Gowon caves in to emotion as Ejoor goes home
Emotion seemed to have overcome former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon yesterday as he paid his last respect to a former Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. David Akpode Ejoor. Gowon,84, momentarily lost his balance after standing for about ten minutes at Ejoor’s graveside at Ovwor-Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government area of Delta state.
He was taken to an emergency military medical tent briefly. Speaking earlier during the lying-in-state, Gowon extolled Ejoor’s commitment to nation building. He also expressed delight at the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai, for ” organizing a special farewell to their own”. He described Ejoor as a good soldier who avoided being captured so that he could fight another day. “He amassed a lot of knowledge about the military and statesmanship. I will never forget him because he kept me well-informed of development.
He made sure we did not turn Midwest state into a battle ground. “He was a good man and a good family man. I will remember him for his sterling services to this country.” Also speaking,Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State described the deceased as “a wonderful and distinguished elder states man, who cared about our state and nation.”
According to the Governor, even though he had not known him early in life, the few interactions they had together, showed he was worthy of emulation. In his remarks, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State recounted efforts by the deceased to ensure Nigeria’s unity. “His life is replete with lifetime achievements.
He will be forever remembered for his fervent belief in true federalism and the unity of Nigeria,” Obaseki said. Dignitaries at the funeral were the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Gen. Tukur Buratai, Lt Gen. A. O. Ihejirika, Maj. Gen Alani Akinrinde, all former Chief of Army Staff. Also, frm Chief of Defense Staff, Gen eral Alexander Ogomudia, Brigadier-General Dominic Oneya, Brig. Gen. E. F. Dafiogor, AVM Frank Ajobena, Commodore A. K Ake. Other dignitaries who graced the occasion are former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori, Senator representing Delta Central, Chief (Barr.) Ovie Omo-Agege, presidentgeneral of Urhobo Progress Union, Chief Moses Taiga, Chief Goody Ibru among others. Ejoor who also served as military administrator of the old Mid Western State during the part of the Nigerian Civil War, died on February 10, 2019 at 87. He is survived by wife, children and grandchildren.