By Victor Graham
Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke and his wife, Onari on Saturday joined others to bid business mogul, High Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs farwell in Abonnema, headquarters of Akuku-toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Jonathan in his tribute described the Lulu-Briggs as a great statesman, nationalist and philanthropist who used his O.B Lulu-Briggs Foundation to touch many lives.
He said, “I knew Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs and met him in 2007 when I got involved in national politics as vice president and had to oversee the Niger Delta Region.
“He was one of those who were recommended that I should work with. And it worked exactly as said. He helped us in many ways in Government.
“Chief was a very sophisticated man. Though he started quite small, see how he ended big; by this teaching us a big lesson that it does not matter how small you start, what matters more is how you end your life. We are all gathered here because the Chief lived a life that touched lives.”
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari extolled the virtues of the late oil magnet, saying though he left a big shoe but she was very confident that his children, especially his son, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs will continue to fly the family flag high.
The First Lady who was represented by Mrs. Alayingi Sylva, wife of the Minister of Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva noted that deceased was well known, loved and dear to her family.
She added that he will be remembered for his dexterity in business, assuring that the first family will continue to work with the Lulu-Briggs family to continue with the legacies of the deceased.
Other dignitaries who spoke at the funeral service, eulogized the late Lulu-Briggs, commending him for his philanthropy and his contributions to the development of the country in diverse ways.
The absence of widow of the billionaire, Dr Seinye Lulu-Briggs was very visible as it further exposed the ongoing war between she and Dumo, the second son.
Since he passed on two years ago in Ghana, there has been irreconcilable differences between Seinye and Dumo, a situation that caused the delay and several postponements of his burial.
Niger Delta Connect gathered that her family and some notable Kalabari chiefs had last week raised serious concerns over her exclusion from the funeral activities of the octogenarian, saying it was against the customs and traditions of Kalabari Kingdom.
The late oil mogul who owns several companies including Lubrik Nigeria Limited, a construction company and Moni Pulo Limited, an oil exploration and production company, died at the age of 88.
Other dignitaries at the event were; the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry–Banigo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Ms Maureen Tamnuno.
Others were; Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah; Former Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe; Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc Mr. Ifie Sekibo, amongst others.