BENIN CITY: The burial rites for late Gen. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, former governor of Midwest Region old Bendel state began on Thursday, with service of songs held in his honour.
The service of songs which started at about 3.30pm was held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin as part of the burial arrangements for the late elder statesman which attracted dignitaries cutting across all strata of the society, as well as gladiator from the political arena both in Edo and Delta State who were present to hornour Brigadier General (Dr.) Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd).
Delivering a sermon tittled “What to be remembered for” taken from the book of Ecc.3:1-7 and Heb 9:27, the officiating minister Rt. Rev. Dr. Osama Usuanlele said as human we have just one life to live and will be remembered for the impact and contributions we made to the lives of the people that comes across our way while on earth as our ending is much more important than our beginning.
The man of God extol the leadership qualities of the late elder statesman who he described as an ideal leader who had the fear of God and the love of his people at heart as this propel him to deliver good governance to better the lives people he led. The preacher admonished the crowd to emulate the life and time of Dr. Ogbemudia who severed the people rather than serving his pocket.
Rt. Rev. Usuanlel challenged the generation of political leaders piloting the affairs of our state and nation to emulate the leadership quality he exhibited to develop the state. “Our father has left legacies that should be emulated by our political leaders to develop the nation. Dr. Ogbemudia has exile in the area of sport, infrastructural development, industries, transportation, education, media, agriculture etc”.
“In the area of media development, Dr. Osaigbovo established Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) Benin, Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS), Bendel Newspapers Company Limited (BNCL) Publishers of the Observer titled. In those days Observer was a force to reckon with in the nation and if you want to know the truth just read the Observer Newspapers. University of Benin is there, Opilla Cement Factory; Bendel Brewery; Agbede and Warake Farms, school sports, portable water, functional technical schools and many more achievement that is too numerous to mention”.
He said the successes recorded by Dr. Ogbemudia gave the people of the then Bendel state now Edo and Delta State a pride of place and a sense of belonging. “Ogbemudia made us to know that governance is all about service. Most of the crop of political leaders today seeks power without purpose as they left the Society worst than they met. We brought nothing to this world and we will take nothing out. The greatest hournour we can give to Ogbemudia is project like the abandoned library in Oba market, the Secretariat.”
The late Ogbemudia, who was military and civilian governor of the defunct Bendel state at different times, was extolled by various speakers at the event, as they described him as detribalized national icon and reference point in terms of governance. They added that it was his time the then Bendel state attained the number one status ‘Bendel No. 1.
In attendance were Governor of Edo, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu, and the governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and his deputy.
Others are former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former deputy governor of Edo state Rt Hon Pius Odubu, Secretary to Edo government, Mr Osarodion Ogie Speaker Edo House of Assembly Justine Okonobo, APC National Chairman Chief Odigie Oyegun, Minister for Health for state Osagie Ehanire ,senator Matthew Urhoghide , Chief of State Taiwo Akerele, Head of Service Gladdy Idahor, Chief Dan Obirh, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.