Brian Wotari, vice-chairman of Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa state, has appointed Omonigbalebo Dani Orogono, believed to be 118 years old, as his “special adviser on elder matters.”
Orogono’s appointment was contained in a letter dated February 4, 2020, and signed by Bedford Ineye, one of the aides to the vice-chairman.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been appointed as Special Adviser on Elder Matters to the Vice Chairman, Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA,” the letter read. “Your appointment is with immediate effect. Congratulations and accept the warmest regards from the Vice Chairman.”
Ebinimi Abiama, a consultant with the local council, told TheCable the appointment was a show of solidarity with the aged people in the area.
“She wasn’t appointed so she could do the adviser work per se,” he said.
“But just as a solidarity to carry the elderly people along. It is an honorary appointment. She is the oldest woman in the local government area and at her age, the pay she gets as an adviser is something to keep her going.
“The vice-chairman also intends to upgrade the living standard of the woman, as, amongst others, her house will be renovated.”
But one of the elders who applauded the show of reverence for the elderly said he believed mama Orogono’s appointment is not just for solidarity, but that she will bring seasoned advice to the younger generation, referring to the popular proverbial saying about wisdom, that ‘what an elder can see standing on the ground, a child who is on top of a tree cannot see it.’
He also referred to 1 kings 12: 6-11, the story of the young King who rejected the advice of the elders, and rather listened to the baseless and sentimental advice of his young friends which eventually led to chaos, he balanced it by saying there are still younger ones among them who give advice with wisdom and tact who should be given such opportunities to serve in the political space too.
While the elders should also be given their place of due honour, to contribute to the society they had grown up in and known for the better part of their lives.
He once again thanked the chairman for recognising the importance of the voice of the elders among them. And said this is a welcoming idea that should be emulated by others.