Prominent Nigerians, on Wednesday, paid glowimg tributes to the first governor of Delta State, Olorogun Felix Ibru.
Accolades also poured in torrents for him at an Evening of Tributes in Lagos, commencing his burial rites.
Those who spoke at the Federal Palace Hotel event eulogised his mien and carriage as a gentleman par excellence.
Dignitaries in attendance at the event were Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Chief Phillip Asiodu, Amb. P A Clark, former military governor of Delta, Air Commodore Louis Ochuno, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman and representative of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Senator Olarewaju Tejuosho, Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi, and the Governor of Delta State Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and the co-chairman of the African Newspapers of Nigeria(ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, Dr (Mrs) Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu.
Okowa in his tribute, said Ibru left a good legacy, treasurable and unflinching values.
“He transformed the lives of many Uhrobo people and, indeed, Delta people. He was in the mind of many Nigerians. He believes anything is possible through hard work and dedication,” he said.
The governor urged his family to seek solace in his contributions to the development of his state and Nigeria in general.
Uduaghan said there was a lot to say about the first chairman of Delta State governors.
According to him, “In one of our interactions, he told me he didn’t venture into business like his other siblings because he wanted to serve his people and Nigeria.
“He did serve in the capacity as a governor, senator of the country and President General of Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU).
“He was so humble that anytime we meet, he always wanted to defer to me.”
The former governor added that: “as president of UPU, he worked for the unity of Urohobo and Delta people.”
Speaking on his controversial removal as president of UPU, Uduaghan said it was regrettable the union had not remained the same since then, but urges that Felix death should be used to reunite the union.
Air Commodore Luke Ochuno said Felix Ibru’s humility was no match, saying “ he won the 1991 governorship option A 4 election without rancour. He didn’t taunt or insults his opponent.”
Ochuno noted that when Ibru was governor, Delta was at peace but reverse was the situation today, as according to him, “the state is experiencing series violence.”
The former military administrator added it would be foolhardy to ignore the level of violence in the world today because there is no more limit to evil man could do.
Anyaoku described him as a genuine gentleman.
Professor Akinyemi, who said he was at the event to give tribute to his senior prefect, said Ibru used to refer to me “as that little rat because I was the smallest boy in Igbobi College in those days.
“He did not tolerate bullying . I learnt from him not to use position to suppress others. I offered him an ambassadorial position but he humbly rejected it with explanation he would like to participate in home politics. I thanked him for protecting me in school.”
Asiodu said he could testify to all the good things said about him. “I hope his legacies would continue to be published to give service, united, honest and humility. It would be a great advantage if Nigeria remain united,” he said
Eulogising Felix Ibru, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman said, “I cherished his advice to me when I was being posted here and there by my superior. He told me to remain calm before General Gowon invited me to join his cabinet as a Federal Commissioner.
From left, late Felix Ibru’s elder sister, Christina Ibru, his nephew Peter Ibru and Felix Oyovwevotu Ibru