By Ikechukwu Odu and Chinenye Ozor
The congregation who gathered at Agu Nru Nsukka, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State on Friday to pay their last respect to late Senator Fidelis Okoro were surprised to see a catechist officiate the burial mass even in the presence of the Parish Priest of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Nru, Nsukka, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Isife.
The parish priest, after watching the catechist struggle-through the requiem mass which was attended by dignitaries, only handled the microphone when the mass has ended to inform the congregation that the “State of the late Senator was enough homily for everyone.”
Embittered by the development, the senator representing Enugu North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Chuka Utazi, told the congregation that it was not within the powers of the living to judge the dead.
The Senator who took the posture of a man of God during the outburst alluded to the two thieves who repented at the point of the crucifixion with Jesus Christ, saying it was not within the powers of the living to judge the dead.
Also speaking in the same vein, the former governor of the old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, urged the congregation to pray for the happy repose of Okoro, instead of condemning him for his shortcomings on earth saying “only Jesus Christ can judge him, not his fellow human being.”
“When I was the governor of the old Anambra State, my youngest commissioner who worked assiduously was Senator Fidelis Okoro. He was my son.
“When he contested the Senatorial election to represent Enugu North Senatorial District, he won the first time but faced opposition when he wanted to recontest for the second tenure. I waded in and ensured that he won; not just for the second term but three times. He was great statesman,” he also said.
While speaking to Vanguard, the member representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South Federal Constituency in the House of the Representatives, Pat Asadu, described late Okoro as a leader and a rugged politician.
Asadu said that the late Senator died at a time when the district needed his fatherly advice in the politics of the state and Nigeria at large, adding that he would be sourly missed.
He also said ” When I was a practising medical doctor, he convinced me that I could be useful in politics. Okoro helped in the formation of the political structure of this district.”
Dignitaries who attended the burial ceremony include Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Edward Ubosi; member representing Igbo-Eze North/Udenu Federal Constituency in the House of the Representatives, Simon Atigwe among others.
The late Senator was not in the good books of the people following his anti-human policies while he was in active politics.