by Ubani Newman Ubani
The obsequies started with a “Night of Tributes” at the home of the deceased. The Reverend Canon opened the program with an opening prayer. Several hymns were sung in honor of the “Gone Legend.” The convener and chief mourner, Chief Eric Opah, summarized a heartwarming tribute to his father. He also acknowledged the presence of the VIPs in attendance, such as the Arch Bishop Kelechi Eze Ukwa Diocese, Venerable Ikechi Eze, the Arch Deacon from Saint Thomas Anglican Church, the host Rev. Prosper Chukwuemeka and the other Reverend from the Saint Thomas Anglican Church, his dear brother Nchetan Nmeribe Nfondi Igbo, Arch Bishop of the province of Aba, the most reverend Dr. Isaac, the Bishop of Isikwuato the Rt. Rev. Manaseb Okeriea , the Rt. Rev. Samuel Kelechi Eze.
He recognized the immediate past Commissioner for Agriculture, Professor Ikechi Nmgbogi, and thanked them for coming. He explained that the great people of Abia state were commensurate with his family because Late Nze Joseph Azubike Opah also touched the great people of Abia state. He was a politician, a philanthropist, a man of wisdom, and a man true to his words, one thing that would be missed a lot. He explained that though he knows everyone would die eventually, his family never expected the father’s death to come this soon even though his father had lived to the ripe old age of 90years.
Nze, he explained, was a great man, and his wisdom he had transferred to the Opah descendants. He added that though their father will be missed so much, he will not be mourned too much, because he lived a very meaningful, wonderful, and impactful life, and so the burial as a whole starting from the Night of Tributes was put together to celebrate the life and times of Late Nze Joseph Azubike Opah.
The event was graced by more notable individuals, clergies, and government officials such as Lucky Okorie, Elder, who gave his speech in the Igbo dialect, the sound pleasing to the ears of the people of . Amongst the many things he said, he pointed out that Nze was one of the great pillars of politics in Abia state. Also, on behalf of Ukwa Dioecies, the Reverend lent his voice in the Igbo dialect to the other voices saying that Late Chief Joseph Azubike was an active participant and impactful to the church. Elder Vincent Ogulegu paid his tribute to the great departed. He pointed out that one day isn’t enough to view and review everything about him.
He explained that Nze Opah was a man of many parts who played his parts excellently well. The Late Nze Joseph Azubike Opah came from a family with leadership and politics in their blood, and like every other part, he successfully passed it on to his children. He noted that even the harmattan breeze ceased to blow in honor of the man who labored not just for himself and his family but also the whole of Ngwa land and Abia state. He duffed his hat for the host of gurus and dignitaries of Abia State and everywhere who came to join Eric Opah in celebrating his father and bidding him farewell. He stated that Late Nze Opah “labored very hard and God favored his labor with Favour.” That is the reason they had gathered to enjoy all of the privileges flowing out of his son, Chief Eric Opah. He ended by admonishing everyone to act well their parts “There in the honor lies” More hymns were sung, and a message preached all in celebrating Late Nze Joseph Azubike Opah.
The family was prayed for and admonished. He joined his voice to that of Chief Opah, saying that nothing would been good enough for the great people of Abia State and for the honor of his father than to organize an elaborate Night of Tributes which was well attended by High profile personalities of Abia state.