Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, on Friday, called on Nigerians to embrace peace and love, saying they were panacea for rising insecurity and apathy in the country.
Okowa gave the charge at the funeral mass for former Military Administrator of Kano and Benue states, late Brig.-Gen. Dominic Oneya (retd) at St Jude’s Catholic Church, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.
He said that peaceful co-existence and love among the citizenry would engender much-needed unity.
The governor remarked that late Oneya epitomised brotherhood and good neighborliness in service and in all his activities while alive and urged people to emulate him.
He condoled with the deceased’s wife, children, family, and the Urhobo nation over the loss of the renowned officer and elder statesman.
He added that late Gen. Oneya lived a life of faith and commitment to the church and the community, and urged Nigerians to live in love and peace to build a united, strong and virile nation.
“We have come here to pay our last respect for one of our own brothers and leader Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya (retd).
“Our late leader was truly an icon, who worked very hard and served this country in various capacities particularly when he was military administrator of Kano and Benue States.
“He was not just a general in the army, in the Catholic church he was a grand knight and in his Agbarho community, he was not just a Chief but Chairman of the Council of Chiefs.
“In sports, he served as Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) now Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“Politically, he was one of us and leader of the elders’ council of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ughelli North Local Government Area.
“Gen Oneya came, lived a life of love and I pray that many of us will emulate him because he had a very infectious smile, never pretentious about any situation and we thank God for the life he lived.
“On behalf of my family, the government, and people of Delta, I again condole with the Oneya family, especially his wife Chief Patricia Oneya and children on the demise of her husband and our leader, Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya.
“It is our prayer that God will encourage the family because he was truly a good man and may the mercy of God be with his family,” the governor stated.
Earlier, Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese, Most Rev’d Dr. John Afareha, in his homily, said that death was life’s greatest mystery and urged the families to take solace in the fact that the dead would rise again for the promised glory.
He described the late Gen. Oneya as a good man who dedicated and entrusted his life to God and served the country in several capacities.
He urged Christians to live in love and care for one another just as late Oneya epitomised.
He commended the role of the military in peace-keeping globally which the late Gen. Oneya also served actively.
“We are touched by the death of our friend and brother, Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya (retd)
“He was a man of faith in the Catholic church and a major financier of the St. Jude Catholic Church, Effurun,” the bishop said.
The funeral service was attended by Deputy Governor of Benue State, Mr. Benson Abounu, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, represented by Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Logistics Command, Oghara, Rear Admiral Samaila Lassa, former Governor of Delta, Chief James Ibori, President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick, among others.