Deputy governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja has commended the virtuous life of Elder Augustine Jibrin Okolo, father of former member representing Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholder, Hon. Benjamin Ikani Okolo whom he said lived and died in Christ.
Chief Onoja who represented the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello during the burial ceremony of Pa Augustine Jibrin Okolo at Anyigba, Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State called on the family to take heart, saying Elder Okolo who died at 98 will be greatly missed.
He further delivered the message of Governor Bello, saying the death of Elder Okolo is a collective loss to the people of Kogi State.
He further thanked the church for their prayers. He said “For nearly 4 years virtually everyday at Mass across the State, the church prayed to God to usher in a Government according to his will, which he graciously granted by ushering in the Bello-Onoja mandate as answer to the Catholic group prayers. My Principal and I alongside the New Direction Team and our Party will forever be grateful for your labor of love in prayers. We give God the all knowing all the glory”. .
In a release signed by by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Promise Emmanuel on Saturday, he also conveyed the intention of the Governor, like he usually does to support the church in the completion of their auditorium with a sum that will be communicated to the church authority.
The Deputy Governor disclosed that he is a Holy spirited Pentecostal who is married to a Catholic whose late father was a Knight, including her mother and of Egume and Ayingba origin.
He however noted that in heaven and at final judgment, religious affiliation, denominations and whatnot would not matter but account of every individual’s life and how it was spent would be called to question.
He thanked the church on behalf of the Governor for their endless prayers.
The burial which saw many dignitaries pour in became double eccentric when the Deputy Governor and political leader of Kogi East made way into St. Joseph’s Church where the Requiem mass was held before Pa Augustine was lowered into the grave.
Also speaking, the Bishop of Idah Diocese, Most Reverend Dr. Anthony Adaji (MSP), eulogized the Governor greatly for consistently defending Kogi State from the tag of COVID19. He says the issues surrounding the pandemic seem not to be straightforward, he therefore thanked Governor Bello for towing the path of integrity in defending Kogi people.
According to him, when Government does well, it behooves on religious leaders to applaud them. He says when they also err, the hammer should equally hit them.
He asked the deputy Governor to also convey to Governor Bello his approach towards dousing the tension in Bassa Kingdom which has been restive for years. He commended his Security touch on bringing those people to a place of peace, asking that he sustains the tempo.
He also recognized the place of uninterrupted payment of salaries, saying in the past when salaries were not paid, hunger was in the land and the people were angry, which pushed them into praying against his administration, however the consistency in the payment of salaries now is something that should be encouraged and applauded.
Giving the votes of thanks on behalf of the family of Pa Augustine was Hon. Benjamin Okolo who thanked everyone from far and wide who has come to show his family love in their moment of grief.
He thanked His Excellencies Gov Bello and his Deputy for the uncommon show of love eschewed of any bitterness. He prayed for the successful departure of all who has come to witness the sending home of his late father.
Also present at the occasion was the current member representing Dekina/Bassa Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Hassan Baiwa, the Member Representing Dekina/Biraidu District, Hon. Moses Ododo and the Special Adviser on Legislative Matters to Governor Bello, Hon Musa Ibrahim (HHMM).