other, and myself too being someone who come from averagely well-to-do family, I have my standard, so some felt Emma was to proud. So, finally I left home, my clan Furupagha without the hope of marrying. And where I was, I was just myself until my wife came my way. I did not struggle for my wife but the good relationship I had with her brothers and sisters earned her to me. And one funniest thing, the wife I am marrying, her father and my cousin, Ebaje are of the same father. My wife was so attractive that there was interior motives to take her way but her elder brother, Smart Ogoba worked with me to make sure I take her as wife because he so much loved me. So, after getting married to my wife Queen, it was as if my life was remolded. We had nothing. We started with six spring-bed which was even gifted to us by one Suliamon. Later, I became okay after marrying her. We struggled together in the sense that there’s nothing I did not do in Eku, here. Here in Eku, I learned how to carve canoe; here my wife learn how to farm, we struggled, even after bearing our children, we only managed with them. The most secretive but interesting thing is that, we have not one day querrel for third party to settle. It is only God that thought us this secret. We were in the house which was exposed to the public but they did not one day hear us exchanging words at the top of our voice. When we had little disagreement, If I talk and my wife fails to respond I know someone is coming and we will keep quiet as my wife get up to usher the person in. And that will be the end of the misunderstanding. I guess my wife thought within herself that if we querrel and somebody come to hear about it, we will be a laughing stock. When I talk in anger and she refuses to talk and I notice it, I too will become silence. Besides, my wife do not sit in the sitting room to put mouth when I have visitor or have a crucial discussion with a visitor. In fact, she will get up and leave the sittingroom immediately someone comes in. A times, I will be the one to ask her to sit with us, even with that she will not utter a word in our discussions except I ask her to contribute. I did not subject her to this but I think it is how she was brought up. This and many humble character from my wife have made God help us and we have been managing ourselves. For the past 40years I have not taken my wife to my family in order for them to settle misunderstanding for us neither has she reported me to her family for them to come and talk to me in missunderstanding.
What is your advice as an experienced man in marriage to young couples and those aspiring to go into marriage soon?
My advice to them is to seek for the type of person they want to marry. The time I wanted to marry my wife, I found out that the family was a lovely one, this I know due to my closeness with her brothers. I really love the family, so I decided to go to the family for negotiation and it was not a difficult something. They did the work the more for me. Smart Ogoba, Wilson Ogoba, etc were all working for me because they all love me. I was taken as a member of the family even before I married my wife. I was at home when I was told that they wanted to force her to another husband. So, one of her sister came to me to advise me to go and take her away before they give her out to another man. So, I think within myself that how do I go to Escavos, Benikrukru to be precise to take her. So, Igbẹkẹle went there and sought for her but unfortunately she was already in Warri. Later we got her at her brother’s home Smart and that one said she should go with us, and that’s how we got married. In essence to have a successful marriage, you must know at least little about your partner. I know God factor is there but you must know him/her; know at least little about the family background, know her or his people, ask questions. I actually know my wife through her family background and not her per se. I was after my wife elder sister because I was just looking inwardly to the family and not individual, but that one said she was going to school, so I went after my present wife and the family became interested. All I was looking was the family and not individual. The family is a nice and interesting to be with. My candid advice for anyone intending to marry is find out! I am not saying you should consult oracle but find out and try to study the background of the person. I made up my mind that if I marry from the Ogoba’s family I will be at home, and this is how I married from there and have peace of mind. If youths follow all these pieces of advice, all the breakups we are seeing in marriages will be minimised. Once again, I advise that let anyone aspiring to marry look very well before he or she steps in. To those who are already married, they should see themselves as one, this is what the bible says. God does not make mistake in the book of Ephesians 5 when he first address the woman. He said wife submit yourself to your husband for the husband is the head of the family. If the wife will accept that the husband is the head of the family, her head and her ruler, there will be peace in the home. Along the line if the wife submit herself I believe the husband is under bound to love her. My wife submit herself to me and I love her. When we got married, my first admission was that she is part of me, my problem becomes her problem, her problem becomes mine. No money, but peace in the home, we have it.
As the Ibeokosuwei of your clan, are you satisfied with happenings over there?
