By Dave Okpogadie, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has expressed sadness over the death of renowned author, publisher and politician, Dr. George Idodo-Umeh.
In a statement released by the chief press secretary to the governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba, Okowa commiserated with the people of Isoko and Olomoro community in particular, over the demise of the renowned politician and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain.
He noted that the departed Idodo-Umeh was an elder statesman, grassroots politician and administrator, who excelled as a two-time commissioner in the defunct Bendel State.
The governor described the deceased as a `thoroughbred politician’’ whose love for his people led him to contest twice for the Delta South Senatorial District seat in the 1983 and 1999 general elections.
He remarked that although the man was unsuccessful on both occasions, he remained committed to the growth and development of the party in the state.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn the passing of an elder Statesman, grassroots-oriented politician, author and publisher, Dr George Idodo-Umeh, who passed on after a brief illness.
“The news of his death came to me as a shock. He was a gentleman-politician, who distinguished himself in the service of his people, especially as two-time commissioner in the defunct Bendel State.
“In the formative years of our great party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), he was a founding member and ran though unsuccessfully, on its platform to represent his people of Delta South Senatorial District,’’ Okowa said.
He prayed God to accept the deceased’s soul and grant fortitude to the family and friends he left to bear the loss.
Idodo-Umeh died at a hospital in Benin on Monday January 27,after a brief illness. He was aged 76.
The deceased hails from Olomoro in Isoko South Local Government Area and was commissioner for Urban, Rural Integrated Development and Housing in the defunct Bendel State from 1980 to 1982 and commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1982 to1983.
Idodo-Umeh was an academic and entrepreneur. He founded Idodo-Umeh Publishers Limited in Benin and Idodo-Umeh Academy in Olomoro, his home town.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the growth of his community and Isoko in general, he was honoured with the chieftaincy titles of the Osugba of Olomoro and the Ogba of Emevor, another community in Isokoland.