…Ibori, Odutemu, Otuaro, Oborevwori, Elue, others in attendance
By Festus Ahon
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, opted for a private burial for his late father, Chief Okorie Okowa and laid his remains to rest at Owa-Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
Chief Okorie Okowa, a Knight of Saint Christopher of the Anglican Communion, breathed his last on January 28, 2021, after a brief illness at the age of 88.
Beside family members at the private funeral, Archbishop of Bendel Province, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Cyril Odutemu; Deputy Governor of Delta, Mr Kingsley Otuaro; Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori; former Governor James Ibori and former Deputy Governor, Benjamin Elue, were at the ceremony.
Others include Chief Jide Omokore, Senator James Manager, Ndudi Elumelu and Chief Judge of Delta, Justice Marshall Umukoro.
Speaking during the funeral service in the home of the late octogenarian, Governor Okowa thanked Nigerians for their show of love, saying because he had announced that the ceremony would be private for the family, “those who came are truly family members.”
He said as a teacher, his late father fought for the ordinary man and suffered victimisation for daring to stand for the truth.
Okowa said: “On behalf of my siblings, I welcome you to my father’s home. He is no more, he has just been laid to rest. He has been a strong pillar in my life and we wished he had lived longer, but it pleased God to call him at this time.
“Our father was a good man who fought for the church, the children and the ordinary man, especially as a teacher and suffered consequences for standing by the truth and at the end, God vindicated him.
“We thank God that he played his role in the community. He was very passionate about the development of Owa-Alero and I am glad that he saw all we did for the community.
“He did not compromise his faith even as an Okpara-Uku of his quarter and that, we can attest to as his children.”
While apologising to those who could not attend the funeral because he had declared it a family burial, he said: “We do not know when it is best to die but we thank God he took our father at a ripe age.
“For those who couldn’t come, I apologise, there is still a time to celebrate his life and times and that will be August 21, 2021, his birthday, and we will all be there by the grace of God.”
Earlier in a homily, Bishop of Ika Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Ekpenisi, said the late Pa Okowa contributed immensely to the growth of the church and education in Ika nation.
The Bishop urged Christians to fear God and keep his commandments, saying: “This is the whole duty of man.”