Maris Lecture 2023: Okubor, The Medical Doctor, Politician, Administrator Is A Discussant

With the coming up of a new government in Delta State and Nigeria in general from May 29, 2023, a renowned politician cum communicator, Dr Festus Okubor, has accepted to be one of the discussants at this year’s Maris Public Service Lecture.

The lecture which will be delivered by a tactical politician, renowned banker and an operator in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, Chief Sir Okenmor Fidelis Tilije, has as topic, “Provision Of Infrastructure As Catalyst For Development Of Democratic Governments.”

Secretary, Maris Trust Council, MTC, organisers of the annual lecture series, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, made the disclosure on Thursday in a press statement released in Asaba.

According to him, this year’s lecture is unique as it will have for the first time, the leadership of Delta State from 1999 to date in attendance, stating, “God has made it possible for the incumbent Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, CON, to be in close relationship with his predecessors in office and the person who will take over from him, as such, on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, Governor Okowa shall sit down with his predecessor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, CON and the Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori to participate in a lecture which will have Lady Esther Elue, wife of former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Sir Benjamin Elue as Mother of the Day.

“Chief Elue, we can recall was Deputy Governor to Governor James Ibori (1999 to 2007) and Dr Uduaghan was Governor from 2007 to 2015 and handed over the reign of leadership of Delta State to Senator Dr. Okowa who is preparing to hand over to Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori on May 29, this year.

“So, with the topic for discussion, the lecture is bound to set agenda for democracies and a renowned billionaire, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, OON, shall be the Chairman of occasion which will have Rev. Fr. John Konyeke as Spiritual Father of the Day.

“Dr. Okubor will be discussing the lecture with Chief (Mrs) Augustina Erah, Ph.D, Provost, Delta State College of Health Technology, Ofuoma and two other persons while Kemi Emina, Ph.D, a university lecturer and journalist will be the Moderator.

“From the rich background of Dr. Okubor, which is presented below, this year’s lecture promises a lot for humanity.”

About Dr. Festus Okubor

Dr. Okubor hails from Ute-Erumu in Ika North East Local Government Area, Delta state.

He is revered in his hometown for his education, honesty and truthfulness.As a pious and devout Christian, Dr. Okubor single-handedly built St. Michael’s parish, an ultra-modern Anglican Church for the worship of God and handed it over to the Anglican Communion.

Born in October, 1960 at Ute-Erunmu to the late School Principal, Festus Okubor (Snr.), and Madam Grace Okubor, Dr. Festus Okubor attended St. James Primary School, Agbor and Edo College, Benin City, before proceeding to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he bagged a degree in Medicine.

A completely detribalised Nigerian, he moved to Biu, Borno State with his wife, where he set up the communities first Private hospital in 1989 which was known as El Shaddai Medical Centre.

A hard-worker, Dr. Okubor came down to Lagos to continue his medical practice and by dint of hard work and perseverance, he became the Assistant General Manager of the International Standards Insurance Company Limited, Lagos, where he laid the ground work for what is currently the health insurance industry in Nigeria today.

With the lifting of the ban on partisan politics by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime on June 22, 1989, the dissolution of 13 political parties by the same regime and the subsequent formation and recognition of two political parties, namely, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the National Republican Convention (NRC), Dr. Okubor joined some progressive persons to float one of the early parties which never saw the light of the day as a result of the ban on politics by the military.

The Babangida regime gained notoriety for plunging pauperised Nigerians into a political brouhaha with the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election perceived to be the freest conducted in Nigeria and won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola.

The emergence of General Sani Abacha as Nigeria’s new military Head of State in November 1993 saw the lifting of the ban on politics and the formation of five political parties including the Grassroot Democratic Movement (GDM) and as a democrat, Dr. Okubor joined other progressive forces to garner support for the new party – the GDM.

At the end he was elected National Publicity Secretary of the party at their national convention in Kaduna.

After the demise of Abacha in June, 1998, the military again, dismantled all political structures including the GDM.

With the birth of the fourth Republic under Obasanjo, Dr. Okubor became Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area in 2002.

In 2003, he became the Delta State Director of Protocol.

He was later appointed Commissioner for Special Duties; Commissioner for Information and later, Commissioner for Health.

In 2008, he became the Chairman, Delta State Hospital Management Board.

Between 2010 and 2011, he was the Deputy Director General, Uduaghan Campaign Organization.

Dr. Okubor is a sports lover, with a special interest in Badminton.

He hosts the Festus Okubor Badminton Tournament for young students in Delta State, and served on the board of the National Badminton federating body.

In 2019, in his quest for further studies, Dr. Okubor applied for and wrote prescribed tests of JAMB and gained admission to Delta State University, Abraka to study Music full time. He graduated in August, 2022 with a first class.

A Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, Dr. Okubor is a generous man who has committed his personal resources to improving the lives of people including the less privileged, widows, brilliant but indigent students and has assisted many youths to secure gainful employment.

Dr. Okubor is married, with four children.

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