By FESTUS AHON
UGHELLI – FORMER Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori, has described the late Senator Pius Ewherido as forthright, unassuming, highly focused and truly dependable.
Ibori in a statement by his media assistant, Mr Tony Eluemunor, said “The death of a star is always a great celestial phenomenon. The death of Senator Ewherido was no less so on the Nigerian political firmament. The sad event shook Nigerian politics and politicians with gigantic shock waves.
“It is worse for those of us who knew him at close quarters and had worked with him. I had the good fortune of having this bundle of talents and highly patriotic politician not only as a member of the Delta State House of Assembly under my watch as governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007, but he was actually the Deputy Speaker; he even once combined his Deputy Speakership with a stint as acting Speaker.
“Pius Ewherido was forthright, unassuming, highly focused and truly dependable. Yes, he was patriotic and was in no doubt about the position he wanted Delta State retain; right ahead of the rest of the states in Nigeria.
“He showed great political courage when he left his erstwhile party, the Peoples Democratic Party, for another from where he took a shot at the Senate. His courage was not misplaced; he was voted in as “my Senator” representing the Delta Central Senatorial District.
“As usual with Ewherido, he gave a good account of himself and he did so till the bitter end. For me and my family, Ewherido’s death was a bitter blow that hit particularly close to home. Even though he called me “leader, leader” till his death, I saw him as a truly dependable associate, close and trustworthy.
“Unfortunately, his passing was remarkably as swift as it was unexpected, when I learnt that he was down with a massive attack of stroke, I had to begin moves for him to be flown abroad for adequate medical care.
“Unfortunately, my efforts, those of Delta State’s Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, his fellow Senators and the incomparable care and concern of his dear wife, as well as those of the doctors at the National Hospital, Abuja were not enough to keep this truly remarkable man alive.
“There is a lesson for those of us he left behind; only the Almighty God sustains life. May God give the Ewherido family the fortitude to bear this great loss, and to Pius, may God grant him heavenly bliss.”