Today, the 28th of May, 2020, is remarkable to our dear father, elder brother, uncle and senior friend, Admiral Festus B. I. Porbeni and his family. This day on which Admiral FBI was born into the world, is equally a day we must celebrate with him.
This is because, God has kept him strong and alive up till today, and he shall continue to age graciously by the grace of the Almighty.
Admiral FBI is worth celebrating, also because he has paid his dues to the development of Nigeria, Izon Nation and the Niger Delta, through a robust military career in the Nigerian Navy in which he was a top brass and also Minister of Transport under the General Abdulsalami military regime. Besides these, his marine and diplomacy careers as well as private businesses in oil and gas, estate development, communications and insurance, on retirement from the Navy, all make him to be reckoned with in society.
He equally stands out as a lover of sports and youth development and has played leading roles in the promotion of football and the underexplored areas of marine and aquatic sports and tourism, particularly in the aspects of rowing, sailing and canoeing.
Back home, Admiral Porbeni’s roles in the creation of Delta and Bayelsa State will forever remain fresh in the minds of many people. As a pioneer Agriculture and Natural Resources Commissioner in the first military administration in Bayelsa State under Navy Captain Philip Ayeni (may his soul be blessed) in 1996, I am aware of the supportive efforts of Admiral FBI towards the take of the state which nearly had nothing on the ground. He also contributed ideas and money to the development appeal fund, to take off Bayelsa State. He continued to support the state in various ways until the era of Chief D. S. P Alamieyeseigha (Late), in which I was Secretary to the State Government.
The Porbeni’s Football Tournament, a major league, and which Bayelsa also participated and hosted would continue to resonate with his name. There are so many legacies to count, but I leave it there.
Dear Admiral FBI, as you celebrate your birthday today, I, my family and the good people of Yenagoa-Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal Constituency, wish you a happy birthday and many years of grace ahead.
We will continue to celebrate you and learn from your experiences, as the older the better it is to tap from a sage. May God guide and protect you more and more. Cheers!
Hon. (Prof.) Steve Sinikiem Azaiki, OON
MEMBER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, ABUJA