Edo plans state burial for Ogbemudia, Obaseki, others pay tributes
The late military governor of old Midwest and Bendel State, (now Edo and Delta states) would be given a state burial on Friday. This is in fulfillment of the elder statesman’s wish that his remains should not be allowed to stay too long before interment.
The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie would head the committee, while the Chief of Staff to Obaseki, Taiwo Akerele, would be the deputy. Other members include Secretary to Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC), APC governorship aspirant, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), two permanent secretaries, six persons from the Ogbemudia family and a representative of Delta State Government.
The Guardian gathered that the family had formally informed the palace of the Oba of Benin of his demise as required.Obaseki was received by the wife of the late Ogbemudia, Mrs. Clara Ogbemudia, and his eldest son, Samuel Ogbemudia (Jnr).Obaseki said: “Daddy was so good to us. He was a pragmatic person. Everything we have today could be attributed to him.”
Meanwhile, as more tributes continue to pour in, leader of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State and former governor of the state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole yesterday described how Ogbemudia assured him of his safety during the days of late dictator, General Sani Abacha when Ogbemudia was Minister of Labour.
Oshiomhole said Ogbemudia was a fountain of knowledge he tapped from when he was governor and that he protected him when he was Deputy National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress.
“We appreciate all that God used him to lay for our state as a military governor. There is no part of Edo State where you will not find the footprints of our great father. I have had a long personal relationship with him.’’
The state chairman, Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sir Roland Osakue said: “A great leader and a rare gem is gone.’’
The Deputy Whip of the Senate and Senator representing Edo North Senatorial District, Senator Francis Alimikhena said: “we have lost a resourceful human resource, because no one did more over many years as Dr. Ogbemudia both as a minister and as a governor in building the existing infrastructure that form the foundation upon which Edo and Delta was created.”
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya, described him as a leader of rare character.“Ogbemudia was an honest man, an extraordinary politician, a great leader and a man of principle. From 1957 when he joined the Nigerian Army to the day he died, Ogbemudia stood out,” Igbuya said.He said Ogbemudia served with distinction as an administrator and a governor of the MidWest State, later Bendel State.
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