Pomp and Pageantry On Display As Former Petroleum Minister, Edmund Daukoru, Marks 80th Birthday

By Kemi Yesufu

Former minister of State Petroleum, Dr. Edmund Daukoru harvested the tremendous goodwill he enjoys when he celebrated his 80th birthday with a lavish reception and the launch of two books.

The books chronicled the contributions of the former Secretary-General of OPEC and one-time Nigerian Minister of Energy (Petroleum & Power), held at the Congress Hall Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Thursday.

Several traditional rulers joined the crème of society to celebrate one of their own as Dakoru is the Amanyanabo of Nembe Kingdom of Bayelsa State (MINGI XII). It was indeed a kaleidoscope of Nigeria’s vibrant and deeply rooted cultures at the birthday celebration of the retired technocrat turned distinguished traditional ruler.

Chairman of the occasion and brother monarch to the celebrant, Amanyanabo of Opobo, Dr.  Dandeson Douglas Jaja welcomed guests to the occasion after the grand entrance of King Dakoru and his wife, Queen Gladys. King Jaja’s speech which came after the opening prayer by President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev Daniel Okoh, saw him eulogising the celebrant, saying he is a reliable friend and ally. He further described him as a great achiever and erudite scholar, who served Nigeria and the global community meritoriously.

He said: “Our celebrant is a friend you can depend on and a man of deep contemplation. He knows how to cultivate friendships, a very dependable ally”.

Giving his goodwill message, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, described King Dakoru as a global citizen produced by Nigeria. He expressed delight at the large turnout of guests, especially traditional rulers who came from different parts of the country to honour their colleague. “The Presence of all of us here, shows who MINGI is to us”, the Sultan said. He went further to define Dakoru as man of many parts and an upright person.

On his part, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi dubbed King Dakoru a citizen of the universe, reiterating that the massive turnout of guests as well as the presence of many traditional rulers speaks volumes. He got his Nembe colleague to stand up to greet traditional rulers at the event, saying, “You are the celebrant today, but please stand up and look to your left, right and behind, to see prominent royal fathers from the southern and northern part of the country. If you look, you will see that truly; you are a unifier. These traditional rulers left all their kingdoms to celebrate you. If you look all around you will see that, this is Nigeria”.  

  A book on the biography of the celebrant was unveiled, and was reviewed by Prof. Sylvester Odion Akaine- Professor of Political Science, Lagos State University.

The cutting of the birthday cake by the celebrant, his wife, the Sultan, Ooni and other dignitaries was supervised by former Head of Service, Ama Pepple.  This is while the birthday toast was conducted by a representative of wealthy businessman and founder of Platinum Petroleum,  Dumo Lulu Briggs.

A roll call of dignitaries at the event include, Governor Diri Douye who was represented by his  commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. David Alagoa, the Attah of Igala, Matthew Opaluwa, former Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, Etsu of Nupe Yahaya Abubakar, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, Amanyanabo of Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, Eze Joseph Nwabueke, chairman of the Abia State Traditional Rulers Council. Former governor of Rivers State, Rufus Ada –George, Emir of Arungungu, Ismaila Mohammed , former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Godknows Igali were also in attendance at the event anchored my ace compere, Dayo Bemjamins-Laniyi and Sir Dave Banigo.

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