By Zik Gbemre
The Nigerian Presidency’s lackadaisical disposition to recent painful passage of former federal minister, Gen John Orho Obada, again underscores federal government inciting neglect of the Urhobo nation among ethnic nationalities of the federation in recent times despite Urhobo’s huge contribution to national growth.
Since recent sad exit of Obada, what is expected of the Presidency was to reach out to his family by at least sending delegation to pay a condolence visit to his Agbarho home town, Ughelli North LGA of Delta State, that is if the President himself is so indisposed to come in person.
The resort to mere Federal Government issuance of condolence remarks through a Presidential media aide does not carry any weight, neither does it justify the required honour and respect ought to be accorded such a national hero who sacrificially served his country meritoriously.
The annoying development provokes some pertinent posers. Is that how Federal Government has responded to others of Maj Gen Obada’s status in Nigeria in the past? Or is it because Obada is from the Urhobo minority tribe? Is this right?
Federal Government of Nigeria ought to have sent a delegation to commiserate with Maj Gen John Obada’s family pending even a more robust presence in a formal anticipated state burial because the late military icon and administrator served the country in diverse ways.
From Acting Chief of Airforce Staff, Minister of Works, to many other roles in active Nigerian Military service, and also in the corporate sectors, Obada was exemplary in his prime.
A former Shell Asset/Production Manager Land-West, said of Gen Obada in a response to my condolence on his demise, “Zik, it’s really sad to hear of Gen Obada’s death. You’re right, he is one of the few honest people I worked with as the Shell Land Area Asset Manager. He broke ranks and entered Evwreni even with youths threatening.
“He was the key to Shell being able to finish the Osubi Airport and many other interventions to help us operate. It was when he became too old to run around that youths succeeded in getting Oil Companies to leave Warri. My condolences go to the family, and I pray God indeed comfort them in this season of grief.”
Other nations are known to always recognize and pay due respect to their fallen heroes and deaths of military personnel with the kind of status and impact Maj Gen Obada made in Nigeria. As such, Federal Government should be seen to do the needful, regardless of this personality’s tribe.
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC) therefore ask that Maj Gen John Orho Obada be properly recognized by the Presidency as a departed hero, and accorded previleges befitting of his status, as one notable Urhobo leader and a prominent Nigerian.
Zik Gbemre, National Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition wrote from Warri