THE late military administrator and civilian governor of the defunct Midwest and Bendel State, Dr Samuel Osagbovo Ogbemudia was on Friday laid to rest at his residence in Benin with notable Nigerians paying tribute to him.
Brig-Gen Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (rtd) died on Thursday, March 10, in Lagos, at the age of 84.
The remains of the late elder statesman was brought to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, for prayer before being taken to his residence at 26, Iheya Street, Benin, for interment.
The traditional 21-gun salute was observed for the late Ogbemudia, who retired as a Brigadier-General in the Nigerian Army.
Dignitaries at the funeral programme at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium included a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, former Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State, former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, former deputy governor Pius Odubu of Edo State, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, member of the Edo State House of Assembly and others.
In his tribute, Gen. Yakubu Gowon described late Ogbemudia as a good administrator who made his mark during the Nigerian civil war and impacted positively on his people.
He said: “As a soldier, he played his part well before, during and after the Nigeria civil war. His legacies still speak well for him today in whatever area of life he touched.”
He described Ogbemudia as a legend and a nationalist, adding that Ogbemudia did not die, but “moved to another barrack, a spiritual barrack.
Former governor Adams Oshiomhole said Ogbemudia immortalise himself before his death with his legacies, adding that he would be remembered for what he achieved in the present day Edo and Delta states
The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said “we have lost a leader whose exemplary style of governance became a reference point for responsible governance in Nigeria.”
Obaseki, who thanked the management of Lagoon Hospital, Lagos, and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for looking after Dr Ogbemudia, assured the Ogbemudia family that his government would not abandon them.
For Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, Ogbemudia was an epitome of vision, courage, discipline and selflessness.
He said Ogbemudia carved a niche for himself as a quintessential public servant dedicated to the common good of the people, adding that history will remember the courageous part he played as an officer to preserve the unity of Nigeria during the political crisis of 1966.
The officiating priest, Rev. Orinamen Oyonude Ofure, said Ogbemudia would be remembered for his undeniable legacies which cannot be erased.
He offered prayer for the late Dr Ogbemudia, remarking that “you were a gift to the nation; we will all miss you.”