From Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has condoled the people of Isoko in the state on the passing of renowned farmer and community leader, Chief Gregory Akpojene.
Akpojene passed on peacefully in his home in Otor-Igho in Isoko North Local Government Area on Friday after a brief illness. He was aged 83.
The deceased was Chairman of defunct Isoko Local Government Council in defunct Bendel State from 1979 to1982.
As a community leader and statesman, late Akpojene served two times as President-General of the Isoko Development Union, the apex socio-cultural organisation of Isoko people.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Saturday in Asaba, Okowa commiserated with people of Isoko and Otor-Igho community in particular, over the demise of the octogenarian farmer and statesman.
He noted that the departed Akpojene was a worthy statesman, retired teacher, grassroots-politician and an astute farmer, who excelled in public and community service.
The governor described the deceased as an “accomplished farmer’’ whose love for farming made him to envision the Akpojene Research Institute and Akpojene University of Agriculture which were yet to be approved by the government.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I mourn the passing of a grassroots-oriented politician and an accomplished farmer, Chief Gregory Oke Akpojene, who passed on yesterday after a brief illness.
“I am saddened by the news of his demise, but I am quite convinced that he lived a life of great accomplishments.
“He was a gentleman, who distinguished himself in the service of his people, especially as a former Chairman of defunct Isoko Local Government Council in the defunct Bendel State and a two-time President-General of the Isoko Development Union (IDU).
“As a retired teacher and a former council chairman, Akpojene contributed immense resources to the developmental progress of Isoko through his passionate farming activities spanning more than 53 years.
“His contributions to the economic growth and development of Isoko, Delta and Nigeria remain indelible in the annals of history,’’ Okowa said.
He prayed God to accept the deceased’s soul and grant fortitude to the family and friends he left to bear the loss.
Chief Akpojene was a great farmer and entrepreneur. He founded Akpojene Farms Limited which has employed many Deltans in the past 53 years of his farming activities.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the growth of agriculture and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, he was conferred with the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan.