The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condoled with the family of the late Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, describing him as a prolific writer, bridge-builder and master politician.
The governor led other top government officials, including the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., and Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Rt. Hon. Blessing Agbebaku, among others, on a condolence visit to the family, in Benin City.
Extolling the exemplary virtues of the late Benin Chief, Obaseki said, “In politics, he was a master politician who understood the politics of the past and of our time and understood the relationship between them. We want to thank God for his life.
“He was a bridge between people and generations. Baba was a bridge between tradition and modernity, rural and urban. We will miss him but we will continue to remember him for what he stood for.”
The governor further noted, “Esogban was one of my father’s best friends and they grew up together. When I told him I wanted to go into politics, he told me that he will stand in as my father since my father was no more. He took care of me politically. That was the relationship I had with baba. Baba knows everything about me because he started his politics in the sitting room of my grandfather, the late Chief Gaius Obaseki, the former Iyase of Benin Kingdom. We are a family and very close, I will miss him.”
According to Obaseki, “He was quite instrumental during my first term as Governor of Edo State. He reached out, mobilized for me far and wide, particularly in Edo South to support my ambition. I will always be grateful for that.
“He picks up the newspaper early in the morning as a prolific writer and statesman. He had his own understanding and was not selfish at all. As a prolific writer, he wrote several books across issues and I was wondering where he gets the time to write despite being the Esogban of Benin, performing his responsibilities.
“We will miss him as he lived a full life and was always there to remind us of who we are and where we are coming from. He always celebrated the Ugie Festival. He showed us the meaning of the festival and how to celebrate it.”
He added, “All we owe to him today is to give him the most befitting passage that he deserves to have as he gave so much to us. This is an opportunity to say thank you and appeal that you allow us to play a role in his burial.
“He has biological children; he also has political, literary and traditional children as well. We all will want to be part of the ceremony to celebrate him and what he stood for. Accept our condolences in the passing of a great and iconic Edo hero.”
In his response, the eldest son of the late Esogban, Rev. Collins Edebiri thanked the governor and his entourage for the visit, describing it as reassurance to the family that they are not alone in grief.