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Former FRCN Urhobo Newsreader Passes On

“Sweet is the memory of the righteous” the saying goes, this became a reality as family and friends who felt the impact of an Urhobo ambassador in Oyo state, Pa Stephen Oghenede gathered to celebrate his glorious exit from the world.

Radio Nigeria correspondent, Rotimi Famakin who witnessed the cultural display and funeral service held in Ibadan chronicles the life and time of Pa Stephen Oghenede.

Pa Stephen Oghenede was born on 22nd of July, 1920 in Ughelli, Delta state.

He completed his elementary education in 1942 and became a teacher on January 4, 1943.

In 1956, he was brought to Ibadan and became a class teacher on 14th January, 1957 in Salvation Army School, Jagun, Ajibade.

Pa Stephen Oghenede later acquired Grade II certificate in 1975 and Associate Certificate of Education in 1982 from the University of Ibadan.

He retired after being a headmaster from Oba Akinbiyi High School II Mokola, Ibadan in 1957.

In 1958, he was introduced to broadcasting by his friend, Mr. Joseph Amrabure and became a full time Urhobo newsreader in Radio Nigeria.

His perseverance and tireless devotion to duty won him special award during the 50th anniversary of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Ibadan National Station.

Among the activities held in honour of late Stephen Oghenede was cultural and funeral service held at his residence and the Salvation Army church, Ekotedo, Ibadan respectively.

The cultural activities predominantly done in the South-South region of Nigeria’s culture were displayed at Balogun Area of Mokola in Ibadan where late Pa Stephen Oghenede resided until his death.

The programme organized by Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Ibadan chapter featured indigenous Urhobo songs and dance while various species of kolanut and wine were shared to further strengthen their unity.

n their separate tributes, representatives of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states indigenes to which Pa Oghenede belonged, described him as an exemplary leader who embraced tolerance, love and unity.

At the Salvation Army church, the casket was decorated with Pa Oghenede’s military-like cap and a flag which symbolized the church, Salvation Army.

Church members marching round Pa Stephen Oghenede’s casket

A march past was done by members of the church round Pa Oghenede’s casket.

In a sermon entitled the problem of human beings, the Divisional Commander, Salvation Army Ekotedo Ibadan Division, Major Michael Oyesanya urged the congregation to eschew sinful conducts.

The cleric also called on government to put an end to the endless killings in the country.

In their separate tributes, two Deputy Directors of News and Current Affairs Department, FRCN, Ibadan Zonal Station, Pastor Dare Olorunfemi and Elder Adenrele Ajisefinni and former Deputy Director Programmes of the station who also hailed from Delta state, Mr. Gabriel Onofurumen described Pa Stephen Oghenede as detribalized man, dogged and perfect newsreader who was loving and humble.

Speaking on behalf of the children, the daughter of late Urhobo ambassador in Oyo state, Mrs. Agnes Ladipo described her father as a pastor, teacher, and father whose vacuum would be felt in the family.

The funeral service was rounded off with farewell songs as the body was conveyed to his ancestral home, Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta state.

His remains were laid to rest at Ogbeki Quarters, Ughelli.

Aged 98, Pa Stephen Oghenede is survived by wife, children, grand children and great grand children.

Rotimi Famakin 

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