It is true that I am the Ibeokosuwei (eldest man) of Furupagha clan or kingdom. Furupagha is my kingdom. Presently what I am seeing is no supposed be; I am not happy and the struggle of putting things right is what I am on till tomorrow. We do not need the supremacy tussle, what we need is unity as one family that is not large. I am working assiduously that we come together. I want my people to come and reason together because we are so few yet we her divided and scattered. Divided we fall, united we stand. I am seriously working towards unity of the clan. We do not once again need the supremacy tussle. Right from the onset, Ebijaw as be the head communities in the Ondo State axis of the clan. In the past, any case from that axis of the clan was brought to Ebijaw for settlement by Pa Muje As the head of the clan in Ondo State axis.The way we are living is not to my taste as the eldest man there. I want us to speak same one voice) and chart a course that there will be no division among us, these are my prayers.
What would you piriotise or place as priority if you are given opportunity to stay for another 50years?
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Well, what I will do if given opportunity to stay for another 50years is to follow steps I have taken I feel are right though they may not be right to some people. I will make sure I work out the unity of my people and the Ijaw nation at large. I will want to see that we speak unison. One thing is, if I am able to put my side aright, the Ijaw nation will welcome us. Let’s not talk about 50 years, if I am given opportunity to stay for the next 10 years, I will do more. I will make sure my people are united. It is when we as a clan and as Ijaw nation unite that the deserved recognition will be given to us. My priority for the Ijaw nation is that we should be known as be in the forefront of the decision making of this nation.
Court Admits In Evidence Two Video Clips Supporting Obi’s Petition
The Presidential Election Petition Court admitted in evidence two video clips tendered by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in aid of his petition challenging the conduct and outcome of the February 25 presidential election.
At the resumed hearing on Friday evening, the petitioners, through their counsel, Jubril Okutekpa, SAN, informed the court that they had subpoenaed Channels Television to produce the recordings contained in two flash drives.
Okutekpa disclosed that two separate subpoenas, dated May 30 and June 6, were served on the TV station, which he said sent one of its staff members, to tender the requested evidence.
Justice Haruna Tsammani-led’s five-member panel admitted the subpoenas in evidence and marked them as Exhibits PBH-1 and PBH-2.
One of the flash drives is said to carry video clips of an interview that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmoud Yakubu granted before the general elections, where he assured that the results of the election would be electronically transmitted in real-time.
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The other contains a press conference by a national commissioner of the commission, Festus Okoye, who reiterated the commitment of the body to electronically transmit the results.
In a move to present the content of the video clips in the open court, a senior reporter and editor at Channels TV, Lucky Obese-Alawode, was summoned to the witness box.
However, the respondents in the petition vehemently opposed the move by the petitioners.
Counsel to President Bola Tinubu, Akin Olujinmi, SAN, queried the competence of the witness on the grounds that his statement was not filed alongside the petition.
Relying on Paragraphs 4 (5) and (6) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2022, Tinubu’s lawyer argued that the law is clear that a petition must be filed within 21 days after the declaration of the result of an election.
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He contended that the petitioners ought to have attached all the necessary documents as well as the list of witnesses they would call in support of their case at the time the petition was filed.
“A petition which fails to comply shall not be accepted, that is what the law says. My lords, it was after the proceeding started today that the statement of this witness was served on us.
“This is over three months after the declaration of the result of the election was made.
“This witness was not listed by the petitioners, and his statement was not attached to the petition. To that extent, he is not a competent witness who can testify before this court,” Tinubu’s lawyer insisted.
He contended that the petitioners were aware that they would rely on the said video recordings, at the time they filed the petition, yet did not attach it to the list of their documents.
Aligning with the disapproval by Olujimi, SAN, the INEC, through its lawyer, Kemi Pinhero, SAN, argued that Obi and LP should have listed the proposed evidence in their petition.
However, counsel for the petitioners, Okutekpa, SAN, contended that the witness was competent enough to testify as the subpoena was an order of the court that he had no command over.
The objections, notwithstanding, the panel admitted the two flash drives in evidence and marked them as Exhibits PBH-3 and PBH-4.
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Again, when the counsel to the petitioners applied for the contents of the flash drives to be played in the open court, the respondents disagreed except for the electoral commission which was indifferent.
Olujimi maintained that his client was not served with any copy of the flash drive.
He further stated that playing the video clips without his clients’ foreknowledge of their content could rob them of the right to a fair hearing.
He said, “This case is not hide and seek. We are entitled to be served with a copy so that we can know the content and be able to prepare. Until we are served, we will oppose allowing it to be played.”
