By Simon Ebegbulem, Gabriel Enogholase & Dapo Akinrefon
BENIN CITY—BEREAVED Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, described his late wife, Clara, as a mother who made sure he prayed every day before leaving the house no matter how much in a hurry he was.
Meanwhile, December17 has been fixed for her burial. Vanguard, however, learnt, yesterday, that traditional rulers from Edo North senatorial district where Oshiomhole hails from had suggested that the wedding of his daughter earlier scheduled for December 18 should still proceed, but the governor said his children were not in the mood, and that the wedding could wait till after the burial. Vanguard learnt last night that the wedding has been postponed.
Meanwhile, six governors led by Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Dr. Bukola Saraki, paid condolence visit to Governor Oshiomhole. Other governors with him were, Babangida Aliyu, Niger State; Murtala Nyako, Adamawa State; Gbenga Daniel, Ogun; Danjuma Goje, Gombe; and Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers.
Dignitaries at the home
Governors Peter Obi, Anambra State; Babatunde Fashola, Lagos; Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; and Rauf Aregbesola, Osun; had visited earlier. Other dignitaries that thronged Oshiomhole’s home were Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Chief Bisi Akande, Niyi Adebayo, Segun Osoba, Chris Ngige, Senator Rowland Owie, Lai Muhammed, Dele Alake, Prof. Julius Ihonbvere, Lucky Imasuen, Rev. Peter Obadan and others.
Also, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state, led by its Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, paid condolence to the Governor, with Orbih, lamenting that “it is not only the Governor and the family that will miss her, the entire people of Edo State and some of us who were close to her will miss her motherly disposition. She is just one in a million, like a mother to all.”
Orbih went with the 11 PDP lawmakers in the House of Assembly and the entire exco of the party in the state.
Oshiomhole laments wife’s death
However, Oshiomhole who spoke passionately about his late wife when the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Bishop Gabriel Dunia, paid him a condolence visit, said: “Her demise left a vacuum in my heart. She always made sure that I prayed in the morning before going out. She would give me Psalms to pray with and was very accommodating. She was always asking me if I had seen Bishop.
“In fact I told her few days before her death that I saw you because these are the kind of things she wanted to hear. She was very happy and I never knew that death was coming. Man proposes, God disposes. I don’t know how I am going to manage but I pray God to help me.”
The Governors said prayers with Oshiomhole and assured him of their support and prayers in his moment of grief.
Governor Saraki who disclosed how shocked they were when they received the information, prayed God to give the family the strength to bear the loss. Oshiomhole said the burial has been fixed for December 17, 2010, and solicited for the support and prayers of all.
Meanwhile condolence messages continued to pour in yesterday, with Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadohme, describing the death as a tragic loss to the state. He said: “I received the news of the death of the wife of the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, with rude shock. I want to recall that the late Mrs. Oshiomhole was a cheerful woman with impressive peaceful disposition.
“Her death came at a time the nation is in dire need of service of true mothers like her. The late Mrs. Oshiomhole was a mother with passion for the needy. She was a sister and a proud daughter of Edo State. I sincerely pray God to grant her family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”
First civilian Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former Deputy Governor of the state, Rev. Peter Obadan, former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe and the former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Rowland Owie, Chairman of the PDP in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, Esogban of Benin Kingdom, and others, described her death as shocking sad for the people of the state.
Chief Oyegun said: “Clara Oshiomhole’s death is a great tragedy personally to the husband and to the state in general. Clara was very supportive, very quiet, very unassuming and very courageous. We are sad at what has happened. We all pray that God will give her husband, her children and family.
Admiral Akhigbe: “We are saddened by the news of the transition to eternal glory of Mrs Clara Oshiomhole. Clara was the trusted wife, caring companion and the most loyal comrade in all the life’s struggle of Comrade Oshiomhole. She was a bridge builder and a community mobilizer among our people. We shall surely miss he, but consoled that she fulfilled her promise and God’s purpose in her life. May the Lord grant her eternal peace and Heaven, Amen”.
Peter Obadan: “The death is a big loss to the entire state. We had a pious, humble and well cultured woman as first lady for the first time. She was not cocky or bossy. She practiced what she believed in. It’s a big blow to the entire state and I feel particularly touched because this is the first time we are having a woman that was not carried away by the issue of being a first lady.
She was down to earth and humble and I feel very sorry for the husband because I am certain that she would have been a big pillar of support to such a man. For the children, my heart goes out to them. The state has lost a woman. She is a woman you cannot stop loving.”
Big loss to the state
Owie: “It is a great loss to Edo State and a great loss to all but above all a great loss to the earthly kingdom of the blessed Virgin Mary.”
Chief Dan Orbih: “It is a big loss to the state and the nation, especially at this critical time that her motherly love and support for the husband and the state is most required. On behalf of the entire members of the PDP, Edo State, I express our heartfelt condolence to the governor, his family and the good people of the state.
We pray God almighty to give her gentle soul eternal rest. We also pray God to grant the governor, Adams Oshiomhole, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief Edebiri: “It is sad and still unbelievable. It pleased God to call her home when her services to the state were most needed. She has been a very strong backbone to the governor of the state all through his trials and travails.”
National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, described the late wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Clara Adams Oshiomhole as a devoted house wife and leader who stood by the husband all through his career. In a condolence letter to Governor Oshiomhole, Dr Nwodo said that he received the news of the death with deep regret and prayed God to grant her gentle soul eternal rest.