From Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Former Delta State Governor Chief James Onanefe Ibori, Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu and the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, were among eminent dignitaries who paid glowing tributes to the late executive chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Captain Wells Idahosa Okunbo, who passed on last year at the age of 63.
Other guests present at the thanksgiving memorial service include representatives of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, Chiefs of Warri Kingdom, Olusegun Awolowo, former executive director and chief executive officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and captains of industries.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Ibori, a two-time governor of Delta State, said: “We all would have wished he were here with us.
“We all benefited in one way or the other from his generosity. The late 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 breathe, 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”.
Also speaking, Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu recounted the philanthropic gestures of the late 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.
“On behalf of Governor Godwin Obaseki, I condole with the family of our beloved son. 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.”
Shaibu urged the family to carry on with their father’s legacies and allow unity to prevail.
Earlier, the daughter of the late Captain Okunbo 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 the death of her father 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.
While describing her late father’s qualities, she said he was a generous man who impacted humanity.
“My dad was a giver and hardly thought about benefits to himself but society at large.
“He invested resources in making the world around him better for everyone. He was a believer in humanity and wishes everyone to see life as an opportunity to serve”, she said.
Speaking for the Okunbo’s family, Mr Kingsley Okunbo, said love has been what has kept the family together and it will never be traded for anything.
He said the late 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 (RACAI), Charles Osazuwa, in his sermon, titled the 5 Ds, (Discovery, Decision, Diligence the right choice and Death), said the late Captain Hosa led a fulfilled life while on earth.
He admonished youths to develop skills to add value to the government, who he said is in big trouble looking for rescue.