Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has condoled the Otobo family and the entire people of Isoko on the death of Pa James Augustine Ekpre Otobo who died recently at the age of 86.
The governor attended the funeral alongside Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark among other prominent Deltans and Nigerians.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sunny Ogefere, the Governor said that the death of Pa Otobo, the patriarch of the Otobo family of Uzere, was a great loss to the Nigerian nation being one of the founding fathers of Nigeria.
Dr Uduaghan noted that Pa Otobo, a former Deputy Premier of the defunct Midwest Region, was a member of the delegation that handled Nigeria’s Independence talks in London.
Similarly, he said that as leader of Opposition in Midwest Region, Pa Otobo through constructive criticisms and contributions, promoted peace, unity and progress of the Region.
His words: “All along, Pa Otobo remained resolute for an indivisible one Nigeria with equal treatment for the federating units … even within Delta State; he brought to bear his elderly role on oneness and togetherness of the people”.
Besides, the Governor recalled that though Pa Otobo fought to give the Isoko an identity in the country, he was a pan-Nigerian who actively and doggedly stood for the peace and unity of Delta State even to death.
“Pa Otobo was a pillar of support, who stood not just by me and my family in trying times but ensured through his wise counsels that there was stability in my administration and the polity of the State”, he stated.
Furthermore, he said: “Pa Otobo’s death is a personal loss to me as I will greatly miss his absence. I pray God Almighty to grant all of us especially the family and the Isoko the fortitude to bear the loss”.
Recall that, Pa Otobo, former deputy premier in the defunct Mid-Western Region, passed on at the age of 86 at St. Mary’s Hospital, London after a brief illness.
The late patriarch has also been mourned by the Isoko Political Class, who have condoled with the family of Late Chief James Otobo and the people of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State over the demise of their political leader and father of Isoko Ethnic Nationality.
In a condolence message endorsed by the Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay and secretary, Delta state chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Ogba, the group noted that the contribution of Late Chief Otobo to national development cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
Eulogizing Chief Otobo post-humously, the group stressed that the late politician would be remembered as one who fought tirelessly to give Isoko people self-identity from the Urhobo as well as the founding father of the Isoko Development Union (IDU).
“The contributions of Chief Otobo in the area of fiscal federalism, minority right and the political growth of the Isoko nation in particular, marked him out as a great leader whose legacies would ever remain in the minds of all people of goodwill”.
Chief Otobo would be remembered primarily as the Deputy Premier of the defunct Midwest region in 1965 after he served as a member of the Western House of Assembly from 1951-1963.
He also served as Minister of Midwest Affairs, Western Region (1960-63), General Secretary, Midwest state Movement, Deputy Administrator and Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development in the interim Administration Council, as well as Minister of Development and Economic Planning, Midwest region.