No fewer than four governors yesterday attended the memorial service organised by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, for her son, Parker Shepnaan Dongban who passed on last year.
Some of the governors who attended the event held at Demshin in Plateau State still have cases at the election petitions courts where the Appeal Court President would have a major role to play.
However, there was no evidence that the Appeal Court president invited the governors to the event.
According to analysts, the governors might have attended the event in a typical Nigerian gesture, and perhaps, to curry favour.
Speaking at the service held at St. Peters Clever Church, Demshin in Plateau State, the Governor of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who said he was speaking on behalf of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), sympathised with Justice Dongban-Mensem, saying the governors identified with the family at the memorial service.
He said though the loss was painful, the governors recognised the impact made to humanity by the late Parker Shepnaan Dongban within the short period of his sojourn on earth, adding that his goodwill would be greatly missed.
He said: “Even though we remember our son today, we acknowledge that he lived an impactful life.”
Also speaking, the Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Caleb Mutfwang, who sympathised with the bereaved family, prayed to God to continue to comfort them.
He noted that no one can feel what the family has gone through since the untimely demise of the Parker.
He said: “There isn’t much to say on an occasion like this other than to say, may the good Lord continue to comfort you and the family because there is nothing we can do and the only thing is to pray for you.
“Even though one year has passed and we know you have enjoyed the comfort of the Lord, may you continue to enjoy the comfort of the Lord all the way. We will continue to pray that God will teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Also at the memorial service were Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia; his Ogun State counterpart, Dapo Abiodun; former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang, and former Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike.
In his message, the Bishop of Shendam Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Philip Dung admonished the congregation and also prayed for the repose of the soul of Parker.
He asked God to continue to comfort the family.
He appealed to the Nigerian leaders not to abandon the people, particularly those in rural communities who voted them into power but to come up with programmes and actions that would cushion the effects of the present hardships being experienced in the country.
Bishop Dung drew the attention of governments at various levels to the lack of social amenities such as drinking water, roads, schools, and hospitals in most communities and called for urgent steps to be taken to give the people a sense of hope and belonging.
He applauded the President of the Court of Appeal for her investments in education which, he said, has enabled the less-privileged children to have access to schooling.
As part of the event, a Multipurpose Hall built at Ngoottuguut in memory of Parker was commissioned by the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh alongside Mutfwang, and other dignitaries.