By Great Maduawulechukwu
The pioneer Chairman, Unity Party of Nigeria (U.P.N, in the defunct Bendel State, Elder Barr. Edward Ehimwenma Osifo, also known as Eddy Osifo marked his first birthday at the age of eighty-five.
The auspicious occasion, which took place on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at Eddy Osifo’s residence, Igbanke, Orihionmwon Local Government of Edo State commenced with Church service.
Present at the ceremony were some high profile personalities amongst whom were traditional heads and Chiefs of Igbanke Community, top politicians in the State, staff of Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS), Pastors and Members of Living Faith Church (Winner Chapel), children, family members, friends, and well-wishers.
Speaking with newsmen, Elder Osifo expressed gratitude to God for keeping him alive, saying, “My 85th birthday celebration was a fulfillment of my promise in appreciation to God for preserving my life. Sincerely my joy knows no bound on this special day and I return all glory to God who has given me life.”
“I am very happy today because this is my first birthday celebration since I was born. This is because I don’t believe in frivolities, and that is why I have not been celebrating my birthdays. I told God that if he keeps me alive to this time, I will celebrate him and my birthday.”
“The celebration has given me the golden opportunity to launch my autobiography for my children’s children to see and read about the founder of the modern Osifo family. It is also a must-read for all to learn from my struggles and impacts.”
“God has been so faithful to me in all. I have nothing to regret about the things life has offered me. From the depth of my heart, I have no regrets but for the feeling of being too young and inexperienced, I rejected the golden opportunity given to me by my principal, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo to be the First Governor of the defunct Bendel State between 1979 and 1983. I was also given the honour and privilege to personally handpick the person of my choice, late Prof. Ambrose Ali who later turned his back on me. There is nothing to regret about this decision at all”, he affirmed.
Elder Eddy Osifo further advised young politicians all over the country to learn to serve. He thanked all who graced the occasion for their support, contributions, and prayers, positing that their comments make him more humble.
Giving his admonition, the Guest Minister from Winner Chapel, Benin City, Pastor Sylvester Ogedi who spoke on the topic, “Living a Life of Impact”, stated that God created everyone to make an impact on the earth, declaring that the impact one makes on earth determines his or her life.
“Life is principally a gift from God so that you can be a gift to many on earth. A life of impact is a life that creates a solution. It is not about the number of years you have lived but the lives you touch are what matters to God.”
“Elder Osifo has served in many capacities both in Church and secularly that is why we are here to honor him. He is a blessing to many that is why God is still keeping him alive”, he posited.
The cleric wish the celebrant a happy birthday, praying God to bless him with more years in good health.
On his part, the Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Chief Nosakhare Isekhure said that it is an honor to be chairman of the occasion. He described Eddy Osifo as a reliable old friend, whose friendship is built on love, commitment, trust, and respect, saying that he honoured the invitation because respect is reciprocal.
Also, the wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Joy Usifo thanked God for adding another year to the life of her husband, noting that she is extremely happy. In her words, “I am very happy to marry my husband because he is a caring, reliable and straightforward man. He is somebody who does not joke with anything academics. I pray God to bless and keep him for us.
In their separate remarks, the Book Reviewer, Mr. Onyeka Ibe, Mr. Omoro Utomah, and U.N Retiree, Mr. Joseph Igbinedion stated, “Elder Osifo is a man who worked closely with Late Chief Awolowo. He played a significant role that brought Prof. Ambrose Ali to power as the Governor of Defunct Bendel State. He is a meticulous and nontribal man. Due to his commitment and loyalty, late Chief Awolowo picked him as his right-hand man. His life is a blessing to us. He is a father figure to us. The book, we are launching today is well loaded with his contributions to nation-building and human development. We encourage everyone to get a copy”
The high points of the occasion was the cutting of the birthday cake, presentation of gift items to the celebrant, and launching of the Celebrant’s Autobiography.