CHIEF R.O ORE: Remembering a consummate mobiliser, teacher, politician 25 years after

0
293

For youngsters and even the old, who grew up and lived in Ayetoro Gbede, Ijumu Local Government area of Kogi State in the 1980s and early 1990s, the sight and sound of a megaphone wielding Chief Raphael Olorunfemi Ore will most certainly and always bring back fond memories of nostalgia, of their early years growing up and the sheer conviviality and serenity of their beloved hometown.

Though Ayetoro Gbede is home to several iconic figures and men who distinguished themselves in the service of the community and humanity in that era, Chief R.O Ore, as he was fondly called, stands out for many reasons.

Two of the very popular songs many will always remember Chief R.O Ore for include Omi ero l’Ayetoro Gbede and Ayetoro Day, Ayetoro Day, songs that drummed support and encouraged government to give the fast expanding town pipe borne water and also mobilising indigenes and residents for the annual Ayetoro Gbede Day celebrated on the 26th of December.

It was commonplace to see the revered chief go from street to street with his megaphone singing and mobilising indigenes and residents alike, with youngsters trooping to watch him do his thing with admiration.

Early Life, Education and Work

Chief R.O Ore was born to the family of Chief Abraham Elea Ore and Mrs Mesele Ore in Ayetoro Gbede, now in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State in 1935.

Like every other child in that era, Chief R.O Ore grew up in the farmstead, helping his father in the farm, but of course, he had his eyes on being educated.

He started his education at LEA primary School Ayetoro Gbede before proceeding to Offa Grammar School, Offa, Kwara State. He however left Offa Grammar School in 1958 to become to become a teacher at Ayeh Gbede, where he taught for 3 years before proceeding to Gombe Teachers College.

After his studies at Gombe Teachers College, Chief R.O Ore was posted to Iluke Bunu as headmaster.

As a man who knows the value of education and cherished self-development, he was not satisfied yet with his level of education, as he again proceeded to the Rural Education College in Bauchi, Bauchi State for further studies from Iluke Bunu for three years.

After his studies at the Rural Education College, Bauchi, Chief R.O Ore taught at the St Monica’s College, Kabba for a while, before his quest for more knowledge and qualifications took him to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. From ABU Zaria, he was posted back to St Monica’s College.

Chief R.O Ore’s working life was such that he was in high demand, with schools where he served always eager to have him back, as evidenced in his recall back to St Monica’s College, Kabba after a stint as a headmaster in Effo Amuro, in then Kwara State in 1970.

A Consummate Unionist 

Chief R.O Ore was not just a great teacher, who impacted knowledge to the next generation after him but one that took the welfare of teachers and issues after the teaching profession seriously.

This trait made his colleagues in the Kwara State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers {NUT} elect him as the NUT National Representative in 1983.

READ ALSO: Jide Kosoko urges Faleke to make himself available for national assignment in the next political dispensation

His sterling qualities and commitment to the welfare of teachers, bestowed on him greater responsibilities, as he was subsequently elected the Chairman of the Kwara State chapter of the NUT, a position he occupied till the creation of Kogi State in 1991, before the end of his tenure.

Knowing his capacity and commitment to their welfare, the NUT in the newly created Kogi State retained him as their  Chairman, from where he finished his tenure.

Not done with his contribution to the teaching profession and education, the Kogi State government, appreciating his contributions and off course, sterling qualities, appointed him as Permanent Member 1 of State Primary Education Board {SPEB}.

Selfless Politician

As a man who was committed to the development of his community, Chief R.O Ore recognised that participation in politics is one of the effective means of bringing development to the community. With this realisation, he was active in politics, as he contested election and won as Councilor for Ward 2, Ayetoro Gbede.

Aside this, Chief R.O Ore was in the forefront of giving direction politically in Ayetoro Gbede for the good of the community, as his idea of politics is primarily targeted at using it for the good of his people and not for selfish goals.

Community Mobiliser

If there is anything indigenes and residents of Ayetoro Gbede will always remember Chief R.O Ore for, it is his selfless service to the community and his unique mobilisation efforts.

Late Oba Johnson Akanmode and his council of chiefs, no doubt held him in high esteem, alongside others like Major Oba and Chief I.I Bello, as they provided great support structure for the peaceful reign of the late Oba, during which the town witnessed monumental development.

For many in the community, Chief R.O Ore was a consummate mobiliser, a development advocate, a change agent and a man who was sold out to the service of his community.

He was in the forefront of clamouring for boreholes for clean and safe water for the community, good and motorable roads, leading most times in the community’s self effort at grading the roads in town and many other laudable projects he spearheaded or mobilised for. He was a man who took the affairs of the town as if his life depended on them.

In recognition of his immense contributions to the community, he was conferred with the title of Elegah of Ilotin Quarters. He was also honoured with the title of Baba Ewe of Ayetoro Gbede by the late Oba Johnson Akanmode, Olodoa the II, a title that underscored his contributions to education and youth development in the community.

There is no doubt that Chief R.O Ore’s contributions to the Ayetoro Gbede community is the reason his name keeps exciting emotions and fond memories even 25 years after his journey to the great beyond!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here