Ocholi: An Architect Of Change Nigeria– Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ocholi: An Architect Of Change Nigeria– Buhari

Posted: Mar 19, 2016 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Atabor Julius LOKOJA
President Muhammadu Buhari has described Barrister Ocholi Eneojo James, the late Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, as the change architecture of Nigeria, stressing that his death has impacted negatively on the anti-corruption drive of the administration.
The president, represented at the final burial rites at the LGEA Primary School, Abocho by his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the late Ocholi died fighting for better living for his people and the country at large.
He added that the legal icon used his profession to champion  the cause of the poor and the vulnerable, lamented that he was cut down at the time he would have used his position to improve the lives of the mass of his people.
President Buhari noted that among many other positive and pleasant things, he would always remember Ocholi for his loyalty to our beloved country Nigeria, loyalty to the party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and loyalty to his administration, in which he had served for just four months, before death took him.
The president hinted that he believed so much in him and in his ability to add value to the governance of his state, that he allowed him to tour with him to all the states during the electioneering campaign.
He stated that his role in the formation of the APC was commendable and novel as he used his profession to enhance the quick completion of the legal process, commending his humility to have worked under his junior in the formation of the party.
“What mattered to Ocholi was the birth of a strong, solid party, which could wrest power at the centre, and bring change to the country.
“He was part of the change cabinet which is resolved to bring our country from the shackles of poverty and under development,” he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, noted that the late James Ocholi grabbed life by the jugular and squeezed his due from its clenched fist.
“James was successful very earlier in his chosen profession, and by his achievements drafted an airtight brief on how to live life well-with urgency, making massive impact as one goes.
Everyone from the President and Commander-in-Chief to the lowliest beneficiaries of his greatness in Dekina to many other places known and unknown are mourning him today.
“His manner and way of speaking readily showed his depth of character, intelligence and breeding. He proved himself a brilliant, honest and most respectable legal practitioner,” he said.
The Governor therefore urged the assemblage of the best legal minds in the country to hold that Chief Ocholi is not dead, but sleeping.
His words: “We will therefore not allow grief blind us to his sterling accomplishments, or to the fact that he, being dead yet speaks.”
Governor Bello assured that the Kogi State Government and the people of the state shall never forget James, saying that he will see to that by seeking creative ways to immortalise his memory.
“We shall remember his surviving children and show them love as indigenes of Kogi State in their own personal rights as well as the children of our friend, James Ocholi (SAN),” the governor promised.
He stressed that Blessing, his dear wife, and Joshua his beloved son, who died with him were also within his contemplation in his address, adding that they helped to make James the man he was even as their support and cheerleading put the wind in his sail. Like himself, they too will be sorely missed.
Speaking on behalf of the children, Mr. Aaron Ocholi, said they will miss their father, mother and his brother, Joshua, greatly.
He said that his father was passionately hard–working with a large heart adding he was his role model, his mentor; as he taught him even from his mistakes.
While speaking further Aaron noted that his Mother was his confidant as she constantly poured out his virtues and wisdom into him.
He also described his late brother Joshua as a gentle man who was always there for him adding that he never imagined that Joshua by now will never be with him again.
“We understood ourselves even without spoken words. The world is ours to conquer, you said. I live for our dreams brother. It was an honour to have had you as a younger brother,” he lamented.
Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, in his vote of thanks said since November 11, 2015 when they were sworn in as ministers in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, he had the singular privilege of working with his son, James, till his death.
He noted that the late Ocholi was unassuming, humble yet ebullient, hardworking, a believer in the English Maxim that the reward for good work is more work.
The minister stressed that Ocholi was cerebral and scientifically deductive in his evaluation of issues as he prayed that the good Lord would grant the family the fortitude to carry on with great equanimity and bear the loss.
They were later buried at his home town Abocho in Dekina Local Government Council of Kogi State.