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Bayelsa Great Hero Goes Home in Blaze of Glory .Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Degi-Eremienyo, Ikisikpo, Alaibe, Sunny-Goli, Munalayefa eulogize him

  By Majesty Inegbagha

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Late Chief (Hon) Engr. Iwolisi Daniel Rex- Ogbuku

The remains of the late elder-statesman, Chief (Hon) Engr. Iwolisi Daniel Rex- Ogbuku has been laid to rest on Saturday March 20, 2021 in his home town Ayakoro in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state. 

High profile dignitaries from all walks of life including former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the Deputy President, former and current members of the Upper National Assembly as well as members of Bayelsa State House of Assembly including traditional rulers were on ground to pay the deceased his last respect.

The large turnout for the burial has been attributed to the deceased’s enviable track record and various accomplishments toward the socio-economic and political wellbeing of the people.


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Indeed, Bayelsa, the homogeneous state of Ijaw people stood still for the burial in honour of the elder-statesman.

The Ancient town of Ayakoro wore a new look before the burial as part of the preparation to immortalize him. People trooped in mammoth crown to the community in the memory of the elder-statesman to reciprocate his selfless service to humanity while alive. 

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Ayakoro Boat Regatta escorting the corpse of the deceased.

 Speaking, Former President Goodluck Jonathan challenged all and sundry to contribute their quota towards the development of the country in general and the Ogbia nationality in particular.

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 He reasoned that building a good and virile society is not the exclusive reserve of those occupying high offices in the country but the general duty of every citizen.

 Late Chief(Hon) Engr. Iwolisi Daniel Rex-Ogbuku, who died of cardiac arrest at 84, until his death was an elder-statesman, educationist and former Commissioner for Electricity and Water Supply in old Rivers State.

 The former President said, because of the deceased’s selfless service to humanity and the love he had for Ogbia people, he resigned from his lucrative job in 1972 as an Oilfield Engineer with Shell D Arcy and opted to be a principal in a secondary school located in the bush then.

He said: “I don’t think any of our people here will want to do that. Maybe they will say the spirit of poverty is following you. But then, he was committed, paid his dues and made sacrifices for the people.

“These attributes depict the life and times of our chief, our brother, our father and our uncle, but most importantly, the father and the pillar of the Ogbia people.

 “One doesn’t need to be too high to play one’s role in building the society. Everybody has a role to play in the societal building. We will all live and die, but what one did while alive is what one will be remembered for.”

Jonathan lamented that the present generation of Ogbia people had not shown the commitment exhibited by their late heroes such as Rex-Ogbuku in carrying on Ogbia activities, and called for a change of heart by emulating their past leaders to move the area forward.

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His Eminent King Charles Dumaro Owaba, Obanobhan III of Ogbia kingdom and other traditional rulers at the valedictory session in honour of the deceased at Ogbia Brotherhood Hall, Ogbia Town.

 The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East Senatorial District); Senator Clever Ikisikpo; Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Konbowei Benson, among others in their various speeches eulogized the late statesman, describing him as a true leader who did not believe in his individual prosperity but the collective growth of the Ogbia people and the Nigerian nation.

Jonathan, who was accompanied by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, to the funeral, said, that the only thing people could be remembered for when they are no more is the good things they did while alive.

Also speaking, Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege commiserated with the Rex-Ogbuku family and the people of the Ayakoro community over the demise of their icon.

The Deputy Senate President noted that the deceased worked tirelessly for the welfare of his people throughout his political career, serving as commissioner in old Rivers State and later as chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

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 The first son of the deceased, Barr. Jude Amiditor Rex-Ogbuku, a lawyer while presenting the biography of his late father, described him as a great man.

 According to him, his father, who died of cardiac arrest on September 10, 2020, was among the first few graduates in the country.

 He said, his father had outstanding records of studying almost concurrently: Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, eventually bagging a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lagos in 1969.

In his speech, Senator Biobarakuma  Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East Senatorial District) stated emphatically that the late hero as an educationist and politician, left behind enormous achievements both in Rivers and Bayelsa state that are traceable.

