Burial rites begin
From Bimbola Oyesola and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
NATIONAL Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday disclosed the party is making arrangements to honour the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, SAN. He described Ocholi’s death as a ‘personal loss’.
Speaking when he led a delegation on a condolence visit to the family of Ocholi, who died in a ghastly car accident last Sunday, Oyegun said: “Honestly, that will be something we will deal with. It is not something at this stage to give to the media but, he was a deserving party member and the party will turn out and honour him in the way hierarchy deserves.
“We are here on a condolence visit to the family of James Ocholi who was also the former interim deputy legal adviser to the party whom I had cause to consult with often, whose thought processes and mine were very, very similar.
“It was for me, an issue of very deep sadness and made even graver by the fact that his wife and a grown-up son also passed in the same incident. So, for me, it is a very personal loss.
From the point of view of the party, he was ever a dedicated believer in change and dedicated party man because you could call on him anytime.
“He was always in the office over one issue or the other even though he did not have a permanent office table.
He was very very dedicated to the cause of his people and the people of Kogi State. And, at every point I needed help, explanation, or whatever, he was there to provide it, to give me the issues behind.”
Earlier, Ocholi’s son, Aaron, appreciated Oyegun’s presence and added:
“I can only pray the grace on the men here present because the men in this room right now in one way or the other determine the tides and the future of this nation.
“One way or the other, as a party currently in government, these are men of utmost importance and I can only ask and pray for grace, the grace to be the best you could be to your people, to the country, to even people around you, to lead this nation to greater height …”
Meanwhile, Federal Government, yesterday, officially announced the funeral programme for the late Ocholis.
According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, who is also the chairman of the Burial Planning Committee, the three-day funeral programme will commence today with a special court session at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, followed by a service of songs at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, later in the evening.
The bodies will leave National Hospital, Abuja tomorrow, for another special court session at Kogi State High Court of Justice Lokoja, after which the remains will depart Lokoja for Abocho, Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, where Christian wake, tributes, praise worship and testimonies will take place.