19th August, 2011
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has expressed deep shock over the death of the former Vice President during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu.
Reacting through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Governor Oshiomhole regretted that Nigeria has lost an important player in her political development in the last two decades.
He recalled the late Aikhomuâ€™s sterling professional career as a Naval officer, which was marked by important command appointments.
According to Oshiomhole, â€œalthough he served under military administrations, he managed to cut the image of a father figure. In later years as a politician, he was vibrant and demonstrated a competitive spiritâ€.
The Edo State governor noted that â€œAdmiral Aikhomu was one of those leading personalities in Edo politics, who offered goodwill and support, despite political differences with my governmentâ€.
He commiserated with the widow, Mrs. Rebecca Aikhomu, who he described as a supportive spouse.
â€œOur thoughts and prayers are with the Aikhomu family at this trying moment and pray to God to grant him eternal rest,â€ he added.
Meanwhile, indigenes of Irrua, a small town near Ekpoma in Esan Central Local Government, Edo State, where the late Aikhomu hailed from, have commiserated with the Aikhomu family.
The traditional ruler of Irrua, the Ojirrua of Irrua, who is also a childhood friend and class mate of Aikhomu, HRM Alh. W.O.Momodu, described his death as a great loss not only to the Esan people but to Nigeria as a whole.
Professor George Akpede, Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, ISTH, described the late Admiral Aikhomu (retd.), who was the Okakulo of Esan Land in Irrua, as a grassroots leader not only in Esanland but in Nigeria and would be greatly missed by many.
He said the late Admiral should be immortalised by naming the Irrua Specialist Hospital after him because he facilitated the establishment of the hospital due to his love for his people.
A civil servant, Momoh Augustine, a staff of ISTH, described the late Aikhomu as a great leader and father to the people of Esan Central Local Government.. He said he was seen by many as a man of the people.
At Esan Central Local Government Council, the Caretaker Chairman, Prince Marca Shaka Momodu, described the late Aikhomu as a great statesman who contributed in great measure to the development of Esan land and Nigeria as a whole.
Shaka pledged to forward a bill to the legislative arm of the council to name a street after the deceased.
â€”Yomi Obaditan- Benin City