Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, popularly called The Peoples General, was born on the 10th day of April 1958 in Port Harcourt into the famous Ogboru Dynasty of Abraka in Delta Central and the Okolocha family of Umukwata in Delta North of Delta State.
Young Great showed exceptional traits of intelligence, industry, and leadership throughout his elementary school days in Municipal Primary School, Port Harcourt, Christian Missionaries Society (CMS) Primary School, Abraka and Local Authority (LA) (now Oharisi) Primary School, Ughelli from 1966 to 1971.
Ovedje Ogboru was admitted into the prestigious Government College, Ughelli (G CU) in 1971 and graduated in 1975. Upon completion of his studies in Government College, Ughelli, he immediately commenced work as a primary school teacher. He thought for four years in Owodoawanre Primary School, Ughelli. Within this period, he, despite serious constraints worked, very hard and earned for himself a very outstanding external Advanced Levels result.
In 1980, Great Ogboru was faced with the onerous challenges of his names. And he moved to Lagos. On the strength of his A’ Level result, he received several offers from established organizations but opted to work as a Marketing Officer in Exchange Fisheries Limited, a small fishing company based in Lagos. This ‘strange’ decision was a “necessary apprenticeship opportunity” to him. In this period of ‘apprenticeship’, he enrolled as a correspondence student to the famous Chartered Institute of Marketing, London.
In 1983, he left paid employment ventured into his own business. Banking on his uncommon sense of honesty and immense goodwill as main capitals, he established Fiogret Limited, a fish trading firm. Operating on the twin concepts of “Absolute Customer Satisfaction” and “Delivering a Standard of Living”, Fiogret grew into an octopus fishing conglomerate.
Within three years of the establishment of Fiogret, Great Ogboru, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), then a young man of about Twenty-Five (25), established amongst others, the following subsidiaries of Fiogret in quick succession: Grato Nigeria Limited, Warri, a foremost furniture production company. Grato won a National Award for Excellence in 1987/1988.
GLE Finance Limited, Lagos, a finance company with bureau de change operations. SOFIMAR Nigeria Limited, a Joint Venture with the former Soviet Union Government of President Mikhail Goberchev. SOFIMAR was capitalised to the tune of $5M (Five Million US Dollars) and had a proposed asset base of $20M (Twenty Million US Dollars).
Abraka Rubber Industries Limited, Abraka Fiogret Fisheries Limited West Coast Publicity Company Limited Fiogret Express Limited, a transport company Received a banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria to operate Ethiope Commercial Bank Limited. Great Ogboru, in appreciation of the benevolence of God to him, took a conscious decision to affect the life of fellow human beings.
All his companies employ on equal opportunity basis. His scholarship schemes do not consider ethnicity, race or colour. His philanthropic works are rooted in humility and respect for human beings. But whenever people ask him what he has done for society he says, “Ask the people. I am just an instrument in the hand of God.” Great Ovedje Ogboru firmly believes in humanity and its preservation.
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On August 10, 1989, he took the world stage by surprise as the youngest and highest Nigerian donor to the Namibia Solidarity Fund in the ancient city of Benin. Great Ogboru is “unapologetically democratic.” He is a “natural hater and fighter of any form of socio-political dictatorship, tyranny or hegemonic misrule.”
A school of thought believes that this gives immense credence to the allegation by the President Ibrahim Babangida regime that he provided the financial backbone and logistics for the Major Gideon Orkar coup of April 20, 1990? This allegation was later dropped in 1999 by the government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.
The allegation of sponsoring the Orkar revolutionary putsch sent him into self-exile in the United Kingdom from 23rd April 1990 to 30th June 2000, a period of 10 years and 68 days. These years of the “locust and cankerworms” marked a deliberate destruction of his vast domestic business empire by military governments. Exile afforded him an opportunity to complete the missing link in his educational career. With less busy business schedules then, he immediately contacted the Chartered Institute of Marketing and completed his study in Marketing. He bagged a Marketing Diploma (DipM).
Thereafter, he attended Huron University of South Dakota, London Campus where he obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Not fully satisfied, he secured admission into the University of Kent in Canterbury and obtained a Masters of The Arts degree in International Relations (MA/IR).
Chief Great Ogboru is a member of the Nigeria Policy Group (NPG), an august body that financed and coordinated first-rate struggles to return Nigeria to democracy in the hay days of military dictatorship. He is the national leader of the South-South Rainbow Coalition (SSRC), a robust political movement in Southern Nigeria. He is a founding member of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and the party’s Governorship Candidate for the 2007 General Elections.
Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, a Christian, is married to Chief (Mrs.) Ebi Stella Ogboru, an Ijaw from Bayelsa State. They have four children. He holds the traditional titles of The Omamuyovwi (The Good Head) of Ughelli Kingdom and also The Omamuyovwiof Abraka Kingdom. By Esegine Dino Rita.
O dearest Jesus, Lamb of God most meek, I, a miserable sinner, render homage and worship to the wounds upon Thy shoulder made by the heavy cross. Thou didst carry. Its weight tore Thy flesh and bared Thy shoulder bones, which caused Thee sufferings more than did Thy other wound. I adore Thee, O grieving Jesus, I praise, thank Thee for thy adorable and most painful wound Vouch-safe to grant me, through the excessive pain and unmeasured weight of the cross to have mercy on me a sinner. Forgive me my mortal and venial sins, and guide me on to heaven through the way of the cross. Amen.
– COMRADE AYOMANOR JAMES EMMANUEL..
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