29th October, 2013
President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, have extended their condolences to the wife, children and relatives of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe (retd.) who passed away yesterday in the United States of America.
In his condolence message signed on his behalf by Reuben Abati, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Jonathan also said he “commiserates with officers and men of the Nigerian Navy which Vice Admiral Akhigbe once led as Chief of Naval Staff, as well as the government and people of his home state, Edo on the passage of the very courageous officer who patriotically served his nation to the best of his God-given abilities throughout a most distinguished career in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
“The President joins Vice Admiral Akhigbe’s family, colleagues and subordinates in the Nigerian Navy, friends, associates and all who knew him in mourning the former Chief of General Staff.
“While Vice Admiral Akhigbe may have left the world of the living, President Jonathan believes that he will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all whose lives he touched positively during his long and remarkable career of national service in military commands and in the political offices he held as a military officer.”
The President said he believes that Vice Admiral Akhigbe will be especially remembered and honoured by present and future generations for serving with distinction as military governor of Lagos and Ondo States, and as Chief of General Staff in the military administration that mid-wifed the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria and began the commendable re-professionalization of the Nigerian Armed Forces after decades of involvement in politics.
He prayed that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn Vice Admiral Akhigbe and grant his soul eternal rest.
Governor Oshiomhole in his condolence message described the death of Akhigbe as a great loss to the state and country.
The Governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria said: “it is with a sad heart that I mourn the death of Vice Admiral Akhigbe, an elder statesman, a pan-Nigeria nationalist, a man of uncommon qualities and an illustrious son of Edo State.
“Vice Admiral Akhigbe’s track records as former military Governor of Lagos and old Ondo states, as Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of General Staff are indelible. He no doubt discharged his duties creditably and left huge imprints in the sands of time.
“Indeed, we owe him a great debt of gratitude for his invaluable contributions which led to the nascent democracy being enjoyed in the nation today.”
Governor Oshiomhole further extolled the virtues of the deceased, saying that in Edo State, Admiral Akhigbe was a pillar of support as he had cause to disagree with his political party at several times while championing a good cause for the state.
“Vice Admiral Akhigbe, no doubt, had lived his life to the fullest and made indelible mark both as a disciplined military officer and as an administrator.
“His death has no doubt robbed Edo State and Nigeria of one of her brightest minds. We feel even more pained that death robbed us of Vice Admiral Akhigbe at this time while we still mourn the passage of another illustrious son of the state, Prof Omo Omoruyi.
“However, as we mourn, we take solace that he contributed his best and gave his all to the state and the country; for these, the people and Government of Edo State are grateful and proud,” he said.
The governor prayed God to grant the soul of the departed Vice Admiral peaceful eternal rest in His bosom and grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.