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Reuben Okoya: The new dawn in Bayelsa politics

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One man that is making a grand entry into the political turf of Bayelasastate is Reuben Okoya; and his antecedents are speaking volumes for him in the firmament of the volatile politics of his state. His entry into the gubernatorial contest has just suddenly altered the political calculations in the state of “glory of all land.” And like an eagerly-awaited breath of fresh air, Architect Reuben Okoya, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Commissioner for Special Duties and Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC,) is stealing the political show, as he is now the toast of all who matter in the politics of Bayelsa State.

For one, Okoya has an edge over others who are similarly jostling for the throne. And that is his ability to combine the wisdom of the elders with the dynamism of the youths, which is obviously lacking in most of those parading themselves to take a shot at the Bayelsa government house. Yet others who share his political philosophy believe that Okoya if given the chance will bring into the state’s governance; creativity, innovation, style, patience and commitment, the qualities for which he has been credited with while superintending over political offices in the past.

A deft manager of human and material resources, the architect and scion of the late monarch HRM Ezekiel Okoya of Ekpetiama is today canvassing a new approach to addressing issues of under-development and injustice in the Niger Delta, which his people have been subjected to over the years but which when tackled in a number new ways would spur growth in the oil-rich region and bring about better life for the people. Speaking at the recent 2019 Isaac Boro Day anniversary and wreath-laying ceremony for the late icon of struggle, at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, Okoya, a popular philanthropist, said the time had come for fresh perspectives to be adopted in tackling youth restiveness and related issues in the region, while he urgingthe Ijaws, especially the youths, to acquire more education in order to deepen the struggle for fairness and equity.

Okoya, a leading contender for the PDP governorship ticket in the state, said through proper communication and display of intellectualism the Ijaw people could get the understanding of others and attract attention to their sufferings and general under- development of their land. Commending Boro for his sacrifice for the Ijaw nation, he said that people had at some point resorted to armed struggle, but it was important and more effective to fight with the brain using the tool of communication and engagement, noting that every war has always ended on the round table through superior arguments. The PDP stalwart said Nigeria’s well-being has and is still depended on the crude oil in the Niger Delta, and called for dialogue and education in order to convince other ethnic groups that the indigenes of the region should get more benefits. Arc. Rueben Okoya is a 1978 alumnus of University of Oklahoma, USA, where he bagged a bachelor’s of science in Environmental Design (BSED), and a master of Architecture (M. Arch) from Florida A and M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USAin 1984.

He is a member of Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and American Institute of Architects (AIA). He comes from the illustrious family of Late His Royal Majesty Ezekiel Pappah Okoya of Bumoundi in Ekpetiama Clan, the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama kingdom and late Mrs. Sussanah Okoya of the eminent family of Chief Michael EnguleSoba of Igbedi, both of Bayelsa State. He is a devout Christian with true greatness wrapped in humility, simplicity and strong unshakable faith in the will of God. Arc., Okoya is happily married to Natalie, who is also a technocrat, they are blessed with lovely children. With his ‘’ROK” Foundation, he has always been given to the less-privileged in the society. In his benevolence, hundreds of people (individuals and families) across the nation have received sundry cash and material donations since 2003. His passion is to reach out to a greater number of people, who are in dare need for assistance, and that has been the fore focuses on meeting the various needs of the people in Nigeria beginning with Bayelsa State.

Reuben Okoya (ROK) Foundation strives to ensure a better quality of life for the people by organizing valuable outreach programs that positively impact and contribute to their economic well-being.

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ENTERTAINMENT

I’m hale and hearty, Nollywood actor Chiwetalu Agu debunks rumour

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I'm hale and hearty, Nollywood actor Chiwetalu Agu debunks rumour

Veteran Nollywood actor Chiwetalu Agu has opened up on a viral reports that he is sick and in need of money and prayer to aid his recovery.

Few days ago, a photo of a frail looking Chiwetalu Agu surfaced on the internet, with his numerous fans in Ghana and Nigeria questioning what could be wrong with him.

But Agu, on his Instagram page rubbished such report, saying that he is hale and hearty.

He urged his teeming fans to disregard any foolish Facebook post by anybody that he was sick and in need of money.

According to him, he is in perfect condition and did not need the help of anybody.

“Good morning my people ❤️ Please disregard any foolish post on Facebook by anybody saying am SICK and SOLICITING for MONEY, I’m in a perfect good health condition.

“I will never ask anybody for A DIME neither am I on FACEBOOK,” he said.

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Popular Nollywood actor dies in hotel room

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Popular Nollywood actor dies in hotel room

A popular Nollywood actor, Frank Dallas is dead.

The Witness learned that Dallas died on Wednesday, February 19 in his hotel room in Abia State, southeast Nigeria while attending a summit.

Reacting to the death, the President of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeja Rollas, declared three days of mourning and prayers across all state chapters of the guild.

In a statement released on its Instagram page by the Guild’s PRO Monalisa Chinda-Coker, the AGN said it has cancelled all official activities for three days in honour of the popular Nollywood actor.

The statement reads as thus; “With heart full of sorrow, we announce the sudden death of the immediate past National PRO of GNU, Frank Dallas Ebulukwu.

