Ogbemudia Buried In Country Home
BEVERLY HILLS, March 17, (THEWILL) – The late former governor of the old Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, was on Friday buried in his Iheya country home.
Ogbemudia was buried by family members at 1: 47 p.m. with a 21-gun salute by men and officers of the 4 Brigade in Benin.
The deceased had prepared his grave five years ago beside that of his mother.
Hundreds of thousands of Benin residents, including school children, had earlier besieged the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to bid the late elder statesman farewell.
Among the dignitaries at the event were the State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; his deputy, Philip Shaibu; Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; the immediate past Governor of the Edo, Adams Oshiomhole; his former deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu; another former Governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, and a former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Also present were a former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and a former Federal Commissioner, Chief Edwin Clark.
Others are senior chiefs from the palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, and members of the National Assembly and state House of Assembly.
There was a heavy presence of security, provided by personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services, Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Legion, to ensure orderliness as more residents flooded the stadium to participate in the ceremony.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, had on Thursday declared one-day public holiday for Friday , to enable workers and students pay their last respects to the man who built the stadium as a military governor of Midwest region.
Ogbemudia's remains arrived in the stadium at 11:04 a.m. for an interdenominational service.
Every available space in the 35,000-capacity stadium was occupied by the crowd, including students and pupils of various public primary and secondary schools in Edo.
Meanwhile, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), had in a tribute, described the deceased as a strong believer in “One Nigeria.”
Gowon said Ogbemudia was a fine and bold administrator, who played his part well before and during the civil war.
According to him, the former governor exhibited good leadership qualities with legacies that still speak for him even in death.
Ogbemudia died last Thursday at the age of 84 in a private hospital, having suffered from diabetes for some years.