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 Senator Clever Marcus Ikisikpo also in his tribute to the late leader said, the deceased while he was commissioner for Electricity and Water Supply in the old Rivers state offered free education to boys and girls of Ogbia extraction, pointing out that most of the beneficiaries have become prominent men and women in society. He said without mincing words, “that the late hero is a humble, sincere and openhanded man.” We pray for God to give us another Engr Rex-Ogbuku in Ogbia Kingdom.

 “He is the last general. There are other generals like late Senator(Chief) Melford Okilo and Chief Ronami Abah. Today I’m here in Ayakoro to pay him the last respect for his good works to humanity,” Ikisikpo said.

The senator used the forum to appeal to Ogbia youths to emulate Engr Rex – Ogbuku’s life style to move the kingdom forward.

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The remains of the late elder-statesman, Chief (Hon) Engr. Iwolisi Daniel Rex- Ogbuku laying in state at Ayakoro for funeral service.

 The Member Representing Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Israel Sunny Goli described Engr Rex-Ogbuku as a pacesetter and a man who lived a quintessential life of public service and was a living example as an individual engaged in strategic generosity during his life time.

Also, the Deputy Chief Whip of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon Munalayefa Edwin Gibson described the late hero as an epitome of selflessness, a man of honour, a lover of justices, equity and fairness; forthright and dedicated to the cause of humanity.

 “I received the news of the death of our father Chief (Engr.) Rex-Ogbuku, chairman Ezue - Obhan Anyama with shock and sadness. Our father left us especially me at a time his wise counsels informed by his years of experience was most needed.

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 Our daddy was a game- changer who used his resources to affect his world positively. This is evidenced by the success of the children he raised to become professionals in different fields of human endeavor, who have contributed their quota to societal advancement,” he averred.

Also speaking, Ambassodor Eric Aworabhi extolled the sterling qualities of the late elder-statesman, Engr Rex-Ogbuku, describing him as a man of rare legacies.

He stated that late Rex-Ogbuku used his residence in Port Harcourt to accommodate boys and girls under his education empowerment scheme and trained them in various institutions of learning to become self-reliant. 

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In a chat with Global Overseer, one of the beneficiaries of the late elder-statesman’s Education Empowerment Scheme who is currently a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency III,

Hon Naomi Benjamin Ogoli said, “We mourn with our brother. The deceased is a very good man. I advise the children to emulate their father’s footsteps. We expect them to live better than their father. As parents, we expect our children to be better than us. He has done great work in Ogbia for the benefit of the people.May be an image of 9 people, including Edore Mackson, people standing and outdoors

‘I am one of the people he trained. When Government Secondary School Ogbia Town was opened, there was no principal to run the school. so, the deceased because of the love he has for Ogbia people resigned his lucrative job with shell to come and head the school. He had a golden heart. He thinks of what he will give to the people,” she stated.

Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson PhD, the Secretary to the state government noted that as commissioner for Electricity and Water Supply in old Rivers state, the deceased was instrumental to the procurement, installation of Gas Turbine and distribution of generators to almost all the communities in present day Bayelsa.

 “He lived a life of service as a principal, moulded characters, and even as Chairman of Ogbia LGA contributed immensely to the development of Ogbia in particular and Bayelsa state in general.

“He died a fulfilled man as he raised an army of great intelligent minds as children, whose love for humanity was without boundaries.

“We therefore take solace in the fact that his good works will remain the driving force for leaders now and in the years to come as we are expressing the hope to meet on the Resurrection Morning,” he stated.

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 In his sermon titled, “The Resurrection of the body” the officiating minister, Senior Pastor Ada Tenemenam of True Love & Life Ministry Int. Inc, expressed gratitude at the fulfiied life lived by Rex-Ogbuku, stressing that what gladdens him about the deceased was his strict adherence to the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

“Our father here is sleeping in the lord because there is going to be the resurrection of the body as he gave his life to Jesus”.

He added that the second coming of Jesus Christ is to deliver judgment and those who surrendered their lives to Jesus will be the first to be taken to Heaven, affirming that late Engr Rex-Ogbuku will be among them.

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Arrival of some dignitaries at the burial.

