THE former vice chairman of the defunct Nigeria Football Association, NFA, Barrister Richard Nwabufo Obienu, who died at the age of 67 years, was buried yesterday in his home town, Nnewi amidst eulogies from the two Bishops who officiated at the commendation service at the Cathedral Church of St. Mary, Uruagu, Nnewi.
The Anglican Bishop of Nnewi, Rt. Reverend Ndubuisi Obi said the late legal practitioner and sports administrator was one of the first persons he encountered when he was enthroned the Bishop of Nnewi Diocese in 2019.
The Bishop said: “During our meetings for the synod, I was very surprised that he was always present at those meetings. Such a commitment was very rare because we was coming all the way from Enugu.
“He was very knowledgeable and very intelligent and he was one of the people overseeing the administration of this Cathedral. In fact, he had a special plan of the Cathedral, which was to bring it to the level it should be.
“There were a lot of things I was planning with him and I wonder what would happen to those plans. He knew his God and worshiped him so well and that is the consolation we have concerning his life.
“He was full of ideas. I never imagined that death would snatch that him from us at this time. Being a sportsman. I had thought that he would continue to be fit for a long time.”
To the wife of the late Barrister Obienu, Bishop Obi reminded her that with the death of her husband, God had given her the responsibility of being both father and mother to the family and prayed the Almighty to give her the wisdom to face the challenges.
The Anglican Bishop of Udi Diocese, His Lordship, Most Reverend Chijioke Aneke, who delivered the sermon at the commendation service, prayed God to accept Nwobufo Obineu’s soul in his bosom.
Bishop Aneke said: “When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no. So, whatever we are planning for, we must first hand it over to Jesus because sometimes we find it difficult to acknowledge the importance of Jesus in our lives.
“Those who believe in Jesus will surely have everlasting life. As Christians, we should first seek the kingdom of God and every other thing will be added onto us. I am sure that Barrister Obienu will agree with us.”
His first son, Mr. Nnamdi Obienu thanked all those who came from different parts of the country to honour their father. “By the grace of God, we shall meet our Dad on the last day, where he is resting,” he said.
Among dignitaries at the service were Dame Vergy Etiaba, former governor of Anambra State; Dr Kenneth Orizu, Igwe Nnewi, with some of his cabinet members, including Chief Dan Ulasi, former chairman of PDP, Sir Damian Okolo, governorship aspirant of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the November 6 election in Anambra State, Sir Chris Atuegwu, Engr Chukwuemeka Ezie, Chief Rob Onwuatu, chairman of Roban Stores and Sir Isreal Okonkwo
Many priests from Enugu and Nnewi also participated at the commendation service, while choirs from All Saints Church, Enugu and Evergreen Choir from Onitsha rendered special songs.
During his student days at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Barrister Obienu was the goalkeeper of the university. At various times, he was the board member of Rangers International Football Club, Enugu; chairman of the management committee of Udoji United Football Club; and elected board member of the defunct NFA in charge of the five South East states.
He was until his death, a member of Igwe Nnewi Royal Cabinet.