Former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, has mourned the death of Major General John Obada (rtd).
Obada who was aged 81 passed on Saturday night after a brief illness.
Born on April 4, 1939, the deceased who hailed from Agbarho Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, retired from the Nigeria Army in 1977.
He also served as the Commissioner representing Delta State in the Federal Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission in 2006.
Gbagi, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, described the deceased as a unifying figure among Urhobos and Deltans.
The ex-Minister noted that Obada during his lifetime was the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the apex socio-cultural umbrella body of the Urhobo Nation, Urhobo Progress Union, and was a rallying point for youth groups within the 22 Urhobo Kingdoms charged with arresting violence and promoting peace.
According to him, Obada was also a driving force behind the Urhobo National Assembly, an organisation committed to the economic and political upliftment of the Urhobo nation globally.
“The death of Major General John Obada comes as a big loss not only to the Urhobos, but the entire state of Delta.
“I recall he would always tell me how important it was to ensure unity among Urhobos and Deltans in the interest of peace. That was always his message at any given time.
“As Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Urhobo Progress Union, General Obada was a strong voice for the Urhobos, given his role as a rallying point for various groups in the 22 kingdoms charged with the duty of maintaining peace and promoting unity.
“I however take solace in the fact that he lived a most fulfilled life as a Military Officer who distinguished himself in service to the motherland.
“He also contributed in no small way to the peace and stability in Delta State by ensuring that grievances capable of triggering violence were nipped in the bud.
“My condolences go to the people of Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area, the entire Urhobo nation, and the Delta State Government on the loss of an illustrious son. May Almighty God grant his departed soul eternal rest,” Gbagi said.