Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday led others in the entertainment industry to pay glowing tributes to the late veteran filmmaker, Eddie Ugbomah on Friday.
They spoke at his funeral held at the National Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos, where they highlighted his contributions to the development of the movie industry in the country.
His remains were later interred at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi.
Okowa in his tribute to the veteran filmmaker said that Ugbomah’s death came as a shock to the people of Delta.
The governor was represented by Mr Friday Anaziah, Director of Culture, Delta State Directorate of Culture and Tourism.
The governor, however, said that the people were able to bear the sad news because of the achievements and impact the deceased made in his career during his lifetime.
“Delta State is proud of our late father in the movie industry because he was able to infuse worthiness in the minds of filmmakers.
“He believed that filmmakers, producers, actors and actresses were capable of becoming millionaires at a time when the society was looking down on them.
“He stayed and remained consistent in his chosen career.
“Today filmmakers and producers can put up proposals worth millions of naira unlike what obtained back in the days,” he said.
The governor advised the younger generation to emulate the resilient and dedicated qualities which the late Ugbomah possessed because such qualities made up the building blocks of any industry.
“What our late father did when he was alive in terms of resilience and dedication to work should serve as an example to the younger generation.
“Ugbomah believed and was consistent in his belief but today, what the younger generation believes in is committing suicide when things don’t work out as planned.
“‘If he had committed suicide then when things were difficult, we will not be here celebrating him,” Okowa said.
He said that late Ugbomah’s contributions to the movie industry should serve as a lesson for the younger generation to look up to and embrace such people as their role models.
Also, Mr Adedayo Thomas, the Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), said that the late Ugbomah spoke truth to power.
He said he was always in the vanguard of what was just and right in all circumstances.
Thomas said that the deceased was an activist for the true expression of humanity and an advocate for a people-driven democratic system.
“Though, death may have dimed your light, we know that your light has caused an inductive effect across generations.
“Your light rays will continue to beam through your vast array of protégés and treasured works,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), said that the late Ugbomah was not a coward because he represented the industry well by speaking the truth without caring whose ox was gored.
“I take solace in the fact that he had so many survivors and that others would build on the foundation he laid.
“That is the job of people like us to make sure that he did not work in vain because Ugbomah was a great source of inspiration to a lot of us,” Okoroji said.
Teemac Omatshola, a veteran musician, said that he was not impressed at the crowd of people that came for Ugbomah’s burial because he was a man of significant status.
“In any European country, a filmmaker of such status would attract the attention of the ‘movers and shakers’ of the movie industry.
“I had to fly in from abroad to be here because that is the kind of respect you give a colleague that had contributed to the development of an industry.
“People are yet to understand that all the bad publicity we have abroad are sometimes countered by good movies and films,” Omatshola said.
Mr Ndidi Ugbomah, the deceased’s son, said that he would always remember and appreciate the great moments he shared together with his late father.
“I am able to mourn yet celebrate you because you came, you saw and you conquered. You lived a full life and accomplished many things,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Eddie Ugbomah was born on Dec.19, 1940 and died on May 11, 2019 at the age of 78. (NAN)