As Uduaghan, Dafinone, Akpeki, others pay tribute
By Henry Umoru, Godwin Oghre & Jseph Erunke
THE Senate, yesterday, paid glowing tribute to the former Delta State governor, Chief Felix Ibru, who died last week at the age of 80.
The Senate, which noted with grief the demise of the politician and business tycoon, said it would send a delegation to condole with the deceased’s family, government and people of Delta State on a day it did not mention.
It subsequently observed a one-minute silence in honour of the late Ibru, who served as a senator, representing Delta Central, in the 5th Senate, between 2003 and 2007, adding that he served the country with pride “as a quintessential legislator, bridge builder and a great force for national development, unity and peace.”
Eminent Deltans eulogise Ibru
Meanwhile, more Deltans yesterday continued to extol the quality and life of the late Ibru.
Immediate past governor of the state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, in a statement, described the late former senator as, “a worthy Deltan who built the foundation on which the continuous good governance in the state is laid,” adding: “Deltans will miss Ibru as a hero who spent his time and resources for the well being of Deltans and Nigerians in general.”
Chief Ede Dafinone also appreciated the good qualities of the late Felix Ibru, saying, “He was a gentleman whose government ushered in peace and harmony to the state. He worked for the well being of humanity, particularly Deltans and Nigerians in general. He will be greatly missed by all Nigerians.”
On his part, the Ugo of Okpe Kingdom, Chief Paulinus Akpeki, said: “The news of the death of Chief Ibru came to me as a rude shock. He was an elder statesman and at a time like this in our state and country, we needed his wise counsel. He was a man of honour who ensured that he fulfilled whatever he said. He excelled in various walks of life, particularly in businesses and politics. We shall all miss him.”
Others who eulogized the life of the late former governor, included, Delta State All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart and the party’s candidate in the 2015 Sapele constituency House of Assembly election, Chief Felix Anirah. Chief Anirah said: “He was a man of integrity who stood firm for the people in his life time. We shall all miss his candour.”
The member representing Itsekiri nation in Delta State House of Assembly, Dr Michael Diden, the Chairman of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, Dr Godwin Ebosa, the commission’s Managing Director, Chief Williams Makinde, and the Chairman of Warri North LGA, Mr Francis Eyituoyor-Maku, also condoled with the Ibrus, the President General of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Chief Gabriel Ofotokun and the entire people of Urhobo nation, saying, “May God grant them the fortitude to bear the exit of the Urhobo icon.”
Eyituoyor-Maku extolled the late Chief Ibru, saying: “The late Chief Ibru was an elder statesman, a man of uncommon honour and integrity. The incident is painful as it happened at a time when Deltans and Nigerians in general need his wise counsel. I wish that not only the state but the Federal Government shall immortalize him.”
Omo-Agege sponsors motion
The Senate action was sequel to a motion, sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Labour Party- Delta Central) and co-sponsored by senators James Manager (PDP, Delta South) and Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North), which was presented for consideration during plenary.
In the motion, the sponsors noted that the late Senator Ibru, the first democratically elected governor of Delta State, was a revered illustrious leader and Olorogun of Urhobo ethnic nationality of Delta State.
They further noted that as the first executive governor of Delta State, precisely from 1991 to 1993, Senator Ibru laid the developmental foundations of the democratic Delta State ‘’we all know today.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, while speaking, paid glowing tribute to the late Ibru.
He said: “It is with heavy heart that I join the rest of us in mourning our friend and our colleague, Olorogun Ibru.”
Senator Manager, said that the late Ibru, in his time, was the Chairman of Senate Committee on Establishment, noting that under his watch, many executive bills were passed.
In his contribution, Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East), said: “I join my brother, James Manager, a ranking senator to mourn with the people of Delta state and indeed Nigeria. However, we are mourning in Lagos because inadvertently, the late Ibru contributed in so many ways in the development of Lagos State.”
On his part, Senator Adullahi Gumel (APC, Jigawa North), said: “I met Senator Ibru during the Constituents Assembly days from 1988 to 1989.
“He impressed me very well because at that Assembly, we had a problem of Sharia and that controversy was about to divide the Assembly. Fortunately, Senator Ibru and some other Nigerians, about 10 of them, together with the chairman, Justice Onyiagulu, met with the then Head of State, Gen Ibrahim Babaginda and the following week, the Sharia discussions were taken away from the Assembly and became a no go area.”