Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, Delta Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Senate President David Mark, Delta Assembly Speaker Victor Ochei, and other political leaders including Deltans at the local, state and federal levels have expressed shock and offered their condolences on the sudden death of Senator Akpor Pius Ewherido in Abuja on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
Late Senator Ewherido, who turns out to be the only Senator at the National Assembly elected on the platform of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP), passed on last Sunday at the National Hospital, Abuja reportedly from stroke related complications at the age of 50 years.
The Delta State branch of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) has declared a three-day mourning period in honour of the late politician.
Here are excerpts of some of the signed statements and releases made available to Blank NEWS Online:
I Received The News With Shock, Sadness -President Goodluck Jonathan:
President Jonathan, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said he has received with shock and sadness, news of the passing away of Senator Akpor Pius Ewherido.
“On behalf of himself and all members of the executive arm of the Federal Government, President Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to Senator Ewherido’s family, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, and all of the late Senator’s colleagues in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
“The president joins them, members of the Ewherido family and the government and people of Delta State in mourning the distinguished legislator, who served commendably as a member and deputy speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly before his election as the Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the 2011 general elections.
“President Jonathan prays that God Almighty will comfort Senator Ewherido’s family, relatives, colleagues in the National Assembly and all the people of his constituency.
“He further prays that God will, in His infinite mercies, grant them the strength and fortitude to bear the painful loss of the very promising politician at the relatively youthful age of 50.”
He Was A Forthright, Vibrant Parliamentarian And Hardworking Senator -Senate President, David Mark:
The Senate President, David Mark expressed sorrow over the death of Senator Pius Ewherido (DPP-Delta).
This is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja.
Mark described the late senator as a forthright, vibrant parliamentarian and a hardworking senator.
He noted that Ewherido had within his short but eventful membership of the Senate displayed patriotism, commitment and truly distinguished himself as a parliamentarian of a “very high standard’’.
“We have lost a true friend and colleague. We lost a vibrant and a very articulate senator. We have lost a patriotic Nigerian who stood to be counted when it mattered.’’
The senate president noted that one of late Ewherido’s bills on how to address the issue of manslaughter in the land was currently undergoing thorough legislative work.
According to him, the deceased should have been alive to see his good works aimed at saving mankind.
He said the Senate would do the ‘needful’ to ensure that the immediate family of the deceased did not suffer.
He condoled with the government and people of Delta, especially the bereaved family, to take solace in the fact that the late senator lived an accomplished life worthy of emulation.
He Was An Exemplary Patriot And Consummate Political Leader -Rt Hon (Engr) Victor Ochei, Speaker, Delta Assembly:
The Speaker of the Delta state House of Assembly, Rt Hon (Engr) Victor Ochei expressed shock at Senator Ewherido’s demise.
A statement signed by the Speaker reads, “It is with great shock that I received the news of the death of Senator (Barr.) Pius Akpos Ewheriodo, a colleague and an erstwhile Acting Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly.
“My sense of loss regarding this illustrious son of Delta State stems from the fact that, he departed when his repertoire of knowledge would have enhanced our fledgling democracy, coupled with my vintage knowledge of him as a contemporary in the Third Assembly of the Delta State Legislature, where his persuasive and logical skills during debates on the floor of the House, distinguished him as a worthy ambassador to the advancement of legislative excellence, by becoming the first product of the Delta State Legislature to attain a Senatorial status, where he brought his legislative acumen to bear on debates pertaining to topical national issues as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The late lawmaker was an exemplary patriot, whose advocacy centred on the imperatives of socio-economic emancipation of the polity, as the credible platform for a corporate and indivisible Nigeria nation.
“Again, the late Senator Ewheriodo was a consummate political leader, arising from his insatiable quest for knowledge, through voracious reading as well as interacting with all strata of the society irrespective of tribe or religion.
“I sincerely wish to implore his immediate and extended family to take solace in the fact that though he has transmuted to celestial realm, his accomplishments in his short but eventful life will be a source of inspiration to the living.
“May I therefore on behalf of my family and the entire Delta State Legislature, wish him a sweet repose in the bosom of the Almighty God.”
Senator Ewherido’s Death, A Rude Shock – Delta State Government:
The Government and people of Delta state has also in a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah Esq, eulogized the late Senator Ewherido.
The statement dated July, 1, 2013 reads, “On behalf of the Government and people of Delta State, we condole with the entire Deltans, especially the people of Delta Central Senatorial District, over the passing of Senator Pius Akpor Ewherido, a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Before his election into the National Assembly in 2011, Senator Ewherido was a Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and also acted as Speaker.
“A man of calm mien, Senator Ewherido distinguished himself as a lawmaker in Delta State, a record that won the admiration of his constituents who proceeded to elect him into the National Assembly. Even at the federal level, his youthful vigour and passion for the upliftment of the Niger Delta region defined his contributions to the National Assembly.
“We pray to God to grant the late distinguished senator eternal rest and his family, friends and associates the fortitude to bear the loss.
“Adieu, Distinguished Senator.”
He Went “Deeper Than Divers Into The High Profoundities Of Sleep” -Olorogun Akpodiogaga Emeyese:
Olorogun Akpodiogaga Sunny Emeyese, representing Ethiope East Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, has on behalf of his constituents and family, express rude shock over the untimely passage of the vibrant political enigma, Distinguished Senator Pius Ewerido representing Delta Central/Ughelli South Senatorial District.
