By Cleric E. Alaowei
Deacon (Barr) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro is an accomplished gentleman. He is a devotee in the house of God, a philanthropist, a servant leader who can best be described as a man before God’s heart.
These astounding qualities are traceable to his humble background, an attribute inherent in the entire Otuaro’s family. He hails paternally from Obotebe town in Burutu Local Government Area and Okerenkoko Town in Warri South-West Local Government Area all in Delta State of Nigeria. On his maternal side, he hails from Oporoza and Azama Towns all in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State of Nigeria. He was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon Burutu Otuaro at Oporoza town in Warri South-West Local Government of Delta State of Nigeria on the 16th of April, 1968.
His growing up is another centre of attraction. As a child who grew up at a shanty coastal settlement, angling at the Atlantic fringes of the Escravos River in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, whose only neighbours are the thick mangrove forests and the green coloured salt water that sparkles in the night. Otuaro’s growing up was the hallmark of decency, an epitome of perfect upbringing as he was not influenced by the antithetical verdure of the environmental melee and peer hedonism.
The lad who grew up in a terrain that was preoccupied with fishing activities; a business that was booming at that point in time, was not dissuaded from pursuing a career for himself. This was a great vision borne by his parent, Mr. Napoleon and Mrs. Pinapina Otuaro despite the excruciating environmental influence under which they brought him up.
One of the societal melees a typical Ijaw community suffered even up till date is the absence of modern education. There was hardly one functional primary school in the entire Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South (Now Warri South West) Local Government Area. This gross absence of government in the midst of the booming crude oil wealth in the area did not deterred his parent from given him qualitative education.
In the course of their determination to give him the best of qualitative education, they sent him to Benin City to acquire modern education. Kingsley Otuaro accordingly took advantage of his parents overtures. He attended Asoro Primary School, Benin City, in the former Bendel State (Now Edo State) and successfully obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in 1980. He started his secondary education at Immaculate Conception College, Benin City in the former Bendel State (now Edo State) from 1981 1983.
It was regrettable to note that the entire Western Ijaw division can hardly boast of one secondary school in all the communities. This academic barrier that was militating against the Ijaw communities in the Western Niger Delta region particularly in the former Mid-Western Region was broken by Ambrose Ali, the then Governor of Bendel State who established secondary schools for the riverine communities.
This great feat of our beloved Governor made many parents of Ijaw extraction who were spending so much money to send their children to distance places in search of academic pursuit to immediately recall them to school in their communities. In this regard, Kingsley Otuaro also left Benin City to continue his education at a neighbouring Isaba Grammar School, Isaba in the present day Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State where he successfully obtained his Senior School Certificate (SSCE) in 1985.
The need to have a secured destiny has inspired him to venture into another stage of his resolve to make life meaningful. In this wise, the young Otuaro secured a job in NISCO Nig. Limited at Jones Creek Flow Station, an oil field servicing firm to Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) Northern Swamp Operations. He secured the employment in the Company as a Technical Support Staff. He later joined Nigeria Dredging and Marine Company in Warri as a Deckhand.
Despite the influence of oil money derived from his employments, the determined Otuaro has not forgotten the importance of expanding the frontiers of his education. In this wise, he applied and got admitted into the prestigious Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma in Edo State to read law in 1995. He successfully pursued his legal career in the University and graduated in 1999/2000 academic session with a flying colour.
After taken some few years of academic recess due to the mind burgling social-political activities that has enveloped the Ijaw nation of which he was one of the key figures in the rebirth and new-found Niger Delta struggle, the prodigious Otuaro went to the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus in 2004/2005 academic session and again came out with a flying colour. He was called into the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the year 2005.
There is a biblical saying that when a man’s life pleases God, he is exalted to sit among kings and not mean men. Otuaro’s exemplary life style right from birth has earned him in different leadership positions from Community up to government circles.
At the height of the political struggle in the Niger Delta particularly at the Warri axis, there were growing demands of leadership to spare-head the intractable conundrums otherwise known as the Niger Delta struggle by the various kingdoms/communities. The situation in Okerenkoko Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State was not far from the above position and thus, Kingsley Otuaro was elected as Chairman of Okerenkoko Federated Community from 2000 2006.
While at the Community service, the iconic Otuaro also probe into the ever busy business world, an experience he garnered through contacts with the various multinationals. He was a co-promoter and one of the Directors of Bruz-Otus Nigeria Limited, an oil field servicing Company to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
Otuaro’s experiences in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas services have endeared him to yet another position in the corporate world. He was unanimously elected as the Managing Director of the Company (Bruz-Otus Nigeria Limited) in 2004.
As the saying goes “One good turn, deserves another”. The Leadership charisma he has displayed in the various capacities are something to reckon with and they have advertised him for more befitting positions. His name became a household name in leadership circle. The loudness of Kingsley Otuaro’s name in leadership charisma has reverberated not only to the length and breadth of Delta State but also to the entire Niger Delta region. Hence, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, the then Governor of Delta State found him worthy of being in his Government.
To this end, he was appointed by Governor Ibori as Special Assistance to the Governor on Community Affairs from 2005-2007. He was at the same time appointed as the Chairman of Warri Peace Accord under whose hand peace has heralded in Warri and its environs thereby bringing the once warring Ijaw, Itsekiri and Urhobo ethnic groups into the table of brotherliness to live in peace and harmony.
Also in 2008, he was appointed by Governor Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan as a member of the Delta State Technical Support Committee headed by Prof. Sam Oyovbaire. Kingsley Otuaro’s altruistic performances in the offices stated above have endeared him to be the centre of attraction in leadership consideration as it concerns government appointments. This was the driving force that has made the immediate past Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to appoint him twice as Commissioner, Representing Ijaw Nation in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) from 2011 2012 and 2012 2014.
In 2013, he established the Otuaro and Otuaro Associates, a sprawling law firm which he successfully managed as the Principal Partner from 2013 to 2014 before elected as the Deputy Governor of Delta State in 2015.
It is scriptural that when the righteous is in government, the people rejoice. No wonder the Book of Proverbs in Chapter 11: 10 said “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting ” (KJV).
Otuaro’s position as the Deputy Governor is a blessing to the people in many ways. He has dedicated his position to the service of humanity for the purpose of bettering the lots of mankind. His philanthropic services in the discharge of his duty did not only changed the fortunes of Deltans for a better living condition, he has also positively impacted in the lives of a good number of Nigerians across the Country. He can be referred by what the Book of Proverbs declared in chapter 11: 11: that By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.(KJV)…
- Cleric E. Alaowei, Esq., a public affairs analyst, writes from Eseimogbene.