‘Political foes’ unite at funeral service of late Rivers’ Attorney General

‘Political foes’ unite at funeral service of late Rivers’ Attorney General

Saturday, September 15, 2018 10:38 pm


Amaechi in warm handshake with former Governor Odili

Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt 
The last funeral rite of the late Attorney-General of Rivers State, Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma (SAN) at the Saint Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Port Harcourt on Saturday suceeded in uniting hirtheto political foes,  even if temporarily.
Our Correspondent reports that photo journalists jostled for vantage positions to ensure  that they did not miss recording the rare public handshakes former Governor, Dr. Peter Odili and Wife, Justice Mary, Judge of the Supreme Court, had with their former political godson, and Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi who, politically speaking, broke away from the Odili political dynasty when joined the All Progressives .
.Odili had during the 70th birthday celebration organised for him by the Rivers State government last month, pledged that as mark of his new age, he has forgiven all former members of of his political family who rebelled or ‘betrayed’ him.
Since that solemn pledge, the funeral service  was the first known public ceremony where Amaechi and Odilis were seen exchanging pleasantries capped with handshakes.
A Port Harcourt based Journalist, Lekan Ige, captured the meeting succinctly in his Facebook post thus;“The Agumas must have something on both Odili and Amaechi. The first time Dr Odili and Amaechi shook hands publicly after Odili left office was when the elder Chief Emmanuel Aguma died.  The next time both of them will shake hands publicly is when the junior Barr Emmanuel Aguma, SAN is being laid to rest. As fate would have it, Hon Justice Mary Peter Odili, JSC witnessed both occasions.For those who know the history,this is trinity . Others are after.
Interestingly, the venue for both occasions is the St Paul’s Cathedral, Diobu.”
The solemn funeral service which was marked with prayers and transitional hymns was formally kick-started by the heart-touching reading of the late Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice  Biography by his daughter, Miss Onyinyechi Aguma who stated that alongside her mother, Mrs Inime Aguma, they sang a hymn that ushered Aguma into the presence of God.

Amaechi in warm handshake with Mrs. Mary Odili

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel honoured the Attorney-General of Rivers State with their presence.
Also present were Former Rivers State Governors, Peter Odili, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Celestine Omehia.  Former Senate President Iyorchia Ayu, Former Imo State Governor, Achike Udenwa, Senator Magnus Abe , National and State Assembly members.
In a sermon, Archbishop of Anglican Province of Niger Delta, Most Rev. Tunde Adeleye urged all Nigerians to work towards living according to the  desires of God in order to inherit eternal life.
Archbishop Adeleye prayed God to comfort the leaders of Rivers State, the family of Aguma and forestall such a painful untimely death.
In a funeral oration, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike noted that the late Attorney-General of Rivers State was instrumental to the massive infrastructural development in the State Judiciary and the Bar.
He announced that the Rivers State Government will re-name the Judges Quarters after the Late Attorney-General of Rivers State when the facility  is completed.
Governor Wike thanked the Aguma family for giving the Late Emmanuel Aguma (SAN) to the state for unparalleled service.
He stated that the State Government will not forget the Aguma family.  The governor informed that to cement the relationship, the wife of Late Attorney-General of Rivers State will be drafted into the Rivers State Executive Council.
He said: “The Late Attorney-General of Rivers State was strong willed and he was loyal to the core. He was a man with character.
“His death is very painful.  His service to the state will never be in vain. Having made sacrifices, the State will continue to honour him”.
Earlier on Saturday, the corpse of the Late Attorney-General of Rivers State was taken to the  hall of Orogbum Community, Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area where chiefs and leaders paid tribute to him and repeatedly fired traditional canons.
President General of Orogbum Community Council, Pastor Theophilus Akugbo said Aguma was a peace maker who brokered peace within Ogbum-Nu-Abali community over disputed land issue that threatened the peace of the area.
The remains were also taken to his family residence where family chiefs and elders paid their respects at the Obiri Oro-Ede.
The remains of the Late Attorney-General of Rivers State, Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma (SAN) were laid to rest at his family home at Orogbum after graveside prayers and benediction.
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