The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has extolled the exemplary virtues of the late Obasogie of Benin Kingdom, Chief Eduwu Ekhator, praising his contributions to the peace and development of the state.

Obaseki spoke when he led other top state functionaries on a condolence visit to the residence of Late Chief Ekhator.

The governor was accompanied by Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie; Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Osaro Idah; Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State, Anselm Ojezua, and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikpoba – Okha Local Government Area, Mr. Asonsere Nicholas, among others.

Obaseki said: “Chief Ekhator has played his part and because he played his part well, we will continue to remember him. We feel his loss and we will continue to feel that loss.

“He is irreplaceable; for those of us he left behind, the greatest honour we can do to him, particularly the children and the family, is to continue to live for what he stood for.

“To continue to live for truth and love because he was somebody who took everybody as one. He took me as his younger brother; he didn’t see me as Governor Godwin Obaseki but saw me as his younger brother.”

The governor continued: “Chief Ekhator felt he had a responsibility to look after me, to guide and nurture me. What is interesting is that before I came into office, he held a position in government. During my tenure, he didn’t have any official position but he didn’t because of that, not see himself as a part of our government. In fact, he saw himself more as a part of our government than when he was chairman of the state’s peace committee.”

“We are a family and that is why we also grieved. We grieved because of what he stood for; he was a voice of reason and progress,” he added.

On his part, Ojezua noted: “When APC was established in Nigeria, Chief Ekhator was one of the pillars that the party was founded on in Edo. We benefited immensely from his wisdom and influence, both as a leader in politics and a very prominent chief from a prominent family in Benin kingdom.

“So, one can understand the degree of loss that we all experience today. He worked so hard, particularly during our trying times before the election and after the election itself. I am so happy that election results were announced before his departure.”

On his part, the first son of the late chief, Prince George Ekhator, thanked Governor Obaseki for his developmental strides across the state.

He said: “Sir I want to thank you for your wisdom, for what you have done and what you will continue to do to elevate the state to a greater height.

“My dad lived a wonderful life; he has contributed a lot to the development of the state. We will not stop where he stopped but continue to build on it and carry it higher.”