The Governor who eulogized the late Akhigbe during a condolence visit to his widow, yesterday, said his death is a loss not only to the people of Edo State but Nigeria as a whole.
According to him “Admiral Akhigbe, even when I was in the NLC, he pushed our cases as if he was one of our members, even when the Military enacted laws that were designed to weaken our voices.
“He is a loss to all of us not just Afemai but to all those who look up to leadership that have courage even at this moment when most people will go for what is convenient.
“It hurts, but we ask you to take heart. There are people who are ashamed to mention their father’s name or their husband’s name in a public place. I think our brother’s name can be mentioned anywhere, people know what he stood for”, he stressed.
Governor Oshiomhole said “for me personally, it was extremely painful even though we were not in the same party, we were united by a common commitment that our people must get justice, our people must get development and we will defend those who have no voice at any point to compromise what we perceived to be our collective interest in altar of political exigency.
“Our brother never minced word on anything he is convinced about. He stood for truth, he stood for courage, he did not count cost no matter the issue. He however sympathized with the family and the people of Afemai”, adding that his loss will be impossible to replace. Governor Oshiomhole however prayed God to grant the widow, children and the entire family the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss even as he signed the condolence register.
Responding on behalf of the family, the eldest son of late Admiral Akhigbe, Mr. David Akhigbe expressed appreciation to the Governor for sharing with them in their moment of grief. He said “the measure of a man is judged by the people who attend his passage.
“To see this kind of dignitaries in our time of grief gives us comfort as well as joy and it makes us to know that we are not alone. David Akhigbe further said that “we are convinced that your visit today is indeed a sign that our father was a man of character and good work”, he maintained. Those present with the Governor were the former Military Governor of old Bendel State, Senator Tunde Ogbeha and the Chairman Etsako Central Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Momoh.
Late Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe was a one-time Governor of old Ondo and Lagos States; Chief of General Staff and former Vice President of Nigeria in the then Military Government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar. He died on Monday, 28th October, 2013.