Gov. Emmanuel, others pay glowing tributes as Late SGF Goes Home.Sunday, December 15th, 2019 | News
Governor Udom Emmanuel has described the Late Chief Ufot Ekaette as an illustrious son of the Akwa Ibom State who was defined by his adherence to honesty, high level of probity, acute understanding of the concept of right and wrong and preference to service above selfish interests.
He gave a funeral oration when the remains of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, were laid to rest at his country home , Ikot Edor in Onna Local Government.
The event which was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life, including the current secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and several serving and former political officers.
Governor Emmanuel maintained that, Late Chief Ekaette’s career in the Public Service was a representation of pan-Nigerianism, characterized by attributes devoid of primordial attachments and abiding faith in the nation’s capacity to rise to greatness, encouraging amity and deep sense of order in the discharge of his tasks and demanding same from subordinates.
“From his deeply trusting role as the Principal Private Secretary to former Head of States and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), to being the Director General (Permanent Secretary) at various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, our late statesman, our father, our brother brought these ideals to bare in the discharge of his duties, even as Deputy Governor of the State”, Emmanuel said.
He condoled the deceased family and prayed for the repose of his soul.
In a tribute, President Muhammadu Buhari represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, stated that the good works and legacies of late Ufot Ekaette are source of pride to the bereaved family, Akwa Ibom people and indeed the entire nation.
President Buhari noted that as a career civil servant and public servant, late Chief Ekaette served Nigeria diligently in different capacities; as Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministries, Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as Pioneer Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and described the demise of Ekaette as the loss of a great patriot.
“His passing away has deprived us an elder statesman and a committed patriot. On behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I extend my heartfelt condolences to you the family and the people of Akwa Ibom State. As you prepare for his rites of passage, I urge you to find inspiration and solace in the richly fulfilled life he lived. May his gentle soul rest in peace”, he stated.
Similarly , former President Olusegun Obasanjo described Chief Ufot Ekaette as a significant figure in the success stories of his administration, the Military and in other spheres of life.
“When people talk about my achievements in government, in the Military and what have you, what they always leave out is that all those achievements could not have been made without people.
“There are many of them who have really worked with me to make those achievements possible and Ufot Ekaette was definitely one of the most significant of them”, Obasanjo stated.
Chief Obasanjo added that Ufot Ekaette’s life should be celebrated and urged all to reflect on the exemplary virtues of the deceased.
He said: “on an occasion like this, I want to say this to you Mrs. Ekaette and the Children, we are not here to mourn. We are here to celebrate a life of service. In fact, if you ask me how will I describe Ufot Ekaette, I have seven words: service, integrity, diligence, humility simplicity, commitment and contentment.
“Whichever way you examine his life; you’ll find all these. For us, we can only pray for him and do what we are doing now to pay him the last respect but for each and every one of us, we must apply our hearts and our minds unto wisdom and say, if this can be said of Ufot Ekaette, what will be said of me, when my time comes”.