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Ocholi taught us the meaning of loyalty, says Buhari


James Ocholi

James Ocholi

As the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Enojo Ocholi (SAN) makes his final journey home today, President Muahmmadu Buhari has again paid a glowing tribute to the man he described as one of his right hand men.

In a tribute entitled “James Ocholi taught us the meaning of loyalty”, the President described the death of the minister in an auto crash a fortnight ago as a big blow to his administration, when taken into cognisance the role he played in the emergence of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and his administration.

Buhari said: “How do I begin to pay this tribute to a man who was the epitome of civility, the archetype of intellectualism, and the paragon of loyalty? How do I begin to mourn James Ocholi, whom you can describe as one of my right hand men in the quest to reposition our country, and fashion a land of peace and prosperity, where no man is oppressed?

“A lot has been written about Ocholi since the tragic event of March 6, 2016, which took the life of our Minister of State, Labour and Employment, his wife, Blessing, and his son, Joshua. And a lot more will be written, for Ocholi was no mean man. He was a man among men, an Iroko in a forest of trees. How are the mighty fallen!

“Among many other positive and pleasant things, I will always remember Ocholi for his loyalty to our beloved country Nigeria, loyalty to our party, the All Progressives Congress, and loyalty to our administration, in which he had served for just about 4 months, before death took him

“In 2011, Ocholi ran to be governor of Kogi State on the platform of our then party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). I believed so much in him, and in his ability to add value to the governance of his state, that I followed him round the state on campaign. We visited all the local governments, visited the paramount rulers, and urged the people to vote in a worthy man as governor.

“But politics is a peculiar game in Nigeria. The best often does not win. Ocholi did not win. But he bore it gracefully.

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