I ‘m into Politics to Reach Out to the Grassroots Says Hon.Okaruefe

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Chief Raphael Okaruefe,MD Ben-Vick Technical Services Limited

Hon (Chief) Raphael Egaga Okaruefe is the current Vice-Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, Managing Director of Ben-Vick Technical Services Limited, founder Ralph Okaruefe foundation and fast-rising Warri-based entrepreneur cum multiple award-winning grassroots politician with passion for genuine grassroots development in Isokoland.He is a grassroots mobilizer with vision to take Isoko nation to the promised land if given any political capacity to serve. Chief Okaruefe has become the cynosure of all eyes when it comes to grassroots development on education and empowerment in Africa. For over two years in office as the Vice-Chairman of Isoko South LGA,Okaruefe has been using his salary to help humanity and remain committed to grassroots leadership. In this interview with Gabriovoice.com, he bares his mind on how Isoko leadership can make progress at the grassroots and other issues affecting Isoko region over the years.

Excerpts:

Personality Details:

I am the present Vice-Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State and founders of Ben-Vick Technical Services Limited, Ralph Okaruefe Foundation and RK hotel. I hail from Enhwe in Isoko South LGA and a recognized traditional chief to the core.

 

Educational Background:

I obtained Higher National Diploma(HND) in Marketing from Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro Ogun State and later proceeded to Delta State University, Abraka for my Masters Degree in Public Administration in 2009 and attended other professional courses to my credit.

 

Why venturing into murky waters of grassroots politics as an accomplished entrepreneur in Nigeria?

I did not come into politics to enrich myself but to help my people in need, particularly grassroots. In 2014,my intention to run for Isoko South Local Government Chairmanship position not Vice-Chairman but our high-ranking leaders asked me to step down for my boss,Hon.Malik Ikpokpo,present Isoko-South LGA chairman. I felt my coming into grassroots politics will make me reach out to the people more than national politics. Ever since I became the Vice-Chairman of Isoko-South LGA, I have never taken my salary home for personal use when the salary was prompt then rather shared it to all those working with me at the office. Politics can’t take me away from my business though it is time consuming and I need my personal money to empower the people at the grassroots.

 

What is the difference between politics and business?

I have told you before that venturing into politics as a person were not to enrich myself blindly but to give hope to my people in Isoko South LGA, particularly grassroots which you see Ralph Okaruefe foundation doing for humanity across Delta State. In business, you think on how to grow your business bigger on daily basis but in politics people needs are the first priority to attend to. I became a millionaire at 29 years of age through dint of hard work and perseverance and at 53; I am still working harder in business to sustain my present status. Politics makes me nearer to the people more than business.

Why Isoko Nation is Underdeveloped?

If our intention to join politics to enrich ourselves only, then Isoko nation will continue to remain underdeveloped. I joined politics to help my people and make them relevant in the society. Greediness and pull-him down syndrome is our major problem in the region. Our population size and lack of infrastructural developments also scared investors from investing in the region. Our youths have relegated themselves to money politics that is why any good politician that intended to develop the region can’t make progress so easy because boys want liability gains than asset gains. How can a person requesting for a car when he knows very well that he can’t fuel or maintain it.

 

Tell us briefly on your rising profile in Delta politics.

I can say here that God has been faithful to me in all my endevours.I had passed through three stages of poverty in life; naked poverty, worn-out shirt poverty and coat and shirt poverty. Naked poverty when as a person you have no house to rest your head and even not knowing where the available meal will come in your life, Worn-out poverty, you have parents that partially accommodate you but no wherewithal to give you the best education or lifestyle and coat and shirt poverty, you have shelter but no significant progress to better your life as a person. The major basic needs of man on earth are money, shelter, food and sex.All these needs makes you a real man that has goal to fulfill on earth and every other things that follows is just secondary.

 

Risk taking is not part of Isoko people, why?

Let me shocked you, last election when I contested for chairmanship position under our able party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Isoko South LGA, I spent 50 million naira for that election before I stepped down for my boss. If I were some people in Isoko,I would not accept Vice-Chairman slot but I was not moved because I understand politics and business quiet well. If you can’t take risk in life, you can’t succeed. Politics has exposed me to many grey areas in life when it comes to grassroots development and empowerment in Isokoland.We have three types of risks, risk seeker, risk neutral and risk adverse. I like taking risk and exploring on new areas of business in life.Isoko people were known to be teachers and farmers not as entrepreneurs but many Isoko people are fast-becoming giant of employers in the labour market in recent times.

How can someone sustain his or her wealth when he or she is at the top of life?

It takes little to become rich but it takes more to sustain the wealth. It means that you must work harder to keep the wealth at the top. As a wealthy person, you must develop the attitude of giving to people at all levels. Your little kind gesture can keep your business growing with long-time planning in life. My hotel I built was christened by me as “Double Hands”means; humanitarian service is my divine clarion call in life.

If you become an elected political leader in Isokoland someday what will you do for Isoko youths specifically?

Well, my first port of call to create entrepreneurial leadership for the youth and not giving money that will kill their careers in life. I have been much closed to the youths in Isoko over the years. I will bring out a long-term master plan for Isoko youths to develop themselves through innovative and creative skills acquisitions and attract foreign investors to develop our local government. I will introduce enlightenment programmes for youths in Isoko on how to grow their businesses in life.

The advent of social media criticisms among our youths in Isoko, targeting politicians that are weak in their manifestoes to the people, what is your take on it?

Criticism is good to bring creative development but it must be constructive not destructive one. To me, I like people criticizing me if I m doing wrong politically in life. But some will take criticisms to the social media to dent someone image because such person requested for help and probably the help did not come in time.

 

What is your advice for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria?

Every young entrepreneur must exhibit integrity and learn to create cordial relationship with clients and the sky is the beginning of their life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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