Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has lamented the death of President General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Maj. Gen. Patrick Aziza, describing him as an irreplaceable statesman.
Governor Uduaghan in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere described the death of General Aziza as a big blow and irreparable loss to Nigeria, Delta State and the Urhobo nation.
Dr. Uduaghan noted that the loss itself was devastating but was worsened by the timing when the invaluable contribution and experience of the late general were needed at this critical period of Nigeria’s history.
“In General Patrick Aziza we have lost one of the finest military officers, administrators, peace builders, nationalists and more fundamentally a statesman of repute.
“My administration enjoyed unparalleled support and cooperation from General Aziza as President General of the UPU, who was always there to share his wealth of experience with me anytime I called on him,” he said.
The Governor also described the late General Aziza as an industrialist whose business interests, ranging from hospitality, oil and gas among others helped to create employment for a sizeable number of Deltans.
“We will miss General Aziza’s calm demeanour, wise counsels and stabilising role in the politics and governance of Delta State,” he added.
Governor Uduaghan expressed his deep condolences to his immediate family, the Urhobo nation and the people of the State on the loss of General Aziza.
Similarly, Dr. Ngozi Olejeme has also said the death of Major Gen. Patrick Aziza (Rtd) has deprived Nigerians, particularly Deltans of the services of one of the most consistent administrators of this age.
Olejeme said, “Aziza in his life career served Nigeria with distinction and integrity. He was a family man that radiated the best of family values and a public official whose wealth was measured from the indelible legacies he put in place for posterity”.
Olejeme who also described the death of Gen. Aziza as sad and painful, noted that the military officer proved to Nigerians and the international community that there was everything to gain from being principled.
A statement by the Deputy Director General, U and I Foundation, Barrister Raymos Guanah urged the younger generation of Nigerians to take a cue from the ideals that Aziza lived for- building a better Urhobo nation, Delta State and Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, Aziza stood out. He was a rare gem, a distinguished military officer, a community leader, an apostle of the enthronement of the rule of law and a visionary leader with the knack for identifying talents. As a military administrator, he brought together bright young men and women, some of whom are today in top leadership position in the country. As a minister, he demonstrated exceptional administrative prowess.
She urged Aziza’s immediate family and the Urhobo people at home and abroad to take solace in the belief that God’s will is unquestionable and must always prevail,”
“She prays that God Almighty will comfort them all and grant the late leader’s soul peaceful repose,” Guanah stated.
“We will certainly miss this quiet and unassuming man on so many fronts” the statement added.
In the same vein, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Steve Oru, has express his condolences, saying that the Urhobo nation had lost a true son and a true general.
Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, representing Delta Central at the National Assembly, described Aziza’s death as tragic and sad.
“He served Nigeria very well. After all that, he came home to serve his people. He was a true servant of the people,” the senator added.
Major-General (rtd) Patrick Aziza passed away in Abuja on August 16, 2014, Saturday, around 3.45am at the age of 66 after he reportedly lost his battle with cancer.
He was appointed the first military administrator of Kebbi State (August 1991 – January 1992), after its separation from Sokoto, during General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime.
Until his death Aziza occupied the post of the President General of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU).
Patrick Aziza was born in Okpe, Delta, on December 23, 1947.