The remains of Vice Adm. Mike Akhigbe, a former Chief of General Staff (CGS), were laid to rest on Saturday in Fugar, Etsako Local Government Area of Edo.
Speaking at the funeral mass, President Goodluck Jonathan described Akhigbe as an exemplary officer and a gentleman, and a consummate administrator who displayed outstanding leadership.
Jonathan hoped that Akhigbe’s sterling qualities would inspire Nigerians to be more committed to providing greater service to the country.
He prayed that God would grant Akhigbe’s wife and family the strength to cope with the loss.
The president was represented by the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo.
Earlier, in a homily, the Rev. Fr. Innocent Okifoh, said that a Christian burial was for spiritual support to the soul of the dead and to honour the living.
“Death is not the end of life. It only changes the texture of life.
“Akhigbe has been in Government and every mandate to govern is from God. When you are in Government, you should ask yourself what you would be remembered for and what God would reward you for,” he said.
The Senate President, David Mark, described Akhigbe as a very humble man who thought more of Nigeria.
He recalled that Akhigbe was the rallying point for all the members of the 3rd Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
He urged his children to emulate their father.
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo expressed gratitude to God for what He used Akhigbe to do for the country, the state and for himself.
“There are many things Nigerians can learn from Akhigbe.
“One lesson from the Admiral is that it is not how long you stay in power that will define what you do”, he said.
He commended Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Head of State, and Akhigbe (CGS), for their honesty of purpose and courage in handing over power to civilians within a short time (1999).
Abubakar and his wife, Justice Fati Abubakar, witnessed the burial.
Other dignitaries present included, past state military administrators, past and present members of the National Assembly, military top brass, and the PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih.
Also present was Gov. Segun Mimiko of Ondo State as well as representatives of the governors of Lagos and Ekiti States. (NAN)