By Kingsley Abavo, Benin

Okaighele Billy Oriakhi

Comrade Billy Oriakhi is the  Okaighele (Headship of the  Youths), Ute village, Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State.

Like a gold fish which cannot be hidden, Oriakhi’s personal calm disposition, and impactful   leadership of Ute village youths, in cordial relationship with the various groups especially, the elders, has been recognized.

The recognition came from the ‘Edo Legacy Foundation’ which honoured him among many high placed men in society, in the 17th edition of its prestigious ‘Honourary Pathfinder Gold Awards’ held in Benin-City, Edo State Capital, recently.

Oriakhi who is said, not only to be popular among his people of Ute village, but also enjoy huge following with his peers in Uhunmwode, was bestowed the ‘Niger-Delta Community Developer Award’.

The Award Committee nominated the Okaighele for the honour after pain-staking investigation revealed his calm disposition, positive impacts of his administration embedded in his creative ingenuity; which  has engendered peace, fast development and growth in the area, Pedro Omo-Aghahowa, President/Founder, Edo Legacy Foundation’ said.

“Unlike many other areas in the State, in Ute village, there is peace within, and with neighbors, occasioned by the cordial and cohesive relationship between the youths and elders on the one hand, and every other groups.

“This, we attribute to the leadership quality of Billy Oriakhi in relation to the Elders in Council, Aghahowa added.

“We honour Billy Oriakhi today, with this prestigious ‘Niger-Delta Community Developer Award’ as recognition of his good works, commendation and to spur him to do more for his people and humanity. Also, to serve as a model to the youths in many of our villages enmeshed in unnecessary, and avoidable squabbles retarding growth and development.”

In an interview with ‘’ Oriakhi appreciating ‘Edo Legacy Foundation’ for finding him worthy of the ‘Award, dedicated it to God Almighty, the Benin Monarch, HRM Oba Ewuare II, Ohen vbo N’Ute, Chief Osagie Obasuyi, and the entire people of the village.

“As the saying goes: to whom much is given, much is expected; I promise, the Award would challenge me to put in more effort to positively impact my youths, everyone in Ute, and Uhunmwode Local Government Area, especially to ensure peace reigns.”

He asserts, that peace would continue to reign in Ute village so long everyone is accorded the due regards.

“As Okaighele, it doesn’t make you a super human over your people. Their cry should be your cry, their pain should be your pain; know when they are happy, know when they are not.

“Most importantly, sharing of benefits should be all inclusive without discrimination, nobody should be sidelined.”

Oriakhi advised, that his people especially the youths should strive to utilize proceeds from any property given to them by the village, invest for tomorrow because land resource does not last forever.

“Land is a resource that does not last forever, invest wisely for tomorrow so that there would be no regrets.

“By the grace of God, in my administration as the Okaighele of Ute village, we do not tolerate duplication of land ownership. We are seriously against selling of property to more than one person.”

That is the reason Ute village is free from Police and court cases, he declared.

“I want to say it with all sense of responsibility and pride; we don’t have any case in court, we don’t have any pending case in the Police Station, even boundary dispute with neighbors.

“So, I urge my people to continue to be peaceful, and law abiding, wisely invest the resources available to avoid regrets tomorrow.”

Oriakhi asserts, that aside been the Okaighele of Ute, he is into other businesses; real estate, and the CEO, Billy Grand Hotels.

On what he wants to be remembered for after leaving the office of the Okaighele, Oriakhi said, that once upon a time, a man called Billy Oriakhi presided over an administration that brought unity, peace, unprecedented development and growth in Ute village.

“I believe that after my tenure as Okaighele, my people of Ute will never forget me!”