Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi, a Bible translator, has died at the age of 99 in Koko, Warri North Local Government, Nigeria. A statement issued in Koko said Deacon Aganbi died in his home in the early hours of Thursday, 26 March 2020. Aganbi served as chairman for the Itsekiri Bible Translation Project. The team completed the Old and New Testament Translation in the Itsekiri language.
Itsekiri language is a language spoken by the Itsekiri tribe of Southern Nigeria. Deacon Aganbi was a Bible translator, gifted interpreter, and scholar who had a strong influence in Itsekiri literature. He was also a legal guru, a highly reputed politician of the Second Republic in Nigeria and the Olare-Aja of Koko (community head)’’.
He used his learning to the service of the Church and used the Bible to nourish the faith and life of believers. Deacon Stephen Ejueyitsi Aganbi served as a spiritual guide to many’. He 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.
The statement read ‘’We have lost the unique focus of our community and festive light in our lives, but the inspiration of his self-confidence, cheerfulness and determination will live on in our hearts forever’’.
The statement described Deacon Aganbi as an icon of dedicated and upright public and private service, a man amongst men and one of the nation’s greatest political leaders.
Meanwhile, the member representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas Ereyitomi on Wednesday paid glowing tribute to Aganbi who he said played key roles in the nation’s development. He described the late Bible translator as a man whose wealth of knowledge and advice will 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.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.