By Onitsha Shedrack, ——Delta——– December 27th, 2016 ———-
The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege have joined prominent Nigerians to mourn the demise of Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) who died on Monday at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) at the age of 84 years.
In their separate condolence messages on the death of the third republic senator and a former Deputy Speaker of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly, they stated that the received the news with sadness, noting that the death of the Octogenarian was a big shock to Deltans.
In a statement on Tuesday, by Okowa’s The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, the governor said that he received with sadness, the death of the Octogenarian politician and former Deputy Speaker of the defunct Bendel State House of Assembly.
While expressing his heartfelt condolences to the Isoko Nation, his party, All Progressives Congress, (APC) where he was a member of the Board of Trustees, over the loss, he stated that Senator Okpozo was a vocal voice in the Senate and until his death he has remained a consistent critic and commentator on National issues.
“He affirms that the then Senator, served his country and humanity with all his God-given strength and talent, noting that the distinguished Senator was a worthy leader in the Niger Delta.
“We have lost a great man whose contributions to the literary world can best be described as legendary, inspirational and worthy of emulation.
“The late Senator Okpozo, a distinguished lawmaker and elder statesman, will be remembered for redefining the place of service and patriotism in Nigeria’s development.
“He will be sorely missed by all and sundry whose lives he affected in many ways. I therefore urge all who mourn the demise of the late Senator F.S. Okpozo to take solace in the fact that his was a life of integrity and great accomplishments.
A Great Progressive passes on- Emerhor
On his part, Leader, Delta State APC and 2015 Governorship candidate, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor stated that it was with great shock that he received the sudden passing away of Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo.
In a press statement signed Olorogun Emerhor, he described Senator Okpozo as, “a great nationalist, a renowned statesman in Delta State and an Icon in Isoko land, Senator Okpozo has been a leading light and a grand commander in the camp of the Progressives in Delta State for ages.
“He played major roles in the progressives’ near victories of DPP that were stolen in 2010 and 2011. He was a key foundation member of the APC in 2013 and a pillar of support for my senatorial candidacy in 2014 and Governorship candidacy in 2015!
“A grandfather and Elder of the APC in Delta, it is unfortunate that he died when the Delta APC house is in the final stretch of full reconciliation; an ideal of his life long struggle! We, in Delta APC will miss him sorely.
He added that Okpozo’s death should spur those of us them in the party to honor the late Board of Trustee Member with a united APC in Delta.
While commiserating with the Okpozo’s family, Emerho stated further, “my sincere condolences go first to his immediate family, the APC family in Delta State, the Isoko nation, Delta State and the Nigerian nation!
“I pray God for the repose of his departed soul in the bossom of the Lord. Amen!
We lost a leading light- Sen. Omo-Agege
The Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, described Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, as one of the giants of Nigeria political life, a long time opposition leader in Delta state, a mentor and a father, adding that he received the news of his passage with great sadness.
According to him; “indeed, the Isoko nation, the APC family, Deltans and the nation at large lost a leading light.
“This distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and former member of the Bendel State House of Assembly was a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the oppressed.
“His life was driven by a deep sense of compassion and a belief that the best irrespective of race and gender should be in position of leadership. He fought for justice and what he believed was right.
“Senator Okpozo brought great passion and energy to all the causes he championed. When he decided to take on an issue, he gave it his all.
“As one of the architects of modern Delta State, he was a leading light amongst the progressives, who until his death stood firmly with the progressive to fight for change in the political leadership of Delta State. He was in the forefront in ensuring that the APC is repositioned in the state for the challenge ahead.
He added, “because of his inspiration and the sake of millions of Deltans who are suffering in the midst of plenty, progressives in Delta state must unite and make the takeover of Delta state a reality in 2019. Senator Okpozo’s dream of a free Delta must not die. He will be greatly missed though.
“On behalf of the people of Delta Central, and my family, I express our deepest condolences. Today and in the days ahead, our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and friends. I hope it is a comfort to them that we mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”