Senator Pius Ewherido passed away on Sunday in Abuja.
The President of the Senate, David Mark, has said the Senate will suspend Tuesday’s plenary session as a mark of respect for the late Senator Pius Akpo Ewherido who died on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr. Mark stated this when he led the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, and a host of Senators to Mr. Ewherido’s residence in Asokoro District, Abuja, on a condolence visit.
Until his death, Mr. Ewherido represented Delta Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP.
“In line with our tradition and as a mark of respect for our departed colleague, the Senate will suspend plenary tomorrow. We share in your bereavement, pains and sorrows at this moment of grief,” the Senate President told Mr. Ewherido’s wife, Doye.
Mr. Mark urged members of the Ewherido family to continue to have faith in God, saying that death always subjects our faith in God to test.
“As Catholics, it is easy to say the Creed that I believe in God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. But when death comes, we question God. This is the time to increase our faith in God.
“If there was anything we could have done to save the life of our distinguished colleague, we would have done it but the Lord owns his life,” he counseled.
Also extolling the virtues of Mr. Ewherido, the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, described the late Senator as “a strong voice from Delta.”
“He was an experienced lawmaker having been a Deputy Speaker and later an Acting Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly.
“In the last two years, he has brought this experience to bear on the floor of the Senate. We have lost a strong voice in Delta,” he submitted.
Receiving the delegation, the elder brother of the late Senator, Anthony Ewherido, a Reverend Father, expressed the family’s gratitude to the President of the Senate, Mr. Uduaghan, and Senators across party lines for standing by the family.
“He was your distinguished colleague. I have always been proud of him but am more proud of him in death.”
Other Senators who joined Messrs Mark and Uduaghan on the condolence visit were James Manager, Ifeanyi Okowa, Ahmed Lawan, Suleiman Adokwe, Emmanuel Paulker, and Mohammed Magoro.
In a condolence message released by his media office, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said the senator’s death was a great personal loss to him because the deceased was one of the finest gentlemen he had ever known.
Mr. Abubakar recalled that the late Mr. Ewherido was a remarkable good, tolerant and patient neighbour, stressing that few men could demonstrate these rare virtues.
According to him, since he had known the DPP Senator as his neighbour, the gentleman had never approached him to complain about any inconvenience caused him as a result of activities in the houses of his neighbours.
The former Vice President said the late Senator’s spirit of good neighbourliness was exemplary, adding that his humility despite the aroma of power and wealth didn’t turn his head.
“Anyone that lived peacefully and respectfully with his neighbours without a hint of suppressed grudges must be one in a million, especially in a country like ours where some big men spare no efforts to be noticed,” Mr. Abubakar further stated.
He extended his condolence to the Senate President and members of his family and prayed to God to forgive his gentle soul.
Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said he received the news of the demise of Mr. Ewherido with rude shock.
“I received with rude shock and utter surprise the untimely passing away of my elder brother, friend and leader, Senator Pius Ewherido on Sunday, June 30, 2013 in Abuja.
“Before his untimely death, the distinguished Senator shared the same dream with me and my numerous followers to rescue our dear Delta State from the iron-grip of a small clique that continues to appropriate our common patrimony to themselves and their families,” the lawyer said.
Mr. Keyamo, a governorship aspirant, who hails from the same ethnic group as Mr. Ewherido, said he had eagerly looked forward to working one way or the other with the deceased to realize his political dream; “But alas! God had other plans.”
“On behalf of myself and the Delta Forces United, I send my heartfelt condolence to his family, his colleagues in the Senate and the Delta Central People in general.
“As a mark of respect, the Delta Forces United will suspend all town-hall meetings for the time being,” he said.
In its tribute, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, described as a great national loss the death of Mr. Ewherido.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party commiserated with the family of the Senator, his constituency in the Delta Central Senatorial District as well as the entire Senate over his untimely demise
It said the death of such a man of sterling achievements at the age of only 50 is a big blow to all, and that he will be sorely missed.
”We pray that God will strengthen the family he left behind and also grant repose to the soul of the departed,” the ACN said.