Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi, a Bible translator, has died in Koko, headquarters of Warri North Local Government.
A statement issued in Koko said Deacon Aganbi died in his home early hours of Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Deacon Aganbi, 99, served as chairman for the Itsekiri Bible Translation Project.
The team completed the Old and New Testaments’ translation in the Itsekiri language.
The statement, signed by Business Mogul, Mr. Felix Aganbi, said the late Bible translator, gifted interpreter and scholar had a strong influence in Itsekiri literature.
“Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi was a legal guru, a highly reputed politician of the Second Republic in Nigeria and the Olare-Aja of Koko (community head)’’.
The statement praised Deacon Aganbi for putting his learning to the service of the Church and using the Bible to nourish the faith and life of believers.
“Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi served as a spiritual guide to many,’’ the statement said.
It also praised the accomplished and careful translator for his well-known vision and linguistics competence in the languages of the Niger Delta region.
The statement described Deacon Aganbi as an icon of dedicated and upright public and private service, a man among men and one of the nation’s greatest political leaders.
Specifically, the statement praised Deacon Aganbi for his roles in the unity and development of the country, particularly the Itsekiri nation.
“Deacon Stephen Aganbi was a quintessential Nigerian. Throughout his political years, he proved to be an honest and courageous administrator. He also added charisma to education and astuteness both of which he displayed at difficult times,’’ Business mogul, Mr. Felix Aganbi said.
Trained in the United Kingdom, the Second Republic Politician, lawyer, community leader and chairman of defunct Nigerian National Shrimp Company Limited, Oghara was on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 conferred with the Alare Aja (community head) of Koko by the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli. “Deacon Stephen Aganbi dedicated his life to empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of the Itsekiri nation will never be forgotten’’ Felix Aganbi added.
Before ascending the throne, the late community head had distinguished himself as a lawyer, politician and religious leader.
“Deacon Stephen Aganbi was more than a political leader. He loved the company of children and younger persons.
“He was both a father-figure and mentor to people from all parts of the world. Indeed, he was a living legend. May his soul rest in eternal peace”.
Meanwhile, the member Representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi, paid a glowing tribute to Aganbi whom he said played key roles in the nation’s development.
He described Aganbi as a great man whose wealth of knowledge and advice would be greatly missed by all.
“Pa. Aganbi was a lawyer par excellence, a community leader and a lover of God,” the lawmaker said.
Similarly, a former chairman of Warri North Local Government, Chief Francis Maku-Eyituoyor, described Stephen Aganbi as a defender of the faith.
“We are encouraged and inspired by the example of Christian Service,” he said.
The chieftain of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) recently decried the abandonment of some health care facilities in Warri North.
He called on DESOPADEC to develop all health care facilities in Koko.
Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi, the Olare-Aja of Koko, will be remembered as a modern and progressive community leader, a committed citizen and one of the most effective leaders in the history of Nigeria’s Second Republic.