Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday called on Nigerians to play their role in working for the peace, progress and development of the nation.
Okowa made the call at the funeral service of His Royal Majesty, Ovie Dr Richard Layeguen Ogbon, Ogoni-Oghoro I, the Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state.
While paying tribute to the departed monarch, who was called to eternal glory at the age of 106 years, Okowa urged Nigerians to emulate the exemplary lifestyle of the centenarian traditional ruler who was dedicated to the peace, unity and development of his kingdom and beyond.
He said that the call had become necessary as it would go a long way in helping the country to regain its lost glory among the comity of nations, adding that every Deltan and every Nigerian should work towards making the state and the country great.
According to him, there is still a role for every Deltan and every Nigerian to play to ensure that we collectively make life better in the country despite the difficult and very challenging times in the nation.
“I want to urge those of us that live because, as we gather here this afternoon to honour our departed father, it is no longer about him, it is about us and the life that we live and the contributions that we make to our state and to our nation great.
“Even in very difficult times and very challenging times in our nation, there is still a role for every Deltan, there is still a role for every Nigerian to play to ensure that we make life better for this nation,” Okowa said.
He lauded the Olomu Kingdom and the Urhobo nation for giving the late royal father a heroic burial.
“I believe that looking back, there is a lot of lessons to learn from the life of our departed royal father, our departed royal Canon of the Anglican church and a father figure in Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Richard Ogbon, the Owhorode of Olomu Kingdom.
“I met him several years ago but very closely, as we worked in government particularly in this last seven years while l was governor, l found that he was a man who was a special breed from God; to the extent that even at the age of 106 years old, he was still strong and able to attend our state functions.”
He said the late monarch committed 70 years of his life in rendering service and called on the people to emulate his virtues.
“The late monarch served the government as a teacher for 35 years and served Olomu Kingdom for another 35 years as traditional ruler.
“He was a wonderful man full of wisdom and l thank God that a lot of us tapped into that wisdom. He was a man full of prayers and any time l met him, he did pray for me and l know that his prayers is one that the Lord heard that saw me through this eight years in office.
“So, l thank God for the life that he lived; a life that was exemplary. Yes, sometimes, prophets are not honoured in their homes. But l thank God that papa received accolades from a lot of people and we respected him a lot.
“We also thank God for the peace that he brought to the Olomu Kingdom and as the immediate past Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council of the Urhobo nation, he achieved quite a lot in helping to bind the Urhobo nation together.
“So, papa did a lot of great work both in educating our people, in community service and in ensuring the unity of the Urhobo people and the unity of Delta State.
“As a state, we will continue to miss him. He has left his name in the sand of time and l believe by the special grace of God, he has gone to meet with the Lord,” he stated.
In a sermon tagged “There Is Time For Everything,” the Archbishop of Bendel Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Revd. Cyril Odutemu said the late monarch was a lover of Christ and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.
Odutemu who said that there was life after death, reminded Nigerians, especially Christians, of the need to embrace Christ in order to have eternal home in heaven.
He, therefore, advised those in positions of trust to live for people instead of self.
The funeral service was attended by the wife of Edo State Governor Mrs Betsy Obaseki; Governor-elect of Delta Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, Chief Great Ogboru, Vanguard Publisher, Mr Sam Amuka among others.