Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, on Friday, said that the unity of Nigeria is a collective responsibility of every Nigerian.
Gowon made the remark at the funeral rites of late Maj-Gen David Ejoor in his hometown, Ovwor, Olomu kingdom, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta.
Presenting his tribute, Gowon said Ejoor believed in the unity of Nigeria.
The elder statesman said the late former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was able to reconcile the people of Urhobo and Itsekiri ethnic nationalities as well as the Midwest region as a military governor.
“Keeping Nigeria as one is a task that must be done. That is what is necessary.
“Ejoor was able to reconcile Urhobo and Itsekiri and also keep Midwest region as one.
“As a good soldier, he suffered to avoid being captured so that he does not fight another day. He had a lot of military knowledge,” he said.
Gowon said Ejoor was a very good and loyal colleague adding that they work to keep the country together.
“His soul will certainly be unforgettable as a professional soldier and administrator. He was my senior until the change that took place.
“I will like to say goodbye to my colleague, rest well, I pray to God to receive you in His bosom,” he said.
Also speaking, the Governor of Edo, Godwin Obaseki said the spectacular contribution of Ejoor to the struggle for keeping Nigeria as a united entity cannot be forgotten in the anal of our common history.
“He will be richly acclaimed for his love and peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic grouping in Nigeria.
“He will be remembered for his belief in true federalism and his pioneering role in drafting the Nigeria Defence Policy.
“The manner in which the Nigerian military is represented in this occasion lend credence to the rich legacy and life he lived,” he said.
Also, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta said Ejoor lived a diligent, loyal and dedicated life worthy of emulation.
“If a lot of us continued to live in a manner he lived and believed his thought, I believed we can impact very quickly on our nation. He had all the attributes of a good man.
“Those of us who lived. That is a lesson we have to learn. Emulate the very good qualities that he had so that we can impact in this nation and change the narrative for the future,” he said.
Earlier, Brig-Gen Dominic Oneya, former military administrator of Kano and Benue states said Ejoor had ran a good race that would always be remembered.
“He showed me a good example of how to live a good life. I was close to him and his family when I was his Aide De Camp (ADC) between 1974 and 1975,” he said.
Recalled that Ejoor was COAS between 1972 and 1975 and also a military governor in the defunct Midwestern region.
He died on February 10, 2019, at the age of 87.
Rev Father, Gregory Umukoro in his sermon said late Ejoor lived a fulfilled life.
In his remark, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai said Nigerian Army and indeed Nigeria would forever miss late Ejoor.
“An astute professional soldier, great peacemaker, good human resource manager, robust administrator and a distinguished elder statesman,” he said.
In attendance were: Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete-Ibas; Gen Alani Akinrinade (rtd); Gen Alex Ogomudia (rtd) and other serving and retired military personnel.
Others were: former Delta governor, James Ibori; President/General, Urhobo Progress Union, Moses Taiga; Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, traditional rulers, religious leaders and others.