…Former Ondo Military Administrator Was A Patriot, Says Uduaghan
By Eseoghene Emuke
The remains of the late military administrator of Old Ondo State and father-in-law of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Brigadier General Sunday Tuoyo, has been laid to rest in Warri, Delta State.
General Tuoyo’s remains arrived at the First Baptist Church, Warri, for a funeral church service at 11am flanked by children and family members.
A brown casket containing the remains of the deceased was conveyed into the church hall by senior military officers with the casket covered with Nigeria’s national flag.
Recall that General Tuoyo died Saturday 17, December 2022, in Lagos at 87.
Tuoyo was the father of former Delta First Lady and wife of former Governor Uduaghan, Deaconess (Mrs) Roli Uduaghan.
In his homily titled “Handling Issue of Death (the Christian Way)”, Rev. S. Adeleke described the late Tuoyo as an exemplary man who dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity.
Rev. Adeleke told the children of the deceased and congregants to emulate Tuoyo’s lifestyle which exemplified peace, love and fear of God, saying that the ends of every man’s journey on earth is death
While cautioning Christians to live like Jesus Christ, the cleric charged guests not to fear death but to be prepared for it as Christ repeatedly spoke about it to his disciples.
Meanwhile, dignitaries particularly the political class from Delta State dropped their differences to join former Governor Uduaghan and the Tuoyo family to pay their last respect to the Itsekiri-born late military officer.
Dignitaries including the state governor and vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by his wife, Dame Edith Okowa and former Governor James Ibori attended the burial ceremony.
Others were; Delta Deputy Governor, Deacon Kingsley Otuaro; Senator representing Delta South at the National Assembly, Senator James Manager; Speaker of the State House of Assembly and PDP governorship candidate, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori; renowned media entrepreneur and founder of ThisDay Newspapers & Arise TV, Prince Nduka Nduka Obaigbena; Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndidi Elumelu and former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and chieftain of APC, Engr. Victor Ochei.
Also in attendance; a former Delta Chief Judge, Justice Roseline Bozino; General and Mrs. Ike Nwachukwu; Udu of Olomu Kingdom, Olorogun John Oguma; House of Representatives member, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi; APC Delta South senatorial candidate, Hon. Joel Thomas-Onowhakpo; renowned economist, Mr. Bismarck Rewane; former NDDC Director of Projects, Engr. Omatsuli Tuoyo; APC chieftain, Hon. Chris Oghenechovwen; Chief Fred Majemite; and sports administrator, Hon. Solomon Ogba.
Others are influential Itsekiri businessman, Chief Emma Uduaghan; former Delta Health Commissioner, Dr. Alex Ideh; immediate past Delta SSG, Mr. Chiedu Ebie Esq.; former Delta SSG under Uduaghan administration, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay; popular Warri-based lawyer, Mr. Ene Edah Esq.; former Delta Head of Service, Chief Peter Origho; three-term member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Daniel Reneieju, former Press Secretary to Uduaghan, Mr. Linus Chima and members of the Delta State House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, former Governor Uduaghan has described his late father-in-law, General Tuoyo, as a true definition of ‘patriotic Nigerian’ and nation builder who placed the interest of the country always above self during his lifetime.
Uduaghan, in a tribute to the former military governor, said the late Tuoyo contributed immensely to the unity of the country especially during the military juntas and civil war where he gallantly defended the interest of the country.
He noted that the deceased, aside being a father-in-law, took him as son and contributed so much to restoring peace to Niger Delta during the era of militancy when he held sway as two-term governor of the oil-rich state.
While saying that General Tuoyo would be greatly missed by family and friends, called on the Nigeria Government to honour those who made genuine efforts in keeping the country as one and did not take advantage of their positions to enrich themselves.
“Daddy was a national builder. He made such sacrifices to keep the country as one. These are the types of people we must celebrate. There must be a way of remembering nation builders like General Tuoyo who we hardly heard of. We’ll greatly miss him”, Uduaghan eulogised.
On his part, General Ike Nwachukwu, a close ally of the deceased, said General Tuoyo played a pivotal role in helping the Nigerian Government to defeat Biafra soldiers to keep the country as an indivisible entity.
Nwachukwu, while paying glowing tribute to his friend, said “he was one of those who made the defeat of Biafra possible. He was the one who cut off supply to Biafra. He was a brave, intelligent and courageous officer. Like General Tuoyo, we must work for a country where there’s justice and equity.”