From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Nigerians from all walks of life, including President Muhammad Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his predecessor, David Mark and others, yesterday, mourned the Olorogun Michael Ibru, elder brother to the first executive governor of the state, the late Senator Felix Ibru.
President Muhammadu Buhari described the late Ibru as an accomplished businessman whose role in the corporate world and private sector in Nigeria would continue to inspire generations to come.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari condoled with the Ibru family, the government and people of Delta State and the Urhobos on the passage of their illustrious son and patriarch of the Ibru family.
The President said the late Ibru would be long remembered for his hardwork and dedication to entrepreneurship, which opened doors of opportunities to many Nigerians and associates who came in contact with his investments in the banking, aviation, tourism and manufacturing sectors.
Buhari urged members of his family and all who mourned him to honour his memory by constantly upholding the values of selfless-service, inter-ethnic harmony, knowledge and perseverance, which he passionately promoted through his successful career in the private sector.
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his predecessor, David Mark also paid tribute to the patriarch of the Ibru dynasty.
Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described him as a colossus and trailblazer, who impacted humanity tremendously and positively.
“I can say that he is one of the phenomenal personalities in our time who successfully immortalised themselves before bidding goodbye to this plane of existence. His likes are rare. He shall be sorely missed,” Saraki said.
Senator Mark said Ibru died at a time his managerial and administrative skill were needed to navigate through the current economic and socio-political challenges facing the nation.
“Ibru distinguished himself as a man of integrity, honesty and very resourceful entrepreneur. He was a pioneer industrialist who extended his good will and philanthropy for the benefit of the society. Unarguably, Ibru left his positive footprint on the sand of time . We shall miss this great man. We shall miss his astuteness, entrepreneurship and resourcefulness . He was a great Nigerian who added great value to the society,” he said.
To former deputy speaker of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, he was a decent person both in character and behaviour.
Okpozo said his lifetime was dedicated to the cause of humanity as he helped a lot of people to build up their economic positions.
“He helped the country a lot too because of the establishment he made…He would be remembered for the good work to his people and those who were close to him.”
“A great iroko has fallen again in urhobo nation. Olorogun Michael Ibru as a fish magnate and business guru brought a lot of industries to Urhoboland which created jobs for our youths; he made so many people,” former member of the state House of Assembly, Taleb Tebite, said.
Another Urhobo, Fred Majemite said Ibru was “an enigma, a legend and the best of a family man… a colossus who bestrode the length and breath of our nation in all its ramifications; be it business, education, health or housing. He was a master of all and he will be remembered for his foray into fish business and brewery.”
Denis Omovie who represents Warri South II at the state House of Assembly said Olorogun Ibru would be remembered for his great contributions to the development of Urhobo nation, Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.
Also speaking, Chief Sheriff Oborevbori said his death was a colossal loss to Delta State, Urhobo nation and Nigeria as a whole.
Sam Mariere, a lawyer, also spoke in the same vein: “I have lost a great constituent, a man that created jobs for many youths right from the 70s till date.”