Four governors, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Prince Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) States and their counterpart in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki joined other distinguished Nigerians to bid farewell to Edo State-born billionaire, Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo who died in August this year at the age of 63.
Two daughters of President Muhammadu Buhari; Halima and Zara and their husbands along with former governors of Edo, Delta, Gombe and Borno States; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Chief James Ibori, Hassan Dakwambo Alli Modu Sheriff respectively, also attended the funeral of the business Mongol whose body was interred in a private vault after a funeral service at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Benin City.
Representatives of the Oba of Benin and the Olu of Warri, who is the son-in-law to the late Okunbo were also among the row call of guests at the Ceremony.
Pastor Godheart Ekuweme who title
his sermon ‘Life is a mystery’, said there was a time for everything and that Okunbo had sent the better part of the last one year in “deeper relationship with his creator”
On his part, Governor Obaseki, described Okunbo as an uncommon Nigerian who “could be described as a genius, a breaker of glass ceilings, a bridge-builder, a business tycoon, a philanthropist extraordinair”.
“Captain Hosa as we fondly called him was a man with a big heart, although he had humble beginnings he was armed with unyielding resolve as his children have said and he was determined to surmount life’s challenges and he did.
“He pushed himself to the limits to attain greatness, building an impressive business empire and transforming the lives of numerous people, many of them of Edo origin.
“A trained pilot, he mastered the air quite early in life and searched for the land in the maritime sectors prevailing in all spheres.
“He embodied hard work, perseverance, dexterity and acumen which espoused his Edo heritage. Captain was a philanthropist who gave lavishly off himself and his resources.
“He will be remembered for his undying love for Edo people. His desire for the progress and development of our dear state, the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as well as his invaluable contributions to building bridges across the country will never be forgotten.
“In building a vast business empire that spanned maritime, logistics, security, transpiration, agriculture and hospitality, he displayed a rare business acumen providing employment for thousands of Nigerians and contributing immensely to our nation’s development and progress. He was a devout family man. Undoubtedly, his exit will leave a gaping hole in the hearts of the people he imparted so dearly,” Obaseki eulogised.
In his tribute, the first son of Idahosa Okunbo, Osahon said his father’s life was guided by two principles which he said: “are love and mercy”.
The first daughter of late Captain Okunbo and wife of the Olu of Warri, Olori Atuwatse III in her eulogy, described her late father as a man with many parts and purposes.
She said, “My father was a great man. He lived in service to humanity. My father worked on purpose and in doing so, encouraged others to find their parts and purpose in life”.