Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday charged Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of humility, honesty, diligence, and integrity in the discharge of their duties for enhanced productivity. Governor Okowa gave the charge during a funeral service for late elder statesman, Isaac Jemide, at St. Cyprian Catholic Church, Warri. Jemide, who died Sunday December 12, 2021, aged 88 years, was a lawyer and the Oshodi of Warri Kingdom. The governor described him as a courageous man who spoke truth to power at all times, noting that his type was the kind of people that can shape the nation and the community. He urged the children and Nigerians to emulate the virtues of humility, courage and integrity which he epitomised.
According to Governor Okowa, “He was a man I didn’t meet so frequently. But the few times I met him, I truly fell in love with him because he was a man of strength on the inside. Though very humble, he was a man that was very courageous and spoke truth to power at all times. And those are the kind of people that can shape a nation and a community. “A song writer said ‘when we are gone, we would only be remembered by the things we have done’ and I do know that he has impacted very strongly on our society, the Itsekiri nation, and Delta State as a whole because he was truly a leader. In the church, he played his role and rose to become a Papal Knight. Not so many people get to that level, and I know that he was a very strong voice for the Itsekiri nation that we must continue to appreciate”. Further eulogizing the late Jemide, the governor noted that “He was a godly man, with godly integrity; not the integrity now that appears to be on the face. His own was from the inside, and it is something I believe and pray that many of our leaders should try to emulate”. “His role in the community was enormous. He served in various capacities, both in employment and appointment; but more importantly, as an elected legislator. He was a man who could speak his mind without fear. He was somebody who was not afraid to speak truth to power in this state hence he could genuinely be called an elder statesman”. Earlier in his homily, Rev. Fr. Peter Medugu admonished Christians not to be afraid of death if they live right as death was a gateway to eternity. The cleric said man should learn to live right and see life as a preparation for eternity. The priest described the late Jemide as a great community leader and an epitome of humility, stressing that man could accomplish anything with humility. Medugu commended the deceased for his humility and commitment to humanity and Christian values and urged the children to emulate and sustain the legacies of their late patriarch. Late Jemide was a member of the House of Assembly in the defunct Bendel State, and was a prominent Itsekiri leader of thought. He was also a Commissioner in the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, (OMPADEC) representing Delta State. The funeral ceremony was attended by the state deputy governor, Kingsley Otuaro, former Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Minister of Information, Professor Sam Oyovbaire, among others.