Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Delta State immortalises ex-governor Felix Ibru

The Delta State secretariat complex in Asaba was, yesterday, named after the first civilian governor of the state, the late Felix Ibru. Also to be named after the deceased is the senate building of the Delta State University, Abraka, subject to approval by the institution’s Governing Council.

Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who made the disclosure at a valedictory session, held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, described Olorogun Ibru as a “pioneer, visionary, accomplished professional, entrepreneur par excellence, astute politician and strong leader.”


Okowa said Ibru’s greatest legacy is that Delta, besides surviving as a state, has continued to flourish as a key component of the Nigerian project, adding: “Felix Ibru will be remembered as a patriot, a man of courage and an extraordinary leader who always stood on the side of the people. His life reminds us that wealth and service are not antithetical to each other; that our true wealth lies in our willingness to give ourselves, our time and resources for the common good.”


Going down memory lane, Okowa said Ibru’s political acumen shone brightest during his tenure as executive governor when he weathered storms to keep the multi-ethnic state united.“It was in this tense political atmosphere that Ibru assumed leadership of the state. It fell on him to douse the tension and mutual distrust that threatened the successful takeoff of the new state.
“It was his noble disposition, steely resolve and unrivaled commitment to fuse the different ethnic groups into a unified, coherent entity that undoubtedly laid the foundation for the growth and development of Delta State,” Okowa said.

Paying glowing tributes also was Senate President Bukola Saraki, whose letter of condolence to the bereaved family was read by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North). He described Ibru as a revered and illustrious leader who would be greatly missed by all.

Former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senator James Manager, former Deputy Governors Amos Utuama, Benjamin Elue, and Simeon Ebonka, also praised the life and times of Ibru, describing him as a nationalist who believed in peaceful approach to achieving results.Uduaghan said Ibru was a passionate Deltan, who worked relentlessly to ensure development in the state, crediting him with promoting unity in the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU).

“He believed strongly in the fact that the Urhobo must live in harmony with their immediate neighbours and other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta. As UPU President General, he was very concerned with the physical, economic, political and cultural development of the Urhobo people. Of major concern to him also was the level of environmental degradation that was going on in Urhobo land and other parts of the Niger Delta,” said Uduaghan.

The tribute by former Governor James Ibori was read by Eriatake, his daughter and member of the Delta State House of Assembly (Ethiope West). Breaking down in tears, she described Ibru as detribalised, saying the state and the country would miss his virtues.

Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, former military governor of the defunct Midwest and Bendel States, from where Delta State was carved, said Ibru contributed immensely “to what is celebrated as the Midwest miracle.” He described the deceased as an excellent architect and humane administrator, and prayed God to grant him eternal rest.


Earlier in a sermon, the Bishop of Asaba Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu, called on Christians to examine themselves and be conscious of where they hope to spend eternity.
“Your life should be centered on Christ. In whatever you do, know that the world is not a permanent place,” he said, admonishing Christians, especially politicians, to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, warning they would account for their deeds.

Senator James Manager (Delta South Senatorial District) said Ibru was a man of honour and integrity, adding: “He displayed exemplary dedication to duty, commitment and was never late to any assignment.”

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