Edo’ll give Ogbemudia state burial – Obaseki

Posted on March 13, 2017. Filed under: Press Release |

… Remains arrive Benin today, as Babangida, Alimikhena mourn

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the late Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia will be given a state burial.

Obaseki disclosed this when he paid a condolence visit to Ogbemudia’s family, at the weekend.

This was just as there are indications that Ogbemudia would be buried in Benin on Friday.

Governor Obaseki was received by the deceased’s wife, Clara and his eldest son, Samuel (Jnr), who informed the governor that the family have laid out  plans to kick-start burial activities of his father.

The governor, however, advised the family to respect the wishes of Dr. Ogbemudia that he be buried as soon as possible.

He suggested that if the late Ogbemudia burial wishes were to be respected, his burial should not be delayed beyond Friday, and stressed  that Tuesday would be too far to take a decision if the burial was to be done on Friday.

The state government and the family met yesterday, to take a final decision

on Ogbemudia’s state burial.

The governor directed his Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele, to set up a committee for the burial and said: “Daddy was so good to us. He was a pragmatic person. Everything we have today could be attributed to him.”

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Obaseki described Ogbemudia as a hero of Edo and Delta states.

“He was a father of modern Edo. He representedeverything we have today. The infrastructures we have in Edo and Delta, today, are attributed to him.

“We grew up to know him as our leader, our hero and our governor. As a student at Eghosa Grammar School, he would come, wake us up, and lead us in morning exercises. I could not have gotten through the electioneering without his support. He adopted me. In my first meeting with him, he gave me a pack of notebooks and asked me to take notes as I went round.

“He was always supportive. My project was his project. He was like my father. Nobody has served this state like him; it is going to be a state burial. We are working with the family and we will work things out.”

Meanwhile, it was also gathered that Edo and Delta states are collaborating to give him a state burial.

Regardless, the remains of former governor of defunct Bendel State, will arrive Benin today.

Ogbemudia had written details of how he would want to be buried and among his wishes was that his remains must be buried within seven days.

Others are that he remains must not be displayed in the public and he should not be kept in a morgue.

It was gathered that the family members had met with officials of the two state governments, to work out modalities for the burial.

This was just as former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida said Ogbemudia’s death struck him with helpless awe, and added that he has not finished swallowing the bitter pill of General Adeyinka Adebayo’s death when the news of Ogbemudia’s exit reached him.

“Here was a leader whom I enjoyed cordial relationship with for over 50 years. When I was Second Lieutenant, he was already one of the senior officers we looked up to in the sixties. Not minding his seniority, he was one officer who was fond of sharing jokes with his junior officers and shared also in their concerns and challenges. Although a disciplined profession, he made us feel a sense of belonging and developed the leadership traits in us, as young military officers.

“When he had the opportunity to preside as the governor of Mid-Western State and later, as a democratically-elected civilian governor of Bendel State, he did not only exhibit a high sense of professionalism, his achievements further underscored his leadership and uncommon personality. He was brilliant and urbane in his disposition to others. He believed strongly in the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria. He preached love, understanding and tolerance each time we had opportunity to discuss and share ideas about our great nation.

“In his view, our country is great and blessed with flourishing opportunities that could be harnessed to make life better for all. He never minced words about his sense of patriotism and dedication to duty each time opportunity knocked at his door to help add value to governance.

“His footprints in the old Bendel State would remain indelible in the annals of history. When we were to create Edo, out of the then Bendel State, he was one of the stakeholders we consulted and his response was positive, in so far it would help to move the new states forward. His concern was always growth and development of the country, especially rural development that would bring governance closer to the people. His contributions to the development of sports and education were also remarkable.

“Edo State will miss this great Nigerian with a large heart who was ready to sacrifice his personal comfort, for the overall good of the people. The nation will miss this fantastic military officer who was courageous, bold and committed in the course of discharging his responsibilities. His closeness to the masses symbolised his unique orientation and love for mankind,” he said.

On his part, Senate Deputy Whip, Francis Alimikhena, who is from Edo State said Ogbemudia was resourceful man.

“A light has gone out of our state, but, it is a challenge to us, as a people, to keep the light burning by emulating his lifestyle, as a former governor and a minister.”

The deputy whip, in a statement by his Personal Assistant, Benjamin Atu, describing Ogbemudia as “a successful manager of human and material resources whose death is a setback to the nation’s human resource. “

Senator Alimikhena, however, praised his unyielding determination and principled life.

“While we join the family, government and people of our state in mourning his death, we are comforted by his legendary performance and also give thanks to God for his incredible life,” he said.

Source: Ighomuaye Lucky






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