Metro

Gov. Oborevwori, Fayemi, Kachukwu others, pay tribute to late Gbagi

Gov. Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta, former Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti,  former Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu, friends and associates on Thursday eulogised late Kenneth Gbagi, who died on May 4.

Gbagi, who was married to Justice Sybil Gbagi and father to nine children, died at 62 years after a brief illness.

At the Night of Tributes in honour of late Gbagi, a former Minister of Education, the trio, friends and associates described the deceased as a detribalised and dogged gentleman.

Oborevwori, who was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Johnson Erijo, said that Gbagi was a patriot and an illustrious son of the Urhobo nation.

He said that the late astute industrialist and legal luminary was a pathfinder, a conscientious public servant and a politician of refute.

Similarly, former Gov. Fayemi, said: “Kenneth, as I call him, was a dependable and dogged politician.

“Once he calls you a friend. Then be rest assured that he will fight your battle for you.

“He was instrumental to the establishment of a federal university and a federal college in Ekiti while I was the governor, and I will never forget him for that.”

For Ibe Kachukwu, Gbagi was God fearing, bold and goal getter.

“He lived for just 62 years but had achieved what would have taken him 100 years to achieve,” the former minister said.

Other associates and friends who graced the event, described Gbagi’s demise as a huge loss to Urhobo nation and the nation considering his contribution in politics, governance and the private sector.

Gbagi, from Oginibu in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta, was born on Sept. 22, 1961.

He bagged Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Criminology at the Emmanuel L. Quezon University in the Philippines.

To sharpen his skills, he returned to Nigeria and studied law at the University of Lagos, proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, Lagos Campus, and was called to the bar upon graduation.

Rather than waiting for a white collar job, Gbagi ventured into business and established Geekos Security Nigeria Ltd and served as its chairman.

This company provided the foundation for the Gbagi’s conglomerate such as the GKO Properties Ltd; The Robinson Gbagi Shopping Mall 1 & 2 and The Signatious Hotel Suites Ltd.

Others are Geekos Investment Ltd; GKO Group of Companies, Nayee Group of Companies, Falcon Bay Energy Ltd and Keneth O. Gbagi & Associate, where he served as the head of the chamber.

He was one of the founding members of the People Democratic Party in Delta and was a governorship aspirant for the 1999 and 2007 PDP gubernatorial primary elections.

The late Gbagi was also the governorship candidate under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the 2023 election in Delta.
He served as a minister of education in 2010 where he supervised and midwifed the creation of 13 federal universities and eight Federal Government Colleges.

Other dignitaries at the event included the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi and former Gov. James Ibori of Delta.

Others were the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung and SDP National Chairman, Mr Shehu Gabam.

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