My family and l have received with great pain and total shock, news of the passing into glory of our brother, friend and political associate, Pastor Keniebi Okoko, which sad event occurred in Lagos on 14th April, 2020. Though he was only 42 years, we join to submit to the will of God.
Our hearts go out to his dear wife and children, as well as our leader and father, Prof Kimse Okoko and his wife as well as Keniebi’s siblings and the rest of the wider Okoko family. We also remember his family in the Lord of Salvation Ministries, in particular, Papa David Ibiyeomie. Our prayers are with you all at this time of unimaginable grief. May God’s own comfort and healing balm, give you the strength and consolation.
We also send our words if commiserations to the people of Obunagha Community and the wider Gbarain Kingdom as well as the Governor, Government and people of Bayelsa State and Ijaw nation. No doubt, we have lost one of our most valuable sons. A shinning star has exited rather too soon. May God grant the fortitude to forge ahead.
Keniebi meant many things to different people and we cannot forget his friends, aides, business partners, employees, political associates and followers, etc. May God grant your hearts peace at this time.
Shortly after we got into UNIPORT in 1977 as pioneer students and the Okoko family just returned from Canada, we saw Keniebi’s birth and growth to become one of the most outstanding and accomplished Nigerians of our time. God’s grace was obviously upon his brief life and whatever he laid his hands to do prospered.
He was a devoted Man of God, a well educated mind, a greatly creative and innovative entrepreneur, a generous and public spirited person and a charismatic leader of men.
At a young age, he ventured into and weathered the Oil industry, which many other Niger Deltans have been excluded. He emerged very successful to God’s glory.
On a personal experience, as Federal Permanent Secretary for Power, l was overwhelmed with joy when he informed me of his decision to bid for the newly completed 220 MW Gbarain Power Plant in his community, under the Federal Government’s privatization programme. In 2014, he emerged successful in a very competitive international process, as the ‘Preferred Bidder’ (owner).
Another aspect of his life came to the fore during the 2019 Governorship Election. Although he was amongst the youngest aspirants under the PDP, he was able to put up a robust outing. He ended up as second runner up out of twenty other aspirants.
He was courageous, audacious and iconic. Clearly, he was inspiring, especially to the teeming youths of the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.
Against this backdrop, we can stare at death in the face and like Apostle Paul, boast “oh death where is your sting; oh grave where is your victory?” 1 Corinthians 15:50.
Obvious, his life’s story will be recounted for many many years to come. He lives on and will remain evergreen in the hearts of many even beyond our shores.
May his soul rest in peace with the Lord whom he passionately loved.
Amb Dr. G B Igali, OON
Ibetariowei of Izon