On his part, the counsel for the All Progressives Congress, Solomon Umoh, SAN, said it would amount to an ambush for the petitioners to play the content of the flash drives without first serving the same on the respondents.
Ruling on the matter, the chairman of the five-man panel, Justice Tsammani, held that the position of the respondents is not prejudiced against playing the video clips but on their non-service beforehand.
However, for time constraints, Tsammani adjourned the matter to Saturday afternoon, June 10, for the video clips to be played in the open court.
10th NASS: South-West Caucus Writes PDP, Demands Minority Leader Position
Members-elect of the House from the South-West geopolitical zone on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have demanded the position of Minority Leader in the coming 10th National Assembly.
The PDP caucus urged the national leadership of the opposition party to take the position from the South-South to the South-West.
The South-West caucus made the demand in a letter to the National Working Committee of the PDP, through the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Umar Damagum, dated June 9, 2023, a copy of which our correspondent obtained on Friday.
It was titled ‘Appeal for Your Intervention on the Zoning of the Position of Minority Leader in the 10th Assembly of House of Representatives.’
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The members-elect wrote, “We, the undersigned, being elected members of the House of Representatives from the South-West zone of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wish to respectfully invite Your Excellency to intervene on the issue of the zoning of the Minority Leader in the 10th Assembly, which is due for inauguration on Tuesday 13th June, 2023.
“Your Excellency will note that the position of the Minority Leader in the 8th and 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives was occupied by the Rt. Hon. Leo Ogor and Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, respectively, who were both from the South-South zone of the country. This is a cumulative period of eight successive years.
“We wish to also draw your attention to an agreement among members-elect of the minority caucus of the House of Representatives that the position of the Minority Leader should be ceded to the Southern part of the country for the next Assembly. It is, therefore, our considered view that in the interest of fairness, equity and justice, the South-West should be duly considered to fill this position of Minority Leader in the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives. Apart from fulfilling the core values of inclusiveness and justice which our Party is noted for, this will also greatly boost the morale of our party members and help in the strengthening of our party in the zone and the country at large.
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“We assure Your Excellency and the entire leadership of our continuous loyalty and commitment to the growth, stability and progress of the Peoples Democratic Party. We thank you most sincerely for your support and pray that the Almighty God continues to guide you in the discharge of your responsibilities. Please, see the attached list of signatories to this very important request.”
NLC Vows To Fight Against “Black Market” Court Injunctions
The Nigeria Labour Congress, Friday night said it would no longer respect “black market” court injunctions. The congress said this following a recent court injunction obtained by the Federal Government to stop the organised labour from going on a strike to protest the removal of fuel subsidy.
The union in a statement signed by its national president, Joe Ajaero said, “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are concerned by the frequent issuance of ex-parte injunctions restraining us from lawfully protesting against negative policies of government or employers in exercise of our right as contained in the provisions of ILO Conventions, Trade Union Act, Trade Dispute Act, the 1999 Constitution, the African Charter on Human Rights and other legal instruments.
“The latest of these injunctions was the order made by Honourable Justice O.Y. Anuwe in Suit No: NICN/ABJ/158/2023 between the Federal Government of Nigeria & Anor Vs. Nigeria Labour Congress & Anor. on the 5th day of June 2023 restraining NLC from protesting against the massive increase in the pump price of pms. We consider the frequency of these orders against the Congress an abuse and a violation of the pronouncement of the Supreme Court against frivolous use of ex parte.
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“More importantly, we consider these injunctions a violation of the extant laws aforementioned as well as an infringement of our right to lawful assembly and free speech.We are similarly concerned by the conduct of pliant Judges who often bend backward to accommodate the whims and caprices of the executive branch of government by way of granting frivolous injunctions which we shall hereinafter refer to as black market injunctions.
“We must warn that black market injunctions constitute inherent and present danger to the image of the judiciary as the judiciary risks being ignored. Given our experience, the greatest threat to the judiciary comes from within the judiciary by way of some compromised Judicial Officers.
“We are sounding a note of warning that any further black market or jankara injunction will not be respected by us. To show our capacity and resolve, we will show active resistance by picketing such a court.
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“We are also letting the public know that we have taken precipitate steps to vacate the extant injunction in question by briefing our lawyers.
“We wish to warn that when the citizenry lose faith in the judiciary, the probability of resorting to self-help could be quite high with unpredictable consequences.In light of these, we are calling on the Supreme Court and indeed NJC to speedily deal with erring Judges who issue frivolous injunctions.”
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