Senate Marine Transport C’tte member, Ewherido, dies at 50
• Tributes flow from Jonathan, Senate, Okocha, others
Ewherido, 50, the only Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) Senator, who represented Delta Central, died a week after declaring his intention to run for the governorship of Delta State in 2015.
Ewherido passed on at the National Hospital, Abuja at 5.00 pm where he was rushed to after suffering stroke last Thursday.
He died in the presence of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.
Announcing Ewherido’s death Sunday, the Delta State Government, in a statement by the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay, said that the Senator died at the National Hospital, Abuja after a brief illness.
Macaulay said: “The Government of Delta State wish to commiserate with and express deep condolences to the family at this trying moment. Government advises Deltans, particularly members of his constituency to remain calm. We pray that God grants his family, constituents and all of us, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have received with shock and sadness, news of the passing on of the Senator.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said: “On behalf of himself and members of the executive arm of the Federal Government, President Jonathan extends heartfelt condolences to Senator Ewherido’s family, the Senate President, Senator David Mark and all of the late Senator’s colleagues in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
“The President joins them, members of the Ewherido family and the government and people of Delta State in mourning the distinguished legislator who served commendably as a member and deputy speaker of the Delta State of Assembly before his election as the Senator representing the Delta Central Senatorial District in the 2011 general elections.
“President Jonathan prays that God Almighty will comfort Senator Ewherido’s family, relatives, colleagues in the National Assembly and all the people of his constituency.
“He further prays that God will, in His infinite mercies, grant them the strength and fortitude to bear the painful loss of the very promising politician at the relatively youthful age of 50.”
The Senate has described the death of Ewherido as devastating and shocking.
In a statement, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Publicity, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that Ewherido only took ill weekend and was not able to make it.
Abaribe said: “Senator Ewherido was one of the most articulate, erudite, urbane and easy-going senators who brought his wealth of experience as a Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly to bear on the floor. He was always concerned about his constituents and Nigeria as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Senate President David Mark reportedly wept over the untimely death of Ewherido whom he described as a forthright and vibrant parliamentarian.
Mark lamented that Ewherido was one of the foremost and hardworking senators in the Seventh Senate.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Kola Ologbondiyan, the Senate President noted that Ewherido had, within his short but eventful membership of the Senate, displayed patriotism, commitment and truly distinguished himself as a parliamentarian of a very high standard.
“We have lost a true friend and colleague. We lost a vibrant and a very articulate senator. We have lost a patriotic Nigerian who stood to be counted when it mattered,” Mark stated.
He noted that one of Ewherido’s bills on how to address the issue of manslaughter in the land was currently under going through legislative works, adding that the deceased should have been alive to see his good works aimed at saving mankind.
He added that the Senate would do the needful to ensure that the immediate family of Ewherido did not suffer. He told the government and people of Delta State, especially the bereaved family, to take solace in the fact that the late Senator lived an accomplished life worthy of emulation.
Mark, who was in Accra, Ghana, for a golf tournament had on receiving the sad news, cut short his trip and returned home to mourn his departed colleague.
A former ACN governorship candidate in Delta State, Mr Peter Okocha, described Ewherido’s death as “colossal loss to Nigeria and Delta State in particular.
Okocha, a prominent maritime industry stakeholder and one-time National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said “Pius Ewherido was senator of senators, a gentleman, bridge-builder and somebody who touched many lives in different ways. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
Ewherido was reported to have on June 6, 2013, inaugurated the Uvwie chapter of a pressure group co-ordinating his campaign for Delta State Governorship in 2015 at the Ugborikoko Primary School, where he was described as an iconic leader and hope of the people of Delta State.
Born May 4, 1963, Ewherido was a member of the Delta State House of Assembly between May 1999 and May 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was elected Senator for Delta Central in the April 2011 elections on the platform of the DPP.
In 1998, he joined the PDP and in April 1999 was elected to represent the Ughelli South Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly.
He was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House when it convened in June 1999.
From May 15, 2000, to March 20, 2001, he was Leader of the Assembly.
Ewherido was re-elected in April 2003, and was Deputy Speaker of the Assembly from May 2003 until May 2007.
Ahead the 2007 elections, he aspired to be Governor of Delta State but lost out in the primaries of the PDP.