President Muhammadu Buhari and ex-Vice President Abubakar Atiku have eulogised the late Benin monarch, Omo n'Oba n'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa.
A statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said president Buhari described the death of the Oba as a great national loss.
President Buhari extended his condolences and that of the Federal Government to Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, the people of Benin Kingdom and Edo State on the passage of the beloved monarch, who had ruled over his people since his ascension to the throne in 1979.
The President also extended special commiserations to Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa and other members of the late Oba's immediate family.
President Buhari assured them of the fullest sympathy and solidarity of the federal government and all Nigerians as they mourned the late Oba.
According to him, Oba Erediauwa will always be remembered as one of the most outstanding traditional rulers of his era.
``As the late Oba goes to join his very illustrious royal ancestors, President Buhari believes that his place of honour in the history of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria has been assured by his long and highly successful career as a public servant, administrator and chief custodian of the much celebrated culture and traditions of his people,’’ the statement added.
The President prayed that God Almighty would receive the late Oba's soul and grant him peaceful repose.
He also prayed that God would grant ``Crown Prince Erediauwa the wisdom and courage he will require to build on the laudable legacies of Oba Erediauwa.’’
In the same vein Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says late Oba Erediauwa of Benin was a role model, exceptional leader and leading light in the comity of traditional rulers in the country.
This is contained in a statement to mourn the passing of Erediauwa released by the Head of Media to Atiku, Mr Paul Ibe, in Abuja on Friday.
It said Erediauwa radiated royalty, majesty, wisdom, intelligence and nationalism even as he spared no effort in protecting the traditions and values of his people.
It stated that the passing of the monarch came at a critical time when the country was facing numerous challenges of nation-building and would miss his wise counsel.
The statement called on ``the proud people of Benin kingdom, the people and Government of Edo State and all Nigerians to take heart at the passing on of this illustrious royal personage.
``The remarkable life he lived, the place of the Oba in Benin and Nigeria history are assured.’’
The statement extended condolences to the Benin royal family and called on all its members to take heart and honour the memory of the late Oba by working for peace, which was a cardinal pursuit of the monarch during his lifetime.