Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of celebrating individuals who distinguished themselves in public and private endeavors, their status notwithstanding.
Osinbajo made on Saturday at the funeral reception for Pa Matthias Keyamo, father of Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Chief Festus Keyamo, which took place in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Vice-President highlighted Pa Keyamo’s contributions to national development as a foremost cooperative officer and urged the family to sustain his legacies, even as he said the deceased was a patriot, who made sacrifices in support of humanity and contributed to nation building.
“We celebrate here today, a true Nigerian who was born in Delta State, raised in Kaduna and got married to a Yoruba woman, Mama Caroline Keyamo.
“It is important for us always to bear in mind that with the nature of our nation, we really must celebrate men and women like this; men who go completely outside their comfort zone and who make Nigeria happen in a very distinctive way.
“So, we celebrate this true Nigerian and we know that he was someone who has proved in public service that you can serve the public, serve society and distinguish yourself and still be a person who is highly regarded as a person of integrity and honesty.
“We celebrate this excellent Nigerian and l will want to say that just looking at his life and looking at all of the things that he managed to achieve; first he was one of the pioneers of cooperative societies in Nigeria.
“He was also someone who by dint of hard work and honesty, became one of the first internal auditors in the then Mid-Western Government.
“Even after that, he went into private life and worked as the Managing Director of Olori Group of Companies and distinguished himself there as well,” he said.
Osinbajo added that the deceased must be celebrated in every possible way, saying “l think that as they say, the legacies of great people, the legacies of great men and great women do not need any elaboration.
“It is very evident from even their children and grandchildren as we have seen and heard today. We have heard from his children, we have heard from his grandchildren and we know that all of them in public and private lives have distinguished themselves.
“And, we know that he had always himself, all through his life, demonstrated exactly what he wants his family to be like after him and his children had proved that.
“Like you heard in previous tributes, this was a great man with large heart and a generous spirit and l think that it is now up to us and up to his children and grandchildren to ensure that we continue in the way that Pa Keyamo had demonstrated and to continue to live our lives in the certain examples that he had set.
“On behalf of President Mohammadu Buhari, the government and people of Nigeria, l wish to express my deep condolences to the Keyamo family, the Governor and people of Delta State over the passage of Pa Keyamo, the father of my dear brother, Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and his siblings.
“May Pa Keyamo’s memory also be blessed and may the good Lord comfort Mama Caroline Keyamo and all members of the family.”
In his tribute, Governor of Delta, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, said late Pa Keyamo left indelible footprints in the sands of time and urged the children to emulate the legacies of their late father.
“I thank God for the life of our departed father and it is my wish that many parents will continue to raise their families like the Keyamo family because when that happens we have a peaceful state and country.
“I am excited that papa brought up lovely children who have also brought forth other great children.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta state, I express my condolences to the Keyamo family and I pray that God grants you all the fortitude to bear the passing of papa,” Okowa said.
On his part, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said the late Keyamo lived a good and fulfilled life and urged the family not to mourn but to celebrate his life and times.
“On behalf of the people of Delta Central Senatorial District, I bid papa farewell and it is my prayer that God grants the family the fortitude to bear this loss,” he stated.
Former Governors – James Ibori of Delta and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Minister of Women Affairs, Dr Pauline Tallen, Speaker of Delta House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori were among dignitaries that attended the ceremony.