 Chief Timi Alaibe, also lauded the excellent qualities of the late elder-statesman, saying that death has claimed a great man whose impacts cut across various realms of human endeavours.

He said “Heavens have beckoned on one of our shining stars for the final home journey. Engineer Rex-Ogbuku did not only exhibit ingenuity in his chosen profession, but was always needed whenever and wherever unique ideas were required to ignite engines of development.

“In the classrooms; where he was a teacher and administrator, he had a commanding presence; and in a larger public sector where he served at various times as Commissioner, he left indelible footprints.


 “Growing up in the Old Rivers State in those days, we were too young to be among his students when he was Principal of Government Technical College, Port Harcourt or at Government Secondary School, Twon Brass, Government Secondary School, Ogbia Town. But as we grew up, the name. Engineer Rex-Ogbuku, was synonymous with excellence in public service. Little wonder every administration, whether military or democratic, needed his inputs in governance; and he never disappointed.

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 “Engineer Rex-Ogbuku served as Commissioner for Electricity and Water Supply in Rivers State between 1979 and 1981. He is reported to have also chaired the Task Force that distributed hospital equipment in the state. he was elected Chairman of Ogbia Local Government Area. This came after he had served as Sole Commissioner for Brass Local Government Area in charge of Project Implementation.

“We will certainly miss the leadership and wise counsel of Engineer Rex-Ogbuku.

Our prayer is that God will grant him eternal rest, give strength to all of us, especially his immediate family at a time like this.

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 Earlier on Friday, March 19, 2021, the body of the late elder-statesman left the Federal Medical Centre mortuary (Otuoke) in a motorcade for Ogbia Town, for valedictory session by the Obanobhan Ogbia III in Council and the Ogbia Council of Chiefs for a brief lying in state at the Brotherhood Hall, Ogbia Town.

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 At Ogbia Town where the entire communities in the area came out in large numbers to accord the deceased their last respect, at a valedictory session held in his honour, a minute silence was observed for the elder-statesman in Ogbia Brotherhood Hall.

  Speaking, His Eminent King Charles Dumaro Owaba, Obanobhan III of Ogbia kingdom, described Engr Rex-Ogbuku as an exceptional leader who worked assiduously and tirelessly towards the transformation of Ogbia Kingdom, socially, educationally, culturally and politically to make the area a haven of peace and prosperity. 

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His Eminent King Charles Dumaro Owaba, Obanobhan III of Ogbia kingdom, speaking.

 King Owaba used the forum to enjoin the Rex-Ogbuku family to forward a portrait of the late hero to the Ogbia Brotherhood so as to hang it among other late elder-statesmen and pillars of the Ogbia Kingdom.

King Owaba disclosed that the Ogbia Council of Chiefs are making move to solicit from the Bayelsa state government to name Government Secondary School (GSS), Ogbia Town after Chief Rex-Ogbuku to immortalize him.

This, he said, was designed to reciprocate the exceptional role he had played to promote education in Ogbia Kingdom.

In his tribute, the National Chairman of Ogbia Brotherhood World Wide, Dr Aziba-Aloaguo Seibofa said, “The great Ogbia Brotherhood worldwide, the unifying force (Enai Ogbia) of Ogbia nation today mourns the demise of one of her Legendary Heroes Engr (Chief) Iwolisi Daniel Rex Ogbuku a man of peace, love and unity whose selfless sacrifices and service endeared him first to the Ogbia people and beyond in Bayelsa and Old Rivers state.

IDR as he was fondly called by friends and associates was a man of honour and integrity whose commitment to the course of Ogbia nation will remain indelible in our generation today and generations yet unborn.

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A cross section of Ogbia LGA Council of Chiefs.

 “This was a man for the love, growth and development of his people, voluntarily marooned himself from the luxurious city life into the thick jungles of Itokopiri Ogbia where his only source of music were the wild owls that entertained him daily in the night with songs of encouragement and inspiration, urging him for more selfless and dedicated service to humanity.

“This was the man Ogbia Brotherhood called the brainbox of his mentor Senator (Chief Dr.) Melford Obiene Okilo’s engine room for local, state and national politics. He was the calculus that made five (5) to beat seven (7) in the former Brass division.

