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Hon. Noble Gbeneee Obani-Nwibari
August 24, 1955 ~ December 8, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Hon. Noble Gbenenee Bekue Obani-NwiBari (age 68), on December 8, 2023, after a courageous battle with a protracted illness. He leaves behind a legacy of love, selflessness and unwavering devotion to his family, friends, and the Ogoni Struggle. He is survived by his wife Florence Eeyaan Obani-NwiBari; son, Inamuele B. Obani-NwiBari; and daughter, Tannadeeba E. Obani-NwiBari.
He was born in 1955 at Nonwa kenbara, in Tai Clan, Ogoni tribe, on the southern coast of Nigeria. And brought up in a supportive family with strong Christian beliefs. He gave his life to Jesus Christ in June, 1973, and had unwavering faith in the God of the Bible until his death. He was a proud product of State School, Nonwa. And graduated from St. Pius X College, Bodo in 1974. Later, he proceeded to the Teacher Training College, at St. John, in Port Harcourt, and completed his training in1976. He was posted to Government Commercial Secondary School, Taaban as a pivotal teacher in 1976.
In 1993, he gained admission to read Public Administration at the University of Port Harcourt, but could not complete the program due to the man-hunt of activists by the despotic military government in Nigeria at the time. As he immigrated to the United States of America, he was educated at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Policy in 2000. He later received a Master of Arts degree in International Relations &Diplomacy from Webster University in 2002.
He resigned from teaching in 1979 to participate in politics. He was the Supervisory Councilor for Works in the Okrika/Oyigbo/ Tai/Eleme Local Government Area (OTELGA) and Gokana/Tai/Eleme Local Government Area (GOTELGA), respectively. In 1991 he was appointed Secretary to Tai/Eleme Local Government Area (TELGA).
From 1990 he joined the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), and was an active member of the group until his death. The late Ken Beeson Saro-Wiwa had variously described Hon. Obani-NwiBari as the "foremost Tai activist." In 1993 he was elected the first Vice President of MOSOP. On Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, Nigerian Soldiers at a check point near Afam Power Station arrested Hon. Obani-NwiBari, and two of his companions. They were transported to the Bori Camp army barracks. The reporter who accompanied them was later released, but Hon. Obani-NwiBari and the other activist were strip-searched, and transferred to Port Harcourt's Central Police Station. They remained in jail for a week before they were released on bail. Amnesty International named Hon. Obani-NwiBari and his companion, prisoners of conscience.
His memory will live on forever in the hearts of his beloved family, friends, MOSOP activists, and all those whose lives he touched. He will be greatly missed.