The remains of the former Managing Director of Champion Newspapers, Chief Bob Ogbuagu, were laid to rest on Saturday in his Umukabia country home in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia.
Ogbuagu, who died at the age of 92, was buried amidst a litany of tributes from relations, friends, business associates, corporate bodies as well as the Umukabia community and Methodist Church Nigeria.
In his tribute, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, described Ogbuagu’s death as a loss that was not only felt by his family members, community but also Abia, Nigeria and humanity.
Ikpeazu said that Ogbuagu touched many lives and thanked God “for his life of impact, service, honour and distinction.”
He further described him as “nobility personified”, adding that he was an outstanding gentleman, a leader and mentor, who “left gigantic footprints in various spheres of life.”
The governor said, “It is not how long one lives but how well. To have lived long and well can only be double bonus reserved for a select few noble folk.”
He said that ‘Dee Bob’, as the deceased was fondly called, left legacies of character, discipline and piety and urged Nigerians to emulate such legacies as a way to immortalise him.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelema, who hails from the area, described Ogbuagu as “a man of deep integrity and loyalty.”
Enelema promised that the people of the area would continue to remember the contributions of the deceased to the development of Ohuhu land.
In his sermon at a commendation service held at Methodist Church, Umukabia Umuagbom Ohuhu, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev. Samuel Uche, admonished Nigerians to prepare themselves for transition to eternal glory.
Uche regretted that many people live a life of frivolity and carelessness but noted that the deceased lived a meaningful life and was devoted to the service of God and humanity.
In a tribute on behalf of the family, the chief mourner, Chief Uche Ogbuagu, said that his father laid a solid foundation for the family to build on and promised that they would not deviate from his footprints.
The Founding Fathers of Abia State, in a special tribute, signed by Prof. A.N Nzeako, Mr Ezenwa Odumuko and Dr. O. J. Onyike, stated that the group was saddened by the death of a distinguished member.
They recalled the immense and leading role played by the deceased during the struggle for the creation of the state, including being an eminent member of the Abia Charter of Equity Committee.
Members of the National Assembly from the state, including Senators Theodore Orji, Mao Ohuabunwa and Enyinnaya Abaribe as well as the Speaker, Abia House of Assembly, Chief Chikwendu Kanu, also spoke glowingly in their tributes about Ogbuagu and his contribution to the socio-economic and political development of the state.
Also in their separate tributes, the Old Boy’s Association of Methodist College, Uzuakoli, the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations and Rotary Club, eulogised the deceased for his achievements and exemplary life.