*As Senate Holds Valedictory Session For Late Sen.Uwajumogu,
…Death Reminds Us Of Our Mortality–Abaribe
…He Was My Compatriot In Rebellion–Omo-Agege
… 15 Senators Died Between 5th and 9th Senate-Ekweremadu
By Ignatius Okorocha
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday at a Valedictory session for late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu cautioned that the plot by some ethnic leaders for regionalism would not take Nigerians anywhere.
Late Uwajumogu’s valedictory session was sequel to a motion moved by the Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, asking the Senate to pay tributes to their late colleague.
The motion was seconded by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
This followed the arrival of the corpse of the late Benjamin which was laid in state at the foyer of the National Assembly.
Senator Uwajumogu who died on December 18, 2019, represented Imo North Senatorial District.
The senators who spoke at the valedictory session at the red chamber, extressed grief over the demise of the Uwajumogu, who was a former speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, when Rochas Okorocha was the governor of the state.
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan while presiding over the plenary assured that they (senate) will participate in the burial rites, adding that he will lead the delegation to ensure that they give him that respect.
Lawan added said the National Assembly will remain united and focused, ensuring that the citizens get the best deal.
We will continue to work and ensure security and also ensure that Nigerians live where they want to leave.”
Lawan cautioned those angling for regionalism in the country that the realization of that agenda would negate the unity of this country which the nation’s nationalists fought for.
“Regionalism will not take Nigerians anywhere. We want to ensure that there is unity in Nigeria,” he warned.
In his contribution, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, said, “sudden death is one of the things that tells us how much mortal we are. Every man’s life end in death but the most important is how man pass through life with details.”
Abaribe noted that Uwajumogu affected life and was a big man with a big heart, adding that he was generous and accomodating.
He said: “We will miss him. Not only his family, but Imo state and the Senate will miss him. It is how you live your life that you will make your mark. Benji had made his mark.”
On his part, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who described the late Uwajumogu as his compatriot in rebellion, added that “I will chose to celebrate Big Ben. We had almost identical trajectory. We both came into the Senate after much litigations. We bonded together, we did everything together. There is no way the history of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege will be written without the name of Ben Uwajumogu. He was my compatriot in rebellion.
“When I was threatened with suspension, Senator Uwajumogu, then Senate Leader were among those that defended me. He survived a very rugged political terrain in the Southeast.”
The former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said, “as the remains of Senator Uwajumogu lies outside there, some of our compatriots are already struggling to take over his seat.”
He noted that in the 17 years in the Senate as a Senator, he had cause to pay tribute to so many colleagues that died.
He listed about 14 senators that have died in his 17 years as a Senator in the red chamber.
Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, described the late lawmaker as habinger of good news for the political firmament of this country.
Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda (FCT), said that this life is vanity, adding that “life in itself is meaningless but if you plan for it, it becomes meaningful.”
Senator Rochas Okorocha (Imo West), described Uwajumogu as a great leader, great politician, lover of people, one that lived his life building bridges.
“Ben was the Speaker for four years in my rescue mission administration in Imo State.
This is a wake up call for all of us alive today that to every beginning there must be an end.
In death, there is no political party. It is a wakeup call to think deeply that it is not how far but how well you have lived with people,” he said.
He added that no one knows when he will die, which makes it inexplicable part of life.
Sen. Francis Onyewuchi (Imo East), said, “he was a stabilizing factor in the Imo State House of Assembly in the administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha. He has served his constituency and the good people of Imo State in good stead. This a moment of reflection for all of us.
The Senate, however, offered prayers, observed a minutes silence, send condolence message, send delagation to be led by the Senate President before proceeding on a procession to paid the last respect to the late lawmaker.
Fifteen (15) senators, it was reported have died between the 5th Senate and the 9th Senate.
In the 5th, Senator Ama Iwuagwu (Imo East), Senator Joshua Adagba (Benue North-West), Senator Sule Yari Gandi (Sokoto North) and Senator Badamasi Maccido (Sokoto Central).
In the 7th Senate, the senators that died are, Senator Uche Chukwumerije (Abia North), Senator Pius Ewherido (Delta Centra), Senator Gyang Dantong (Plateau North) and Senator Dahiru Awisu Kuta (Niger East).
In the 8th Senate, the senators that died, Senator Mustapha Bukar (Katsina North), Senator Ahmed Zannah (Borno Central), Senator Isiaka Adeleke (Osun West), Senator Ali Wakili (Bauchi South) and Senator Mustapha Bukar (Katsina North).
In the eight months of the 9th Senate, two senators have died, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu (Imo North), died in December, while Senator Ignatius Longjan (Plateau North) died February.