For my co-in-law, friend and brother, His Royal Highness David Serena-Dokubo Spiff, Ada IX, Paramount Ruler of Spiff Town, Bayelsa State, life has been good. And as he turned 70 last Wednesday 3rd May 2023, he was full of praises to God who has kept him thus far.
King David – yes, what a name – Amadabo of Ada-Ama, Twon-Brass in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is a very jovial and ebullient man; a Consummate Professional, Lawyer, Committed Traditional Ruler, Peace Engineer, Patriotic Nigerian, Lover of Humanity and the Creator.
We married from the same family in Nembe, Bayelsa State and he is a lover of people, without a care in the world about where they come from and what language they speak. Lots of accolades have flowed with him in his 70 years on earth, having occupied top positions including as Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government during the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson, Chairman of Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chairman of the board of Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation, BDIC and several others.
He was in faraway Houston, Texas attending a conference when he climbed the 7th Floor but that did not prevent him from pouring out his heart in praises, prayer and hope for a better Nigeria. Speaking to him last night, he was as cheerful as ever; and grateful for what God has done in his life.
Below are his words:
Seventy years ago, it pleased The Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, to bring me to this world.
It has been 70 years of Grace and Goodness of The Lord. Father, you created me, you nurtured me, and you sustained me … and counting!
I give you thanks, I applaud you; I acknowledge you. Thank you Father, for your immeasurable love, thank You for breathing life into me and sustaining me for 25,550 days or 613,200 hours ….and counting!
I am humbled, I am grateful.
Father, in course of undertaking my life’s assignment, I have erred in many ways, especially in the pursuit of adolescent ‘pleasures’. I have fallen short of your expectations. I seek your forgiveness and request that you bring me back to your fold.
In like manner, I seek forgiveness from those whom I may have knowingly or unknowingly offended. I am sorry. I myself, have also been a victim of the transgression of others. Some have outrightly repaid my good with wickedness. These, I forgive, regardless, even as I seek reprieve from The Father in Heaven.
And so…the proverbial three scores and ten is here? I can’t believe it. Just like yesterday! I am now a certified SEPTUAGENARIAN, meaning in effect that I am nearer my destination than where I am coming from. I take solace in the fact that as He has shielded me thus far, so also will He see me through to a successful end.
It is in view of the foregoing that I hereby rededicate my life (or the balance thereof) to service of the Lord, and to humanity.
To all who have made this life journey a worthy endeavour for me, I say a big thank you. It is neither convenient nor feasible to set out in-extenso, names of all the persons who have one way or the other, influenced my life for the better. You know yourselves, and your names are boldly written both in my heart, and in the book of love, up in Heaven. I must however contradict myself here, for, to not do so, will be tantamount to an egregious omission.
My parents, Doris & Miller of blessed memory; My precious Jewel of matchless value – my delectable wife, friend and soul mate, Ine; my wonderful gifts from God — Cynthia, Davine, Serenaba, Serenate, Miller; my loving siblings, my ever-caring cousins and benefactors Mrs. Femi Tamunoorunengi Taire, HH Dr. Ephraim Faloughi, and my most loyal and dependable nephew, Douye, ….. My twin-brothers from another mother, Mike & George Etomi, you have all been exceptional sources of joy and support to me. May God bless you all!
Finally, my professional brand and Family — SERENITY – from whence I adopted the great Serenity Prayer:
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
The Courage to change the things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.”
These immortal words have guided me in my life’s sojourn thus far.
I have been blessed with the good fortune of practicing Law with some of the best legal minds in Nigeria and in the world. As at last count, 120 brilliant young men and women got mentored at Serenity over the past 45 years!
I have likewise been blessed with wearing the crown to lead the good people of Ada Ama (Spiff Town) whom I love from here to the moon and back.
I have been blessed with being part of an endeavour in the petroleum sector through the benevolence of a true man of God, Prof. Anthony Adegbulugbe and wonderful co-directors.
I have been blessed, with friends who have been friends indeed, Guardian Angels, more brothers and sisters than consanguinity permits.
I have been blessed, by being a citizen of a great nation, which though yet stuttering, will definitely rise to be one of the greatest on the planet, someday soon. The current teething problems for our nascent nation shall blow away in Jesus Mighty Name.
A message to my compatriots:
On the 1st of October, 1960, at the field of Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, Ogoni, I stood alongside hundreds of school children, waved the Green White Green flag heralding the birth of our nation. I sang lustily to the well-crafted words of the National Anthem…….
“Our flag shall be a symbol, where truth and justice reign, in peace or battle honoured and this we count as gain;
To hand unto our children, a banner without stain.
“Oh God of all creation, grant this our one request, help us to build a nation where no one is oppressed,
And so in peace and plenty, Nigeria may be blessed “
My fellow countrymen, truth be told, are we handing over to our children, ‘a banner without stain? Are we building a nation where no one is oppressed? Are we standing in brotherhood, though tribe and tongue may differ?’ The answer, in the words of Peter, Paul and Mary, “is blowing in the wind”!
There’s too much bitterness in the land; too little love and empathy. It need not be so. Let us stop the senseless killings and mindless violence! Let us infuse love and compassion into our body politic.
I beg of you all, please in the name of The Almighty, and of all that is good, let us pull back from the brink. Let us forgive and forget, join hands to confront the challenges of climate change, environmental pollution, hunger, disease, and the debasement of otherwise immutable natural values, so that our country can be great again. Yes, we can!
As I ascend nimbly on to the 7th Floor, I look forward to a life of greater service to God and to Humanity. I look forward to a better world.
Thank you Lord, for your love for me has known no bounds! Thank you people, for you have been largely worthy co-sojourners!
Next stop? Heaven…. Whenever He beckons!
Regrettably, I am not at base as the bell tolls 70 times. I am far away in Houston, Texas with my wife, attending the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC. Hopefully, there will be some jollification when we return. Stay blessed y’all!
HRH Sir Barrister David Serena-Dokubo Spiff.
(Ada Spiff IX)
3rd May, 2023
Yes! That’s the Message from King David. We all over here wish you all the best as you celebrate his Platinum Jubilee Birthday.