By Ozioruva Aliu
BENIN CITY – TRIBUTES have continued to flow down the path of the late member of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly in the Second Republic, Alhaji Aliu Omokide, who died last Friday and was buried the next day on Saturday according to the Islamic rites. He died after a brief illness.
He represented the southern constituency of Akoko-Edo in the assembly from 1979 to 1983.
A statement from his son, Kamilu Omokide, announcing his passing, said he was 87 years old.
He said: “In his day, Dad was a teacher, politician, community and Islamic leader. A man from many parts, he lived serving his people, spreading literacy, fighting for infrastructure development and promoting his faith. He lived a happy and fulfilling life.
“He is survived by wives, children, in-laws and grandchildren.” The current member representing the constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Emmanuel Agbaje, in condolences to Kamilu Omokide, said: “As human beings, we mourn the loss of this great icon, but we must console ourselves with the fact that he lived and directed in an exemplary manner. life, characterized by modesty, humility and service to humanity. His exploits in the then Bendel State House of Assembly while representing the southern constituency of Akoko-Edo will continue to be indelible and inspiring.
“As we pray for the repose of your caring soul, it is my prayer also that Almighty God will grant you the strength to endure this loss and the strength to continue and build on your legacies.”
For his part, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, described the late Omokhide as “a pragmatic, experienced and thorough legislator who contributed greatly to the overall development of his constituency and the then Bendel State as a whole. through its various people-oriented bills and motions.
“Hon. Omokhide was a very committed and patriotic legislator and died when his services to the state and the nation were still the most needed.
“He gave the best of himself throughout his life and time, especially in public service to his people, whom he loved so passionately, and defended his cause with unparalleled courage and selflessness.”
Former Edo State House Speaker Hon Kabiru Adjoto described Omokide as a worthy mentor.
He said: “As a member of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly from 1979-1983, the late Omokhide showed an unusual inclination for the development of his constituency and constituencies.
“My political career began in his living room around 2004, he personally introduced me to the heavyweights of politics at the beginning of my political tenure.
“He was a worthy mentor who often approached me for invaluable political guidance; we will miss him very much ”.
For his part, former Governor Godwin Obaseki chief of staff, Taiwo Akerele, in a press release on Omokide’s disappearance, said: “During my last meeting with him in August 2020, we discussed many issues related to youth employment, infrastructure development for our country. community, security, investment opportunities and public service.
“This man believes in selfless service to humanity, not what he can get in his pocket. He is a role model and I am happy to be associated with his legacy and his personality. In fact, a good name is better than so-called riches and billions with no sense of humanity. “
Oladele Bankole-Balogun, chief of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), said in his tributes: “Alhaji Omokide was a giant man in every sense of the word. He was a faithful, honest and supportive politician.
“I met Alhaji many years ago when he was a young political science graduate. He would come to our house in Benin and hire my father Bankole for several hours discussing the plight and progress of Igarra and Akoko – Edo.
“I was then a member of the House of Assembly and my late father Bankole Balogun was GM Radio Bendel and Permanent Secretary of the Bendel State.
“When I became actively involved in the politics of Akoko-Edo, it was natural that I gravitated towards this honest and selfless politician. He was one of my mentors at Akoko-Edo and father. Politicians, young and old, should learn from his simple but exemplary life. “
In a phone talk with in April 2020 when the federal government granted pardon to the former governor of the former Bendel State, Professor Ambrose Alli, he said: “Alli actually served as governor of Bendel State and had nothing from the government because I went to greet him when he got out of jail.
He was wearing an apron and working as a doctor in a house without windows, there was nothing there. There he had nothing from the government, I was very close to him and he was a good man. I was one of those people close to Alli, I was UPN to the core, I refused to be NPN. There she was one hundred percent honest. He had nothing after leaving the government, I don’t know why he was imprisoned because he did not steal money, but he knew that one day he had to be forgiven by the grace of God because he did not do anything wrong. Some of us wrote when he was in prison that he should be released, Alli was innocent, completely innocent.