From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and the President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, were among eminent dignitaries who, yesterday, paid glowing tributes to the late executive chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Idahosa Okunbo, who died last year at the age of 63.
Other guests at the thanksgiving memorial service included representatives of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, chiefs of Warri Kingdom and captains of industries.
Ibori, two-term governor of Delta State, said: “We all would have wished he were here with us. We all benefitted in one way or the other from his generosity. Hosa was one man that can never say no when asked to do something.”
Assuring the family, Ibori said: “We are your fathers, brothers and as long as I continue to breath, you, the family, have me by your side. He was a great man and we will continue to miss him. He has not left, he is still with us.”
Shaibu recounted the philanthropic gestures of Idahosa to impact and transform the lives of numerous people, adding that it is difficult to say that he is no more alive because he leaves on.
“He lives on and will continue to live on. We can go on and on how he has touched lives. I have a personal relationship with him, and obviously, we will miss him.”
Earlier, Okunbo’s daughter and wife of the Olu of Warri, Olori Atuwatse III, said the departure of her father felt like a thousand pillars crushing her heart.
She said his death heralded a phase of grief that she did not know she could eventually conquer if it is not for the mercies of God and the fantastic people she has been gifted with.
The first daughter of the deceased added that she discovered that overcoming grief in totality is a myth because people never truly stop mourning the ones they loved.
Speaking for the Okunbo’s family, Kingsley Okunbo, said love has been what has kept the family together and it would never be traded for anything.He said Hosa learnt that art of kindness from his late father.
The officiating minister at the event and founder of Rock of Ages Christian Assembly International, Charles Osazuwa, in his sermon, entitled: the 5Ds, (Discovery, Decision, Diligence and Death), said Hosa led a fulfilled life while on earth. He urged youths to develop skills to add values to government, who, he said is in big trouble looking for rescue.