Dr Samuel Ogbemudia, former military and Civilian Governor of the defunct Midwest and Bendel is dead.
Mr Sam Ogbemudia Jr, confirmed the death of his father to journalists at the deceased’s residence on Friday in Benin. He said his father died on Thursday at a private hospital in Lagos at the age of 84, adding that he would miss everything about his father.
He said his father taught him almost everything in life, from childhood to adult. Ogbemudia said: “I learnt so much from him. He was a wonderful man. I will miss everything about him.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Ogbemudia was a former Military administrator of the old Mid-Western state from September 1967-1975.
Ogbemudia was elected Governor of the defunct Bendel August 1983 on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). Meanwhile, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, Deputy Speaker, Edo House of Assembly, has described the late Ogbemudia as a detribalised Nigerian.
Ativie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Ogbemudia’s transition was a sad loss to the nation. She described Ogbemudia as an elder statesman and an apostle of democracy who maintained a firm belief in the rule of law and fair play.
“The news was shocking; we have lost a leader and bridge builder. He has contributed a lot to sustain democracy and the development of the nation. “He is a good adviser, no matter the issue you take to him, you are sure that you will get good advice from him,” she said.
According to her, the power of life and death is in the hand of God. We have to accept it as the will of God. “I condole with the members of the deceased’s family and pray God to grants them the fortitude to bear the loss. We will miss his fatherly advice.”
A National Leader and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Gentleman Amegor also said that Ogbemudia’s exit was a painful loss. Amegor, who described the late statesman as his surrogate father, said, ‘’I am consoled with the fact that the late Ogbemudia lived a good life.
“He was my surrogate father and I will really miss him dearly. He was everything to his children and others who were not his biological children. “We are consoled with the fact that he represented everything good to humanity,” he said.
Samuel Ogbemudia was born in Benin City in 1933 and attended Benin Baptist School (1941–1945), Government school, Victoria in the Cameroons (1945–1947) and later, Western Boy’s High School, Benin City (1947–1949).
Before his involvement in politics, with the restoration of democracy in the country in 1999, he had joined the Nigerian army in 1957 and had his training at Teshie, Ghana as well as at Netheravon and Salisbury Plain in England (1957).
His military career also took him to the officer cadet school at Aldershot, England in 1960, and got commissioned second lieutenant in 1961. He attended the United States army special welfare school at Fort Bragg, South Carolina in 1962.
Ogbemudia served with the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Congo for 16 months in Tanzania in 1964 and was appointed an instructor to the Nigerian Military School, Zaria the same year.
Ogbemudia was appointed Military administrator of the defunct Mid-West State in September, 1967 and promoted to Lt. Colonel on Oct. 26,1967.
Ogbemudia initiated programmes urban development, education, public transportation, housing and commerce and built the Ogbe sports stadium, now Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.
His military administration was also credited with the establishment of the University of Benin, among others.
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