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Buhari, gov, CJ, others eulogise Ocholi

… At special valedictory session

From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Justice of Kogi State, Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello joined well-wishers to bid farewell to late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi (SAN) who died alongside his wfe and son in an  auto accident along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway on Sunday, March 6, 2016.
In his tribute, Buhari described his late minister as a very civil, humble man who was loyal to not only his ideals, but, also, the party.
The president also said the late Ocholi was a patriot who was committed to the Change Agenda of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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 which took his life, 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 four months, before death took him…”
At home, in Kogi, tears flowed freely yesterday when the bodies of the late Minister  of State for  Labour  and Employment,   James Ocholi and that of his wife and son who died in an auto crash arrived the High Court Lokoja, where a valedictory  court  session  was held  in  honour of the late legal icon.
The bodies were brought separately to the court premises by three ambulances belonging to the Federal Road Safety Corps, Abuja.
The special  court  session  was witnessed  by Governor   Bello and Chief Judge  of the state, Justice Nasir Ajana as well as the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim and many dignitaries.
In his tribute, Bello  described  the late minister  as  a quintessential democrat and  gentleman whose shoes will be difficult  to fill.
He said the outpouring  of grief  across  the length  and breadth  of Nigeria  following his death and that of his wife  and son attested to the strength  of his character as a well loved gentleman.
In his own tribute, Ajana went down memory  lane when he first met the late  Ocholi  as  a young lawyer  in 1991.
He described  how he was  fascinated  by the dedication, industriousness  and professionalism  with which  he handled  cases which he said marked him out as  a special breed. The Ohinoyi  of Ebiraland,  Alhaji  Bayero, who represented  the Kogi  State  Council  of Chiefs  said  Ocholi was dedicated  to fighting  the cause  of corruption  alongside  the change mantra of President  Muhammadu Buhari but  unfortunately  could not accomplish his mission before  death came calling.
The royal father called on the  political class  to emulate  the  life of late Ocholi and prayed to God to give  the remaining children  the fortitude  to bearthe irreparable  losses.

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