Tejiri Ebikeme/Francis Sadhere

The Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, woke the sleepy town of Uvwiamuge, Agbarho Community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State as tears flow freely at the UPU national secretariat during the valedictory section held in honour of their Late son, Senator Pius Ewherido

Our correspondent reports that the atmosphere was mournful as Urhobo sons and daughters wept freely as UPU eulogized the late Pius Ewherido.

The Family of Late Senator Pius Ewherido and his casket during the valedictory section held in his honour at Uwviamuge, Agbarho.

The Family of Late Senator Pius Ewherido and his casket during the valedictory section held in his honour at Uwviamuge, Agbarho.

Opening the valedictory section, Chief Tuesday Onoge, 1st Vice President, Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, urged the Urhobo nation to reflect on the events that led to the sudden departure of Senator Ewherido, just as he challenged them to look beyond the immediate lure of big money and make wise decision for his replacement.

Chief Onoge said; “The sudden demise of our dear senator has left a big vacuum for the confused and weary Urhobo people. It is obvious that the big shoes left behind by Senator Pius Ewherido shall be difficult to fill, if not near impossible.”

He added that the choice of late Ewherido’s replacement should not be treated on the basis of political party only but that it must “represent a sober choice, the best, and a patriot, within the Urhobo political class, and who is capable of carrying the “aspiration of the people” back to Abuja.”

General Newton Patrick Aziza (Rtd) CFR, President General, UPU in his remark said that the Urhobo nation has lost a rare gem, a great leader, a democrat and astute legislator, noting that in his two years in the House, Senator Ewherido had distinguished himself as a legislative activist, a brave debater and a sponsor of people-friendly bills and motions.

General Azazi urged the Urhobo nation that whilst they mourn, they most mobilize to face the titanic challenges ahead, adding that the Urhobo nation weathered through similar tribulations in the past and emerged more united and stronger.

He said; “The UPU calls on all Urhobo people at home and the Diaspora to remain calm, resilient and focused in order to surmount the current challenges. Senator Ewherido devoted is entire political career to the realization of the Urhobo manifest destiny to be restored to the premier positions of politics and development as guaranteed by our endowments in natural resources and as the most populous group in Delta State.”

While saying that UPU was proud to salute Late Senator Ewherido for his courageous defense and promotion of urhobo national aspirations, General Azazi also remarked that his prodigious figure and charming charisma had restored the dignity, honour and hope of the Urhobo people to their bewilderment.

“In his primary constituency of the Delta Central, Senator Ewherido left behind a splendid legacy of care, compassion, and love for the grassroots segment of the electorate. Hundreds of financially handicapped people, enterprise owners, youths and students benefited from his generous philanthropy. His numerous scholarship awards and endowments for Urhobo students and scholars are eloquent testimonies of his humanitarian effort,” Gen. Azazi added.

Also speaking at the Valedictory section, Reverend Anthony Ewherido, elder brother of the late Senator, thanked President Jonathan, the Senate, House of Representative, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Delta State House of Assembly and others who have been there for the family during their ordeal.

Rev. Ewherido said the death of their brother, was a painful sacrifice the Ewherido family had made for the Urhobo nation, just as he pleaded with the Urhobo people not to allow their sacrifice to be in vain.

Concerning his death, Rev. Ewherido urged the people to disregard any rumour they might have been hearing, saying his late brother had stroke three days before his death.

He called on the Elders of the Urhobo nation to preserve their legacy and make their parts straight so that the Ughobo nation will regain its pride of place in the polity of the nation.

The valedictory section was attended by powerful sons and daughters of Urhobo land indicating the devastating impact the death of Senator Ewherido had on the Urhobo nation.