OmonJulius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has described as shocking the death of former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Sam Obi, asking his family and relations to take solace in the fact that he led a good life and left worthy legacies.
Okowa described the deceased as “a dependable political ally” whose contributions to democracy in the country as well as the development of the state, and Ika North-East Local Government Area in particular, would not be forgotten.
Obi was the state acting governor following the judicial nullification of the governorship election of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan from November 2010 until the rerun few months later.
The former Speaker, who hailed from Ute-Okpu in Ika North-East LGA, was also the founder and minister of Oracle of God Ministries Church in Asaba, the state capital.
He was formerly the chairman, Board of Directors of The Pointer Newspaper owned by the state government.
Regarded as a grassroots politician, having begun public office as a councillor and later a local government chairman, Obi’s last public outing was last Wednesday as a VIP guest at the Second Maris Public Lecture at the Government House in Asaba, three days before his death last Saturday after a brief illness.
However, Okowa said in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba that Obi “was a great patriot and leader who led with the fear of God.
“Obi was a dependable political ally, whose commitment to the attainment of ‘Stronger Delta’ based on unity and peace, was infectious and grandiose.”
Okowa added: “On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I mourn the passing of our beloved brother and former acting Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. Sam Obi.
“He was a very peaceful man who loved his people and served them to the best of his ability.
“As a minister in the temple of God, Prince Obi served the Lord by preaching the gospel of Christ and shepherding His flock until his demise.
“As a former Speaker and acting governor, he will be long remembered for his contributions to the growth and development of the Ika nation and Delta State in general.”
Also, former state Governors, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan; the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, as well as former state Assembly Speaker, Hon Victor Ochei, were among those who expressed grief over the demise of Obi.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of Maris Trust Council, Sir Fidelis Egugbo, while describing Obi’s death as “tough to believe,” observed that: “In the second edition held on March 31, 2021, in his usual candour as a statesman, he was seated before 12 noon when the lecture commenced and stayed till the end of the lecture.
“Life, like a flower, blossoms in the morning but withers in the evening. Your Excellency, Prince Sam Obi, you stamped your footprints on the sands of time.”