A condolence message signed by the Senior Special Assistant to Hon Emeyese on Media & Political Communication, Fred Latimore Oghenesivwe, quoted Emeyese as saying that “the demise of Senator Ewerido is a great political setback and a huge loss for the people of Delta State in particular and Nigeria, in general”. Senator Ewerido went “deeper than divers into the high profoundities of sleep” yesterday after a brief illness.
Olorogun Emeyese, is extremely pained by the exit of Ewerido from the political landscape of Nigeria and Delta State. He expressed his most sincere condolences to the leadership of the National Assembly, Delta State Government and the good people of Delta Central/Ughelli South Senatorial District, for the dark cloud occasioned by the “deep sleep” of the most distinguished senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Delta Govt Calls For Calm:
Earlier in a Government Special Announcement signed by the Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, the State Government while commiserating with the family advised Deltans, particularly members of his Constituency (Delta Central Senatorial District) to remain calm.
“The death is hereby announced of Senator Akpo Pius Ewherido, Senator representing the Delta Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. Senator Ewherido died today Sunday, 30th June, 2013 at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
“The Government of Delta State wish to commiserate with and express its deep condolences to the family at this trying moment. Government advises Deltans, particularly members of his Constituency to remain calm.
“We pray that God grants his family, constituents and all of us, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
It Is A Colossal Loss – Chief Tony Ezeagwu, Delta DPP Chairman:
Tearful Chief Tony Ezeagwu, Delta State Chairman of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) described Senator Pius Ewherido as a faithful friend but his death, a colossal loss.
Subdued by the sudden death of Ewherido, Chief Ezeagwu said that he was devastated by the death of the Senator who was recently suspended by the DPP over allegation of flirting with with the budding All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Delta DPP Chairman Ezeagwu said: “It is a colossal loss. I didn’t hear any news of his sickness only to be told that he had died. From what I gathered, he had a stroke three days ago and was rushed to the National Hospital Abuja. While preparations were in top gear to fly him abroad, he suddenly died.”
DPP Declares 3-Day Mourning Period:
Meanwhile, the Delta State branch of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) has declared a three-day mourning period in honour of the late politician.
Ezeagwu said that on the last day of the mourning, the entire DPP executive at both the state and local copuncil levels would pay a condolence visit to the bereaved family at the deceased hometown of Ewu, Ughelli South Local Council of Delta State.
The Chairman added that the decision to honour Ewherido notwithstanding the suspension over anti party activities was reached at an emergency meeting attended by officials of the party across the 25 local councils of the state as well as state lawmakers elected on the party’s platform.
Delta State chapter of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) on Monday, declared a three-day mourning period in honour of late Senator Pius Akpor Ewherido who represented Delta Central at the National Assembly.
The three-day mourning period would commence on Tuesday, July 02, 2013 and end on Thursday, July 04, 2013.
At the last day of the mourning period, the statement added, the entire DPP executive at both the state and local government levels would pay a condolence visit to the bereaved family at Ewu in Ughelli South Local Government Area.
Blank NEWS Online Encounter With Senator Pius Ewherido:
Blank NEWS Online had a recent encounter with Senator Pius Ewherido, while seeking his response on his puported suspension by Delta state chapter of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) for allegedly flirting with All Progressives Congress (APC).
The unperturbed Senator had on May 02, 2013, told Blank NEWS Online in his right of reply via text message that: “We had at the National level opted for merger. Those doing this are those opposed to our joining APC as ratified by our Convention two days back.
“Whatever they have done is a total nulity because the vast majority of us have ratified the merger. Democracy is about freedom of choice.”
Profile Of Late Akpor Pius Ewherido:
Akpor Pius Ewherido (4 May 1963 – 30 June 2013) was born in Ughelli. He attended Notre Dame College, Ozoro and Urhobo College, Effurun, Delta State. He went on to the University of Ife where he studied Philosophy. After his National Youth Service, Ewherido became a businessman in Warri. He also studied Law at the University of Benin, and was later called to the Bar.
He was a lawmaker at the Delta State House of Assembly between May 1999 and May 2007. He was elected Senator for Delta Central in the April 2011 national elections, running on the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) platform.
Ewherido joined the United Nigerian Congress Party (UNCP) during the Nigerian Third Republic. After the transition to democracy was aborted by Sani Abacha, he left politics and returned to business. In 1998 he joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and in April 1999 he was elected to represent the Ughelli South constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly.[
He was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House when it convened in June 1999. From 15 May 2000 until 20 March 2001 he was leader of the Assembly. Ewherido was reelected in April 2003, and was Deputy Speaker of the Assembly from May 2003 until May 2007.
In the 2006 PDP primaries he was a contender to be candidate for Governor of Delta State in the April 2007 election, but was unsuccessful in the primaries.
Ewherido left the PDP in order to compete for the Delta Central Senate seat on the DPP platform. In the DPP primary he was elected the candidate by a narrow margin, winning 125 votes to his opponent’s 108. In the April 2011 election he won 102,313 votes, ahead of Amori Ighoyota of the PDP who gained 85,365 votes.
Ewherido, who turned 50 on May 4, was vice chairman of the Senate Marine Transport Committee and a member of the Trade and Investment Committee. He was happily married with children.