By Alemma Aliu
TWO former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan were, yesterday, among dignitaries who attended the 85th birthday thanksgiving service of the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, at Saint Gabriel The ArchAngel Catholic Church, Benin City, Edo State.
In his homily at the well attended church service entitled “Gratitude and Thanksgiving: A fulfillment of God’s will,” Rev. Father Alfred Agbonlahor, charged the congregation to take thanksgiving, which is a moral obligation of Christians, seriously to attract God’s blessings.
He said the celebrant, Chief Igbinedion, is a distinguished entrepreneur and a man after God’s heart for contributing immensely to human capital development in Edo State in particular and Nigeria at large.
The Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, who was represented by Chief Eduwu Ekhator (the Obasogie of Benin) and Chief H. Bazuaye (the Aiwerioghene of Benin) were accompanied by Chief Sam Igbe, the Iyase (Prime Minister of Benin) at the event.
A former Senate Deputy President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, former Senate Whip, Senator Rowland Owie, Mr Parry Osayande, Deputy Inspector-General ofPpolice (retd), former Minister of Industry, Mrs Nike Akande, and former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Emmanuel Emovon, attended the service.
Others were Senator Matthew Urhoghide, representing Edo South Senatorial district and Prince Sunny Omatseye, while the Alaafin of Oyo and the Ooni of Ife sent goodwill messages.
Also in attendance wereVice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orumwense and his wife, Francisca, who led members of the Governing Council of the ivory tower to the event.