MARITIME stakeholders and other dignitaries were in Benin over the weekend for the burial of the mother of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, SOAN), Cecilia Ogbeifun who died on January 9, 2019 at the age of 100 years.
Amongst those present at the event were the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dakuku Peterside; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote, former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Chief Adebayo Sarumi and former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, Adamu Biu were among guests that graced the occasion.
Other dignitaries who graced the event include immediate past President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu; former President, Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Dr Omoegbai Omo Eboh; and former President, Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES), Engr. Charles Uwadia, among others.
Late Cecilia Ogbeifun was interred shortly after the service of songs held in her honour in the family house at Benin, Edo State.
Greg Ogbeifun disclosed that “Six days before mama died, all of us the children who were in the country were around her. We followed her through until she gave up her last breath. She just kept praying for us telling us we should be strong and that she is sure we will be ok but she had to go and be with her maker.”
Ogbeifun described her mother as a great woman who imbibed in her children good virtues and Christ-like qualities, stating that she will be greatly missed for her love, care and prayers.
“No matter how old she was, knowing that you have a mother will always give you that confidence in doing what you want to do. I call my mother a good mother hen. When a hen hatches, she will cover those chicks with her wings and they will stay there in safety and the hen generally oversees her children until they become independent enough and that was what mama was.
“All 10 of was she gave birth to, she nurtured us to imbibe certain qualities in life such as integrity, honesty, hard work and she always admonished us to have a relationship with Christ so that we can live a worthy Christ like-life.
“So mama was always focused on her children with my father before he passed on, ensuring that we are toeing the part of honesty and integrity and above all, the fear of God.”
Speaking earlier, Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside said, “From the testimonies of people, mama was a very resourceful person, a woman of virtue. The church honoured her; women all over Benin honoured her.”
Late Deaconess Cecilia Ogbeifun, popularly called Mama Ijesu by people who lived within her vicinity, is survived by 10 children, 44 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.