Professor Omo Omoruyi
By Chuks Okocha and Adibe Emenyonu
Professor Omo Omoruyi was Frtiday buried at his Family house at, 18, Oza Street, Benin City just as the remains of former Chief of General Staff (CGS), Admiral Mike Akhigbe touched down at the Benin Airport, aboard a Nigerian Air Force plane marked NAF-031, at 11.45am enroute Fugar, his home town.
Professor Omoruyi died October 13, 2013 after battling metastatic cancer for five years.
At the funeral service for the late professor of political science, the Central Baptist Parish Priest, Rev. Olu Aibinuomo described the late Omoruyi as “a man of many parts” who is touched the lives of many from the political circle to the academia.
In a sermon titled,” Journey Back to life”, Aibinoumo said, “God showed Prof. Omo Omoruyi Mercy and love by adding Six more years to his days on Earth as he was seriously down with ailment six years ago, when nobody thought he can live another hour, but he stayed more than we thought he would because of God's grace in his life”.
He further described the late Omoruyi as a man worthy of emulation as he was a fulfilled man, happy family man and a committed father.
The funeral Mass for the Late Professor was held after a commendation service at the University of Benin, where Omoruyi was once a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of Political Science Department.
Akhigbe's body was later laid-in-state at government House, with Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who had joined others to receive the corpse earlier at the airport, playing chief mourner.
Oshiomhole noted that Akhigbe made it possible for people like him to ascend to become President of Nigeria Labour Congress, through removal of obnoxious extant laws.
Akhigbe will be buried in his hometown, Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area today.
Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida also lamented the death of the former Chief of General Admiral Mike Akihgbe, stating that death stole him away from the nation.
In a signed statement, IBB said, "Since the shocking news of the death of my professional colleague, friend and brother, Vice Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe on the 28th October, 2013, words have failed me to convey my heartfelt condolence to his wonderful family and the nation for such a painful loss".
According to him, "Even when we realise that death is the ultimate end for all creations, its emanation often leaves us with a painful pang and a deep sense of nostalgia. It hurts me very pointedly to know that Nigeria has lost such a brilliant gentleman officer, passionately committed to the unity of our dear country and incurably optimistic about its vision and future.
" Okhai was not only down-to-earth on anything he laid his hands on; he was an extra-ordinary officer amongst his compatriots in course 3, some of whom I had the rare privilege of working with both as an officer of the Nigerian Army and later as Military President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"Members of Course 3 have no doubt become the unique selling point of what the military institution preaches; unity of purpose. The officers that fall into that category are not only gentlemen officers to whom I remain grateful but individuals who have shown the character and content of what military training is all about".
He said that Okhai will be sorely missed, not only by the Nigerian Military but by every Nigerian who understands and appreciates the capacity of the human intellect to contend with situations. Accordingly, IBB said, "Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe represents one of the intellectual dimensions of the Nigerian Military and typical of his calling and training, he brought finesse and class to bear throughout his service years. Members of his Course 3 preciously refer to him as NNS Fearless judging by his indubitably sense of courage, fearlessness, boldness and matter-of-fact disposition to issues.
"In spite of his training as a gentleman officer, who understood military doctrines of obeying rules before offering any complaint, he was not one to kow tow to instructions without inquisition. Once convinced about the motive of an action, one could be rest assured of his total loyalty and commitment to the cause without looking back. These and some others were the qualities he brought to bear when I had the rare opportunity to appoint him as Military Administrator to Ondo and Lagos States during our administration’s intervention in the politico-economy of Nigeria.