By Festus Ahon
Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has expressed shock over the death of President General of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Gen. Patrick Aziza (rtd), saying that Aziza’s passing was a great loss to the country.
Third Deputy President General of the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Chief Austin Uloho, also described the death of Aziza as most painful.
Also, Mr. Abel Oshevire, a former Delta State House of Assembly member, said: “Aziza stood out for the Urhobo nation. He was a distinguished military officer and a committed community leader.”
Chief Clark, in a statement, yesterday, said: “The sudden death of General Aziza came to me as a rude shock because I enquired about him the previous night from some members of the executive of UPU and the sad news of his death came to me as a dream and most unbelievable.
“Aziza was a fine soldier, most reliable and trustworthy. He was a patriotic and dedicated leader, who later became the President of UPU and was recently re-elected for a second term in office. He was humble, hard working and his activities and charisma were commendable.
“He was a family friend, and particularly very close to my younger brother Maj-Gen H. Clark (rtd).”
Speaking to Vanguard at his Ughelli country home, Uloho said: “General Aziza died at a very critical time that Urhobo nation needed his services most. As President General of the UPU, Aziza brought Urhobo together with their neighbours.
“He is one man who believes so much in the Urhobo cause; he was very committed to the service of the Urhobo and he served selflessly.
“UPU will miss him so much. We pray God to grant his gentle soul eternal rest in his bosom till we meet to part no more.”
Oshevire said: “Aziza brought Urhobo together to speak with one voice on issues affecting the Urhobo nation as President General of UPU, and as a military administrator and minister, he demonstrated good leadership traits which endeared him to Urhobo.”
A female governorship aspirant in Delta State, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme, said: “His death has deprived Nigerians, particularly Deltans of the services of one of the most consistent administrators of this age.”
Olejeme in a statement by the Deputy Director General, U and I Foundation, Mr. Raymos Guanah, said: “Aziza served Nigeria with distinction and integrity.
“He was a family man that radiated the best of family values and a public official, whose wealth was measured from the indelible legacies he put in place for posterity.”
She said Aziza proved to Nigerians and the international community that there was everything to gain from being principled.