By FESTUS AHON
UGHELLI — TEARS flowed unabatedly, yesterday, as the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, held a valedictory session in honour of the departed senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Pius Ewherido. The body of the late senator who breathed his last on June 30, 2013, arrived the capacity filled Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho, Ughelli North Local Government Area venue of the session in a Black Escalate jeep ambulance marked Senator Pius Ewherido at 11.15am.
President General of the UPU, Maj General Patrick Aziza (rtd) in his tribute, said that Ewherido distinguished himself as a legislative activist, a brave debator and a sponsor of people-friendly bills and motions, adding “with his untimely death, the Urhobo people, Deltans and indeed Nigerians have lost a great leader, democrat and astute legislator.
“In his constituency in Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ewherido left behind a splendid legacy of care, compassion and love for the grassroots. Hundreds of financially handicapped people, enterprise owners, youths and students benefitted from his generous philanthropy. His numerous scholarship awards and endowments for Urhobo students and scholars are eloquent testimonies to his humanitarian efforts.
“UPU is proud to salute Senator Ewherido for his courageous defence and promotion of Urhobo national aspirations. His prodigious figure and charming charisma restored the dignity, honour and hope to the bewildered Urhobo people. Senator Ewherido also manifested these heroic assets whilst he represented the Ughelli South Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly (1999-2007).
He rose rapidly and served as deputy speaker and acting speaker of that vibrant assembly. His tenure in both capacities was hallmarked by the passage of many laws for good governance and uncompromising vigilance vis-a-vis the executive arm of government. UPU will like to put on record that the outstanding legislative legacy epitomized by Senator Ewherido is a reflection of the time-honoured democratic heritage of the Urhobo people.”
Speaking further, Aziza said the senator devoted his entire political career to the realisation of the Urhobo manifest destiny to be restored to the premier position of politics and development as guaranteed by “our endowment in natural and as the most populous group in Delta State. There is an urgent need for us to pursue these national aspirations to immortalize Senator Ewherido.”
Immediate elder brother of the late Senator Ewherido, Rev. Fr Tony Ewherido, described the death of his younger brother as the family’s sacrifice to the Urhobo nation. The cleric during the valedictory session, said the senator was the pillar and leader of their family, adding that the courage his brother put on display in his political life were inherent in him. He said: “For my family, Pius did not die. Pius was our sacrifice for the Urhobo nation and his aspirations lives on”.
Speaking further, he said the Urhobo nation was very dear to his brother, adding that his brother was not one who would abandon his people. He thanked God for the 50 years of the senator’s life which he said “were so action packed.”