Williams Shakespeare might not have had anyone in mind when he wrote in one of his classics, Julius Caesar that “death, a necessary end, will come when it will come”. Thus for the accomplished legislator, the Hon. Mrs. Beatrice Omawumi Udoh, fondly called “The Jewel of the House” by colleagues and political associates alike, that appointment with death, that necessary end, came on Tuesday December 13,  2016 at a United Kingdom Hospital. She died at the relatively young age of 56 but thankfully hers was not a life lived without accomplishments and indeed in her case, these proved to be accomplishments that are just as immense as they are enviable without doubt.

By all accounts, Hon Udoh was a woman of exceptional determination sustained by great reserves of personal courage and wisdom who proved herself as an able and worthy leader to her constituents and countless others far and near. A paragon of elevated parliamentary practice, she had several key motions to her credit in her legislative career.

A legislator par excellence, Hon Udoh held a record as the first female legislator in the Delta State House of Assembly with seven (7) landmark bills including the Delta State Waste Management Bill, 2003, Delta State Ecology Bill (2007), Delta State Sickle Cell Centre Bill, 2008, Delta State Micro-Finance Institution Bill, 2008, Public Roads Set Backs for (Commercial Purposes Prohibition Bill) 2008, as well as Delta State Estate Regulatory Authority Bill, 2009.

Born in Ibadan, Oyo State on June 2, 1960, Hon Udoh attended Emotan Private School, Benin City, Maryland Convent Private School, Ikeja, Lagos, and Holy Rosary Primary School, Nsukka (1967 to 1971). She later went to Queen of the Rosary Secondary School Nsukka, Our Ladies High School, Effurun, as well as College of Commerce, Warri, where she had her post-primary education (1972 to 1978). Shortly after she obtained her WASC in 1978, she worked briefly with the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Kaduna. She later ventured into business, marketing all Special Petroleum Products from the NNPC in Kaduna Refinery.

She served as the Managing Director of Tech Supply and Services Nig. Ltd from 1983 to 2002, and later delved into partisan politics in mid-2002. She contested and won her election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party to represent Warri South 1, Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly in 2003. A position she held until her death.

Hon. Udoh’s quest for additional knowledge made her enroll for her professional exams which saw her later qualifying as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Registered Managers of Nigeria in 2005. In 2008, she got admitted into the Delta State University, Abraka, and subsequently obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management (2012).

This 4 time parliamentarian while on earth, chaired various committees, amongst which are: Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Oil and Gas; Chairman, 3rd Anniversary Celebration committee of the 4th Assembly to mark the end of the session; Chairman House Committee on Transport. Between 2011 and 2015, Omawumi served as the Chief Whip of the House.

She was a devout Catholic and survived by her husband, Engr. Ian Udoh and blessed children: Nsifon Udoh, an engineer, Ini-Obong Udoh, a financial guru with two Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s, and Barrister Ann-Sophie Udoh.

Right from the moment the sad news of her demise broke, tons of tributes have kept pouring in from her political associates and her constituents. Thus, His Excellency, Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, described the late parliamentarian as a “committed and caring legislator who believed in a united Delta and was very passionate in championing the cause of the people she represented”. The  Governor added that Udoh’s doggedness and trailblazing strides in politics should serves as an inspiration to the younger generation, especially women, to dare the impossible.

Ejiro Ofoye,  a lawyer and public affairs analyst, also had kind words for the late parliamentarian. Aside describing her as calm and considerate, he also saw her as one who inspired others.

For Mrs. Gbubemi Ikolo, one of her constituents, Omawumi Udoh had played her part, having run a good race and finished her course, leaving indelible footprints in the sands of time.

As for her philanthropic disposition by way of the Hon. Omawumi Udoh Foundation (OUF). It genuinely gave hope to the hopeless and succor to the needy.

Truly, she deserves these encomiums. Undoubtedly, this paragon of beauty also called “Harmless” in many quarters, will be missed by many, while Delta State will surely feel the impact of her exit for hers was indeed a life well lived. Nevertheless we are consoled that she did her best to salvage humanity with the opportunities life brought her way.

The late Hon. Mrs. Beatrice Omawumi Udoh who would be laid to rest on Friday was a leader, wife, mother, politician, legislator and true woman of the people who came, saw and delivered. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Adieu Irolobe.

Mr. TMichael Tidi SA (News Media)  to Governor Okowa, is a constitutent of the late Udoh.

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