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‘His life touched lives’ — Jonathan, dignitaries pay tribute to Lulu-Briggs

‘His life touched lives’ — Jonathan, dignitaries pay tribute to Lulu-Briggs
March 14
09:43 2021

Tributes poured in for the late Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, oil magnate, as he was finally laid to rest on Saturday.

Many dignitaries — politicians, the clergy and traditional rulers — were present to pay their last respect at the funeral which was held in Abonnema, his hometown in Rivers state.

The burial of the businessman who died in December 2018 in Accra, Ghana, was delayed over a protracted court case. Seinye, his widow, who had travelled with him, was accused of having a hand in his death but she denied the allegation.

Plans were put in place for his burial but his remains were not released as his widow and other family members struggled in court.

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The late billionaire’s remains were eventually released to Dumo, his son, by a court in February.

Speaking during the funeral, former President Goodluck Jonathan said the life of the businessman touched lives, adding that he helped his government in “many ways”.

“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,” Jonathan said.

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“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.”

On her part, Aisha Buhari, first lady, said the late billionaire was known for his proficiency in the oil and gas sector.

“High Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs as foremost philanthropist and an ardent businessman from the great Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers in the Niger Delta Region is well known to Nigerians and beyond for his proficiency in the oil and gas sector,” the president’s wife represented by Alange Sylva, wife of Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, said.

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Dumo said his late father had a humble beginning and was a truck pusher in Rivers.

“My father had a very humble beginning, he was a truck pusher in Rivers State. He was an agricultural labourer in Minna, present day Niger State. He was a police recruit and then he got lucky when he became a clerk with the Nigerian Ports Authority,” he said.

Dignitaries present at the funeral were Nyesom Wike, Rivers governor; John Onaiyekan, archbishop emeritus; Uchechukwu Ogah, minister of state for mines and steel development; Austin Opara, former deputy speaker of the house of representatives; and Tammy Danagogo, secretary to Rivers state government.

Also present were Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Amayanabo of Opobo Kingdom; Disrael Bob-Manuel; chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers; Ferdinand Alabraba, chairman of the Rivers Elders Council, and Timi Alaibe and Joi Nunieh, former Managing directors of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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