“A man who was appointed into various positions of trust and served meritoriously to the best of his abilities in old Rivers state and beyond.

“A mechanical Engineer, a patriot, philanthropist and an astute administrator, a Devotee of the Ogbia Brotherhood whose motto, ‘All for each and Each for all’ was fully demonstrated throughout his life time here on mother earth. From the fringes of the Atlantic Ocean to the hinterland of both Bayelsa and River State, all say Adieu Rex, Adieu IDR, Adieu Great Legendary Hero.”

Also, the Chairman of Ogbia Local Government Council, Hon Ebinyo Marvin Turner, said,  “The news of the loss of an exceptional leader and father like Chief (Engr.) Iwolisi Daniel Rex Ogbuku could be monumental and devastating”.

He noted that late Rex-Ogbuku during his lifetime contributed significantly to the development of Ogbia Kingdom and rendered selfless services to the Government and people of old Rivers state as an agent of development who mentored and inspired many through his transformational approach to leadership.

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The  arrival of the Corpse of the late Elder-statesman at Ologi Community.

 Also, HRM King Omie Theophilus, in his tribute described the late elder-statesman as a levelheaded man endowed with rare wisdom who interacted freely with both the old and the young.

HRM, King Collins Ebi Daniel described late Rex-Ogbuku as a man of extra ordinary intelligence, and would be remembered for his patriotism, kindness, benevolence and above all, his belief on the motto of the Ogbia Brotherhood “ALL FOR EACH AND EACH ALL ALL.”

In his tribute, the Principal of Government Secondary School Ogbia Town, Mr Ibegu B. Robins said, the “Golden egg that laid the golden crown”, are right words to describe and qualify the contributions of our patriot, icon, political bulldozer and the educationist. The man that was used as a sacrificial lamb to build the educational standard of the Ogbia people.

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The remains of the late elder-statesman, Chief (Hon) Engr. Iwolisi Daniel Rex- Ogbuku leaving Ogbia  Town after the valedictory session, at Ogbia Brotherhood Hall.

 “Chief Engr. I.D. Rex Ogbuku was called up from “Shell Nigeria” to sacrificially resign and start up a secondary school in the new Town, called the “Ogbia Township”. He left his juicy job in Shell Nigeria and took up the appointment as the pioneer Principal or the founding Principal of GSS Ogbia Town in 1972.

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Prof Barclays Ayakoroma, an in-law, dancing during the commendation service
at Ayakoro.

 He was a man of standard, and was ready to serve and sacrifice his life even at his old age. He was a bearer of the vision of the founding fathers. A strong crusader, an advocate of the Ogbia Brotherhood which he believed so much as the pivot of the Ogbia unity. His contributions have brought upliftment to the educational standard of the Ogbia people, especially with reference to his scholarships scheme that many sons and daughters of Ogbia kingdom benefitted from. 

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Epebu Council of Chiefs receiving the Corpse of the late elders-statesman at Epebu Community.

 “We will miss him dearly, he has left a vacuum that is very difficult to be covered, but God knows it better. May his humble soul rest in peace,” he stated.

In their tribute, the Ogbia Brotherhood Youth Council Worldwide read by its National President, Comrade Napuru Bassuo described the late Rex-Ogbuku’s passion for Ogbia growth and development as unprecedented, adding that it is worthy of emulation.


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Women Groups dancing and paying their last homage to the late Hero.

 “He gave an undiluted passion for service to Ogbia Kingdom’s advancement from his days as Principal of GSS Ogbia town and other political offices he had occupied, “he averred.

After the valedictory session, the body was taking in a convoy of boats for brief recognition stop-overs at his maternal home Emadike, Epebu, Otuekpein and Okiki communities as well as Ologi; escorted by destiny undertakers, trumpeters, Ayakoro Boat Regatta, Agaba group, Ogele amongst others, to his home town, Ayakoro where his corpse was received by Obhan Anyama Council of Chiefs.


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Different activities were organized to immortalized the late elder-statesman in the one-week burial programme entertained by different life band musicians, cultural dances, wrestling and football Matches, among other activities.

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