The final funeral rites for the late first civilian governor of Delta State, Olorogun Felix Ibru, was held at his residence in Agbarhor-Otor, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, on Wednesday, August 3rd.
Punch reported that Ibru, who died on March 12, 2016 at the age of 80, was also a senator and a former President-General of the revered apex socio-cultural organisation of the Urhobo people worldwide, Urhobo Progress Union.
At a funeral service held in his honour at the All Saints’ Cathedral (Anglican) Church, Ughelli, His Grace, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of Anglican Church of Nigeria, asked the children of the renowned architect to resolve their differences in the interest of protecting their father’s name.
The church service was attended by the Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark (who is also an Urhobo), former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, ex-governor of the defunct Bendel State, Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Prof. Amos Utuama, Senator James Manager, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Monday Igbuya, and others.
There was, however, no representative from the Federal Government or a condolence message read on its behalf to the bereaved family.
Archbishop Okoh, who made the plea while delivering a homily with the theme, ‘The Two Church’, told sympathisers to be cheerful for the exemplary life the elder statesman lived while alive.
While describing him as an Urhobo gift to the nation, the Anglican primate said if the internal wrangling between the children was not quickly resolved, it was capable of destroying the family’s name which their father had laboured to raise.
In his words, “Ibru should settle their differences. Ibru (Felix) is so great that you can’t afford to be destroyed. The younger ones should be zealous to protect the name while the older should struggle to protect this great name.
“Do whatever you can do to make peace. I beg you to resolve your differences and let things go. What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? Prominent Deltans and all Urhobo must have concern towards intervening to resolve it.”
Speaking on the topic, ‘The Two Churches’, Primate Okoh said there are two kind of churches Christians must undergo while living and while they are dead–militant and triumphant churches.
According to him, the militant church is where Christians, irrespective of their denomination, believe that they are redeemed through Christ Jesus. He said this could be described as the first fruit of the kingdom.
The Bishop added that those who deserved to gain entrance into the triumphant church must be ready to live according to the scriptures by living a righteous life.
He said, “It is on earth that you decide whether your name should be written in the kingdom of God or not.”
Taking his reading from Revelations 7 (from verses 9 to 17), he stressed that Ibru’s death should remind those living that they must use their God-given positions to affect the society positively when they still have the opportunity.