Gowon slumps, recovers at Ejoor’s Burial in Delta
• Okowa, Obaseki, Buratai Eulogise Ex-Army Chief
The remains Gen. David Ejoor, a former military administrator of the defunct Midwest Region and one-time Chief of Staff, Nigeria Army, were committed to mother earth yesterday in his hometown, Ovwor-Olomu, in Ughelli South Council of Delta State, amid tears, but not devoid of a mild drama.
Midway into the interment oration, however, a former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, suddenly slummed by Ejoor’s graveside and was immediately rushed to a nearby shed by military officers, where an ambulance was stationed. Emergency personnel at the event resuscitated the 84-year-old former military leader.
After first aid treatment was administered to him, the former head of state recovered and was allowed to rest awhile.Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, rattled by the development, he left his seat and joined the medical team in the canopy to observe how Gowon was faring. He was also joined by a few other eminent personalities, including a former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori.
Later, Gowon, in his speech, rained encomiums on the late Ejoor, describing him as a good soldier and family man.He pleaded with Nigerians to make sacrifices for the peace and unity of the country, adding: “I thank you all for coming to this ceremony. We served in the Nigerian Army so many years ago and I am delighted with the encomiums poured on the deceased, who was a good soldier and a good family man.”
Rev. Fr. Greg Umukoro, who conducted the service at the graveside, observed that the deceased “lived a good life of service to the nation and humanity.”Okowa thanked Nigerians from far and near for attending the ceremony, saying: “We referred to Gen. Ejoor as Daddy; he was a distinguished elder statesman and if we believe in the thoughts that he had, we will have a great nation, a nation that is peaceful and united.“He had all the attributes a man should have; a quality human being who cared for his family and the nation and those of us living should emulate the qualities he had to make our country better.”
His Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, said Ejoor’s spectacular contributions to the unity of Nigeria would continue to be acknowledged, adding that as a former military administrator of Midwest Region, comprising the present Delta and Edo states, he deserved to be honoured for erecting structures for future leaders of the two states to build on.
The ceremony was also attended by the Chief of Army Staff, Maj-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai; service chiefs; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, several retired military officers, politicians, captains of industry and chiefs from the Urhobo nation.
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