The Benin City residence of former governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion had been a Mecca of sort as sympathisers troop in from across the country to pay their condolences over the death in a ghastly auto crash, of his second son, Osaretin, and his cousin, Eseosa Oyemwense, Saturday February 16 in Dallas, Texas, United States of America.
Igbinedion was governor of the state between 1999 and 2007. The sympathy visits defy political party affiliations as members of different political parties who were once associates and friends of the former governor thronged his Ugbor Road, G.R.A residence to share in the family’s grief. Mother of the deceased and aunty of late Oyemwense was said to be in Lagos with one of her daughters. The bereaved father had come to Benin from his Abuja base to take part in the now rescheduled presidential and National Assembly polls when he received the tragic news. The youngsters were said to have been on a night out when their vehicle reportedly rammed into a heavy-duty truck around 3 a.m.
Amongst early callers at the residence of the Igbinedions were James Onanefe Ibori, former governor of Delta State and a close family friend; Mike Oghiadomhe, Igbinedion’s former deputy, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, Pius Odubu, immediate past deputy governor in the state, leadership and members of the Peoples Democratic Party, leadership and members of the All Progressives Congress, and a host of prominent Nigerians within and outside Edo State. The massive sitting room of the Igbinedions was brimming with sympathisers as the father of the deceased who was in his early 20s, received them. Expectedly, he was said to be down-cast and shell-shocked at the monumental tragedy that befell the family. In a condolence message to the family, the state governor said, “there are no adequate words to describe the deep sense of loss associated with the untimely passing of one’s child, irrespective of his age”. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki said he joined friends and well-wishers of the Igbinedion family in prayers for the repose of the souls of the departed and urged the family “to take solace in the assurance that we will meet again on the day of resurrection”. The deceased was a graduate of University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration with a degree in marketing, and a minor in economics. Eseosa was the son of Eki Igbinedion’s younger brother, Nowa Oyemwense.