Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, said the late Pa Arthur Okowa, father of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, was a man of destiny and lived a fulfilled life.
Obaseki stated this when he led a delegation which included his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, on a condolence visit to Governor Okowa at the Government House, Asaba.
He commiserated with the Okowa family, the government and people of Delta over the death of the Patriarch of Okowa family and that of the Majority Leader of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr Tim Owhefere.
He stated that Pa Okowa lived a worthy life of impact which culminated in his son becoming a governor.
“We are here to condole with our friend and brother, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on the passing of his beloved father and the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly.
“We are here to let you know that we share in your loss. I know that you have very close and fond relations with your father.
“Having lived for 88 years and saw you become governor, why shouldn’t we thank God for his life.
“Please accept our condolences; and, this is to let you know that the government and people of Edo State are with you in thoughts and in prayers throughout this mourning period,’’ Obaseki said.
In his response, Okowa thanked Obaseki and his delegation for the visit and said that his family was encouraged by the visit of numerous friends and well-wishers, including sitting and former governors.
“Your visit today has lightened our pain; our daddy lived long but we would have wished that he lived longer.
“Obviously, we wouldn’t have wanted him to leave at this time but there is no time that any man would like to die. But, it’s God who decides the time to call anyone.
“We are grateful to God for the life he lived. He was the people’s man and that’s the life he lived. He was a teacher, politician and community leader.
“Being a teacher, there was lots of discipline and that impacted positively on us. Yes, we are pained but looking into the testimonies that are coming out from people we are consoled.
“Our father contributed immensely to the development of the state as a teacher where he taught many people.
“As a politician, the advice he gave to me has always been useful to me throughout my political career.
“We will remain strengthened as we continue to receive condolence messages of hope and testimonies from those he impacted on,” Okowa stated.
On the late Owhefere, he described his death as very painful, saying he was full of life and it’s unfortunate that he left so early.
Okowa remarked that the lawmaker died a few hours before his father’s demise, adding that it was an unfortunate incident.
“He is somebody we must all continue to miss because of the relationship he kept with all,” he said.
Okowa also received a delegation of Ijaw leaders led by his Deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, who told him that the delegation was a representative of the larger Ijaw nation and was there to condole with him and the family on the demise of his father and the late member of the State House Assembly, who was its Majority Leader, Mr Tim Owhefere.
“We are not unaware of the fact that parents and children are the greatest assets to a man and when they pass away, no matter their age, it’s always excruciating and that’s why we are here to condole with you and the family.
“We are convinced that papa left a great legacy. He exemplified love, service, fairness, equity and justice in all his dealings,” Otuaro stated.
He assured the governor of the support of the Ijaw nation during the funeral period.
The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, who was in company with his Edo State counterpart, Mr Marcus Onobun and principal officers of both Houses of Assembly of both states, also visited the governor on the condolence.
In his remarks, Oborevwori said “We are here to pay a condolence visit to you with our counterpart from Edo State.
“We know how you feel in this mourning period. Papa has gone and no matter the age, his death is still painful but we are joyful that he left a legacy as a father to many.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and on behalf of the State House of Assembly and my colleagues from Edo State House of Assembly, we commiserate with you on the demise of our father, Pa Arthur Okorie Okowa.’’
On his part, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Onobun, said “we from Edo State House of Assembly are here to mourn with you. It’s not how long one lives on earth but the impact made while on earth.
“Papa has played his role on earth by bringing you and your siblings up and on this note, we ask that you accept our profound condolences.”
The Management and Staff of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) led by the Chairman, Chief Michael Diden, also visited the governor.
Managing Director of the commission, Chief Askia Ogieh, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said that Pa Okowa’s death was not a loss to the family alone but to humanity in general because of the positive impacts he made in his 88 years sojourn on earth.
Okowa also played host to the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick and the Delta State Management Committee of Public Motor Parks.