Port Harcourt — Oil mogul, billionaire and founder of Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs, was on Saturday laid to rest at his country home in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Chief Lulu-Briggs who passed on to glory at the golden age of 88 in 2018, was until his demise, the Iniikeiroari V of Kalabari, and Executive President of Moni Pulo Petroleum Development, operators of OML114 in eastern Niger Delta.
The funeral service which had the customary combination of pomp and pageantry was graced by Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience Jonathan; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah.
Other dignitaries in attendance were, the representative of His Holiness, Pope Francis in Nigeria, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Ms Maureen Tamnuno; Former MDs of NDDC, Mr Timi Alaibe and Ms Joi Nunieh; Managing Director of Heritage Bank Plc, Mr Ifie Sekibo; Former Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside.
Also present were, Managing Director of Platform Petroleum Limited, Owieadolor Osariemen Simon; Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo; former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke and his wife, Mrs Onari Duke; former Governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia and several others.
Speaking at the furneral, Former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, said the oil magnate and billionaire, High Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs was of great help to him in 2007, when he was nominated by his party as a running mate to former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
“I knew him very well in 2007, when I got involved in national politics; when my party, the People’s Democratic Party nominated me as the running mate to late Umaru Musa Yar’adua.”
“We needed respected chiefs, politicians and leaders from the Niger Delta region who understands politics, that we can rely on. High Chief OB Lulu-Briggs was one of the persons that was recommended and of course, from the first day we met him, he really helped us.”
The former President who described the late oil mogul as a father, also charged the heir of the late billionaire, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, to walk in the shoes of his father.
“What matters most is not how you start in life but how you end in life. High Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs touched lives of people and that is why we all are here to celebrate him.
“I pray that God will give you (Dumo Lulu-Briggs) the wisdom and strength to walk in the shoes of your father.”
Also speaking, Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari, represented by the wife of the Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alaere Timipre Sylva, expressed her condolences to the bereaved family.
“High Chief O.B Lulu-Briggs was well known in Nigeria, in his proficiency in the oil and gas industry and his son, Dumo Lulu-Briggs is also well known to us at the presidency. We know that Dumo is more than capable to fly the family flag high. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.”
For his part, the heir of the late billionaire, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, said his father will forever remain an inspiration, especially on how he a truck pusher from a very humble beginning, rose to become a great man.
“A lot of people do not know that my father was a truck pusher, agricultural labourer, a policeman, a clerk in the NPA. A man, who because of his very difficult beginning didn’t have more than four years of formal education all his life, grew to become a great man that he was.”