“The National President of AGN, Ejezie Emeka Rollas has declared three days of National mourning and prayers accross all State Chapters including FCT Abuja.’

“In view of this, all official activities of the Guild at all levels are hereby cancelled for three days.

“State Chapter Chairmen are instructed to open condolence register in his honour from Monday, 24/02/2020.

“Monthly meeting for February is dedicated to mourning and prayers. We shall be guided accordingly while we await further directives and burial arrangements from the family. May his gentle Soul rest in peace,” the statement added.

Also reacting, another Nollywood actor, Charles Inojie, paid his tribute to Dallas on his Instagram page, writing that: “Nollywood has lost a crowd in one man… FRANK DALLAS… the effervescent spirit! Rest in peace bro”

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Gospel music sensation, Philadelphia Kes speaks on her new single “He Came Through”

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Gospel music sensation, Philadelphia Kes speaks on her new single "He Came Through"
Philadelphia Kes

Philadelphia Kes speaks on her new single “He Came Through”.

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If there is one act that is waiting to explode in the Nigerian music industry, it is Philadelphia Ekesiena with the stage name Philadelphia Kes. The young dynamic and creative gospel artiste is gradually carving a niche for herself as one upwardly-mobile singer with potentials to be great. Her latest single ‘He Came Through’ is is testimony to this.

In this interview with select journalists in Lagos including The Witness JULIUS AKPOVIRE ENYEH, the Delta-born talks about her love for gospel music, growing up and the next big step for her. Read on.

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Tell us more about yourself?

I’m Philadelphia Ekesiena, but my stage name is Philadelphia Kes. I originally come from the southern part of Nigeria, Delta State to be precise. I had my B.Sc from international economics at the Ternopil National Economic University, Ukraine in 2015.

I love good music, fashion, intellectual conversations and honest people. When I’m not singing, I’m surely checking out new fashion styles, trends and all. I have five siblings and I’m the third of six children.

 

How did you start singing?

I literary grew up in church, joined the children’s choir at a very tender age and became one of the best at the time. While in high school, I still kept at it and during university days was when I knew singing was my thing and decided to do it for real.

 

Do you play any instruments?

Not at all.

 

What inspired the title of your song, “He Came Through”?

There was a time in my life where depression, regular mood swings were the order of the day. Then my cousin came up with the song and we co-wrote it; and that was how I was able to really express myself through the lyrics of the song.

 

Gospel music sensation, Philadelphia Kes speaks on her new single "He Came Through"

Philadelphia Kes

 

How long did it take to write and produce the song?

It took about five years because we had the song since my university days and decided to revamp it four years after graduation.

 

This is a single. Do you intend to make a complete album so soon?

Yes of course, a couple of other songs are cooking already.

 

What are your challenges as a gospel artiste and how do you cope with them?

Really, it’s not easy putting out good music I mean the whole process of producing, engineering, promoting. Having to keep up with the financial commitments has been a major challenge but somehow God makes a way and things are sorted.

 

What other talents do you have outside music?

I’m very good with clothes, fashion generally such that I have plans to set up a fashion outfit soonest.

 

Do you have any role models either in the gospel genre or music generally?

Yes I do, I love Maranda Curtis, when I grow up I want to be like her. I love Efe Nathan as well, her vocal strength is one which I covet. So I keep working hard every day.

 

How far do you intend to go in the music industry?

Own or co-own a record label someday where I can sign upcoming artistes to relief them from some of the stress I’m passing through now and music making becomes easier and fun-filled.

 

What informed your choice of gospel music over secular?

I grew up in church and gospel music is everything I’ve known as a child up until now even though I’m a wide listener and I listen to diverse genres. So yeah, the love for gospel came naturally.

 

What’s your assessment of gospel music in Nigeria?

Gospel music in Nigeria is still growing; it’s got a lot of potential even across West Africa and the entire world.

What we have so far are a lot of very talented gospel artistes but need help in the area of awareness, promotion, distribution and production.

Oh, you guys are doing that already by exposing me so you need to do that a lot more for others. Radio stations, TV stations and others like that… media houses need to promote us more. That way we will get the maximum coverage. We need exposure; so yeah it’s coming up and we’ve got room to improve but we are doing well.

 

What gives you joy?

Good music, achieving a set goal, and a couple of other things I can’t mention here.

 

Gospel music sensation, Philadelphia Kes speaks on her new single “He Came Through”

Philadelphia Kes

Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time when you thought of doing something completely different?

Well, as a child I did music for fun, I didn’t think of becoming a professional someday but I kept sharpening up the craft. It was when I went to the university to study and someday become an economist that I realised that my love for music is beyond just doing it for fun and that I’d like to do it full time, so my undying love for music inspired my decision to go into it fully.

 

What turns you off?

Lies, deceit, bad smell.

 

What are the things you won’t be caught doing?

Lying, backbiting, extortion.

 

The gospel music industry is a bit overcrowded. How do you intend to stand out?

I have a sound I’m set to project, I want to be as original as possible, with that I’m sure I’ll stand out and in turn break even.

 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself proclaiming the name of Jesus around the world and anywhere my feet step on. I’m sold out to making Jesus famous through my songs as that’s the whole essence of salvation.

 

You are beautiful; tell us about your ideal man?

Thank you. He has to be God-fearing, intelligent and tall.

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