By Our Reporters
Mother of late Entertainment Editor of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Ogbonnaya Amadi, Mrs Grace Amadi, yesterday, said she never knew how prominent his late son was, until she read comments from prominent Nigerians, about him after his death.
This came as tears flowed freely, as his remains were laid to rest at his Okagwe, Ohafia, Abia State, country home.
Madam Amadi, 72 , who addressed members of National Union of Journalists, NUJ, who consoled her at the burial of late Amadi, said she was thankful to God that her son, Amadi gave his life to Christ before his death.
Speaking in Igbo , she said “I know that he suffered asthma and I also know that he died a natural death. I never knew my son was this big until his death. I have been reading all that friends and well wishers have written about him and I am happy. I am no longer crying because my son lived a fulfilled life both professionally and as a family man. I urge you, the colleagues, not to abandon the children and the family he left behind.”
Recalling Amadi’s last days with her, she said “my problem was that he hardly came home, but not quite a month ago, he came home and everybody was happy and there was wild celebration in the family. He renovated the entire house, bought things for people. He also settled his friends and brothers’ request and promised that he will now be coming home more regularly. I did not know that it was going to be the last I will see of him. But I take solace in the fact that he became born again before his death.”
The remains of late Amadi, left Mben hospital mortuary at 11 am in a motor Cade to the Okagwe Ohafia civic centre where he was received by his kinsmen. According to tradition, the body was later taken to the ancestral compound where he was identified by his kinsmen.
At the ancestral home, tears flowed from young and old who struggled to catch a final glimpse of his remains.
A church service was later held in his honor at the Owuwanyanwu Customary Court premises, where the presiding pastor Ogbonnaya Owuru admonished everybody to be prepared for death, being an inevitable occurrence that must come to everyone.
The burial had in attendance, dignitaries, including the Abia state governor, who was represented by his Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Anayo; commissioner of Information, Enugu state, Mr Chuks Ugwoke, Vanguard Editorial Board Chairman, Mr Ikeddy Isiguzo and his deputy, Mr Ochereome Nnanna, Deputy Transition Chairman, Ohafia Local Government, Mr John Uke, among others.
Paying tribute to the late Amadi, Governor Orji described the late Amadi as a worthy son of the state who took interest in the development of the state.
On behalf of the governor, Anayo said : “It is painful to us that you are coming to our home Ohafia in this circumstance. I would have wished that this visit was in a more merrier circumstance, but we can not question God.
”Honestly, the Abia state governor would have liked to be here but for tight engagements. You may not know, the Late Amadi was recognised as a prominent son of Abia state. He was the first journalist of Abia extraction that organized the visit of the state governor to the Colliseum Nite club in Lagos. We have lost a rare gem. We urge the Vanguard family not to forget the family he left behind. We on our own will also do our best to remember him.
” By the time I get back to the governor, we will do something substantial for the family that Vanguard will even be happy about”
Also, Mr Isiguzo, Editorial Board Chairman, Vanguard, said that, “burials are sober moments and for me, losing a colleague, neighbour friend, brother and seeing him buried is such a moment. We have done our duty to Amadi by burying him, what is left for us is to extend our love to the family he left behind.”