From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The late Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri, was interred yesterday in Benin, commencing a week-long burial activities that would be rounded off next week Friday.
The activities began with a service of songs and night of tributes where the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in his tribute, said Chief Edebiri was a father who represented the essence of the tradition.
“Chief Edebiri was a father of all, a colossus of our time, an icon of our generation, and was a compass to us, who we are lucky and privileged to have him.
“He was my political father, I came to him for prayers when I wanted to contest for governorship seat and he told me your father, Gaius Obaseki was my play mate but he is no more and you are my political son”.
On his part, former Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, described him as a zikist of repute who contributed to the creation of the Midwest Region and that when he switched to follow the late sage Obafemi Awolowo, “Awo called him my son. Edebiri is reported to have flown with the pilots that wrote Action Group campaign slogans and party symbols over the skies of Benin and rode in helicopters that dropped leaflets and campaign materials.”
He said towards the latter part of his life he championed the call for national recognition to be accorded Chief Anthony Enahoro for his historic motion for independence requesting that the House of Representatives building in Abuja should be named after him.
Similarly, Ayamekhue Edokpolo, while speaking on behalf of Edo Forum of Patriots (EFP), said the history of Edoland cannot be complete without the mention of Edebiri while Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma described him as his adopted father who took him as his biological son.
Dignitaries present at the night of tributes were the governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, businessman, Asue Ighodalo, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Blessing Agbebaku, Secretary to State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq., former Deputy Governors, Lucky Imasuen and Pius Odubu, former Attorneys General, Osagie Obayuwana and Wole Iyamu, former Speaker Rt. Hon Frank Okiye, Sen Matthew Uroghide, governorship aspirant, Ehiziowa Agbonayinma, Ayamekhue Edokpolo, Egr Chris Ogienmwonyi palace chiefs among others.