The 85 years old legend, believed to be the best thing that happened to Edo and Delta States, Dr Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, is dead.
He died Thursday in a private hospital in Lagos.
He was military Governor (1967–1975) of the Mid-West State, later renamed Bendel State, later Edo and Delta states. He returned in 1983 as Governor of Bendel State for three months between October and December.
He was to become Minister under late General Sani Abacha between 1993 and 1998.
Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari, just back from London from his medical leave extended his condolences to the Ogbemudia family and Edo government over Ogbemudia’s death
In a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said he believed “that the late Ogbemudia, who had a distinguished career as a military officer, administrator and Federal Minister, has left an impressive legacy of hardwork, discipline and commitment to communal, state, regional and national development.
The statement adds, “The President recalls the unique role of the elder statesman in the nation’s return to civilian rule in 1999 and trusts that, as a tireless advocate for equity, he will be long remembered and honoured for his dedication to the advancement of his people, especially in the fields of education, social welfare and infrastructure.
“President Buhari prays that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn the late Brig.-Gen. Ogbemudia and grant his soul eternal rest.”
Also, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Turaki Hassan, condoled with the government and people of Edo State over the death of the legend he acknowledged as “Edo Best Ever Governor”.
Dogara said Ogbemudia’s contributions to the development of the state during his term as Military Governor of the defunct Mid Western and later Bendel State remains indelible and iconic.
“His later election as civilian Governor of present Edo state was, perhaps, the most befitting testimony of his performance rating by the people of Edo state,” the Speaker said.
While urging leaders to borrow a leaf from the selfless service the late elder statesman paid during his lifetime, he stressed that emphasis should be on building legacies that will outlive them.
“In the short time he had in public office, he left a lasting legacy in the hearts of people, especially those from the old MidWest region, and Bendel State in particular. For me, he is a reminder that we, as leaders, must engage in activities that will promote the growth, development and well-being of our people in order to leave a legacy that will last long after we have been called from the earth,” Dogara said.
While expressing sadness that Nigeria has lost yet another elderstatesman, the Speaker prayed the Almighty God to console the family he left behind, grant them the fortitude to bear the loss and give eternal rest to his soul.