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Late Dr Cairo Ojougboh

By Jimitota Onoyume

Chief Dr Cairo Ojougboh was a simple man. I was a budding reporter with Urhobo Voice, a provincial newspaper in Delta state when I had my first encounter with this politician of note from the Ika speaking area of our multi ethnic state.

Cairo, did the unusual, stopped his long convoy for my sake at Eku community, Ethiope East local government. I called him on phone that morning in 2003, it was speculated that he was gunning for the coveted governorship seat of the riches oil state in sub Sahara west Africa then, Delta state.


After I introduced myself as a reporter with the Urhobo V and would want to have a media chat with him, interestingly he asked where I was and I told him I was in Eku. And his response, was heart warming for a reporter hungry for news. He said his convoy was coming from Agbor and he was around Obiaruku, headquarters of Ukwuani local government area.

As a young reporter, I had this practice of always getting set for the day before 7am, even if no assignment in view, I would just be prepared for any urgent call that could take me out. So I was already set for the day when we spoke.

I still remember, French safari suits were my favorite then because they made me look smart, enjoying acceptance within the ruling and the subject class.


I still recall, I had a Volkswagen Golf car. Since I was already set for the day, pronto, I hopped into my car , headed straight to Eku junction to wait for the guber aspirant. I called to let him know I was opposite the popular Edewor hotel then. I felt it was the appropriate landmark for him to know where I was.

I leaned on my car, clutching my Cendo phone, anxiously waiting for his call.

Suddenly, I saw a long convoy of cars driving on top speed, my instinct immediately told me to call, that it could certainly be Chief Ojougboh coming. I did, the phone rang out twice. I was already feeling downcast when my Cendo phone rang, behold it was Chief Cairo at the other end.


I still recall his words, let me paraphrase: “Where are you my brother, I slept off. I just saw your call. Let me wait for you at the secondary school by the road side”.

I knew the exact sport where he was and with the aid of my Golf car, I caught up with him in split of seconds. He obviously liked the personality he saw and he ushered me to the seat next to the executive corner in his elegant car. The convoy was still waiting. And he said he was heading to Warri for some political stuff, he would prefer I come to meet him at his residence in Agbor the following day. I alighted and waved at him, wishing him a safe trip.

The following day I was in Agbor. Chief Cairo was very receptive, gifted with oratory.


We saw again when he was Vice Chairman South south of the People’s Democratic party, PDP, at the party’s Zonal secretariat in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. This time I was the Bureau Chief ,Vanguard newspaper, Rivers state.He granted an interview on the state of his party.

My last encounter with him was when he was the Executive Director Project of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. As journalists we accompanied his team from NDDC to report his inspection of the Warri – Benin express road.

Chief Cairo Ojougboh was a simple man, he never had those artificial barriers associated with men of the ruling class.


May God grant his soul eternal rest.

From the desk of Jimitota Onoyume, JP – Journalist for the poor.