Benin city – Edo State stood still in honour of late former military governor of defunct Midwest and Bendel state, Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, as Governor Godwin Obaseki declared public holiday, for Edo people to mourn and pay their last respect to the great leader.
Some major roads across the Benin metropolis where void of traffic, as school children in their uniforms and residents heads towards the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium to also pay their last homage to the elder statesman.
Members of the public were noticed in clusters, discussing the demise of the late icon, which many described as a great loss to Edo and Delta States respectively.
One secondary school student on his way to the stadium who spoke with the Nigeria Observer, but declined to give her name, said, “I am trekking to the stadium to pay my respect to late Ogbemudia. I was not even born when he was governor, but all what he has done, we still see them and my parents told me some other things he did in Edo and Delta States”.
Also, an Edo resident, who gave her name as Mrs. Florence Obasohan, said,”how can we forget Ogbemudia? Or the things he did while he was governor? We can never forget him”
Mrs. Obasohan who spoke in Benin dialect, added, “we have not seen a governor as Ogbemudia, and I doubt if we will see any. Governors should followed his footsteps if they must be remembered”.
Meanwhile, The Head, Department of mass communication, Delta State University, Abraka, Dr. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, has described the demise of the late sage, as death of the symbol of selflessness and political sagacity.
Dr. Ufuophu-Biri who spoke from Delta state however tasked state governors to emulate Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia style of governance, despite meagre and scarce resources.
While liking the departed leader to Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, He urged Nigerian youths to learn from the late erudite administrator, that there is goodness and benefit in selfless service.
Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia died in the early hours of Thursday, 9th of March 2017, at age 84.