Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has mourned his former aide, late Elder Samuel Bassey, who served him as Governor’s Special Representative in Lagos.
Delivering a funeral oration at the burial ground, former Governor Emmanuel described the late Samuel Bassey who passed on at the age of 59, as a friend, brother dependable and reliable ally who was permanently disposed to doing good, and pursuing noble causes.
The former Governor while recalling the good moments they both shared while Sam was alive, expressed grief at the demise of his friend.
According to a release on the X handle of the Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday, Emmanuel urged the bereaved family to draw consolation from God’s word as recorded in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 5,verse 1; “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands”.
Emmanuel prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest, as he journeyed back to his creator.
He said, “Sam and I met at the University of Lagos, two young men from the same part of the country, united by a common quest for the golden fleece. We became friends since then, braving the onerous task of university education in a land far from home. He studied Finance, and I, Accounting, and we met regularly, solidifying our bond of friendship in the process. We also worshipped in the same church, and were together in the Men’s fellowship of the United Evangelical Church, Surulere.
“I have been part of some important events in his life, and I have seen him in different moods. But whatever the event or circumstances were, he was always his firm and steady self. In the over 35 years of knowing Sam, I have not had cause to doubt his sincerity, forthrightness and friendliness.
“He was a brother in more ways than one, and was permanently disposed to doing good, and pursuing noble causes.
“Be it in his private life, in his family life, in his service to the community and his church, Sam proved a dependable and reliable ally. He was an easy going fellow, who also took seriously any task he set about doing. This was evident in his career and even his service to the church, as his 8-year tenure as our church committee chairman, and other roles he has played, would testify. It was in recognition of his diligence and work ethic that I found it easy to appoint him as my Special Representative in Lagos during my tour of duty as Governor, a responsibility he carried out with his usual aplomb and serenity.
“Today is the 6th day of August, 2023. In exactly 2 days, it would have been the 60th birthday of the man whose remains lie before us in this arena. If it were up to me, I would have preferred to be giving a toast at his 60th birthday, but here I am, standing here to speak about him in the past tense, giving this elegy for my friend and brother, Elder Sam Bassey!
“There are things I like to talk about. There are speeches that I enjoy giving. But I do not like elegies. I do not like to speak about the dead, especially if they are people as close and as dear to me as the late Sam Bassey, whose remains lie here today and whom we are gathered to bid farewell. But life, like a river: eventually goes where it must, not where we want it to go.
“Not too long ago, precisely in March of 2022, we converged on this same venue for the obsequies of his father, the Late Pastor Benjamin Bassey, who had passed on at the age of 92. While that event could have been termed a celebration of life, this untimely death can only be referred to as that of a star dimmed in its prime.
“There are people here who have known Sam much longer than myself. There are definitely people who haven’t known him for as long as I have. But whether you met him briefly or you have known him for years, I am certain that we all will agree that Sam was a good man, a humble man, a gentleman, and we are all united in this deep sense of grief!”
The service was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life led by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno who read a message of Condolence on behalf of the Government of Akwa Ibom State.