Achina community today bids final farewell to late Nze Umenzekwe

ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU, in Awka, writes that the remains of one of the illustrious sons of Achina, Nze Ezechukwumuanya Boniface Uwadineke Umenzekwe, will today be laid to rest amid pomp and pageantry.
Achina community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, will today, March 16, 2017, stand still, as the remains of Nze Ezechukwumuanya Boniface Uwadineke Umenzekwe. (a.k.a Ihenyiri-Mmadu), is committed to mother earth, at his country home Umuezeiyi village, Achina, Anambra State.

Family friends, business associates, friends and well-wishers including the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, and his counterpart in the Labour Ministry and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, will be on hand to accord their final respects to the hero, who slept in the Lord on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at the ripe age of 90. His death was actually an exit of a legend.

Nze Umenzekwe was born in 1927 to the family of Nze Umenzekwe and Lolo Uduozo Umenzekwe Azike, of Umuezeiyi. He was the fourth child of the family.

He attended the Catho¬lic Mission School, Achina, now Central School, Achi¬na, and left in primary two in1940.

After several efforts to join the business world, he returned home and started self-employed business in order to help his parents train his siblings.

He later got a non-tutorial appointment at St. Peter’s College, Achina, in 1964. This work led him to many institutions.

He was instrumental to molding the lives of some youths in his environment, many of who are professors and captains of industry today.

He was a member of Ozo title holders. He ardent belief in God impelled him to take up the name ‘Ezechukwumuanya’ (God the King is not asleep) during his initiation ceremony.

He was a very honest and faithful man, a quality which he maintained as the treasurer of his kindred (Umuezehido) for over twenty years. His Christian life was unequalled in all ramifications.

Nze Boniface got married to Princess Felicia Ezechukwu, and the union was blessed with a son, Chief Modestus Okechukwu Umenzekwe (a.k.a Onwa Achina).

Umunzekwe describes his late father as “an unforgettable, precious and worthy father”, adding that the richness of his character was second to none.

Onwa Achina, is an All Progressives Congress (APC) strong pillar in Anambra and Lagos states. He was also an inspiring former President, Odun-Ade Building Materials Dealers Association (OBMDA), La¬gos.

In a tribute to his late father, Onwa Achina said: “You were an embodiment of kindness, humility, generosity and an illustrious person. I am like a bird struck by the hunter’s arrow and does not know how to cry, for I find it difficult to eulogize over you who played a very significant role in my life.

‘’Papa, you were a great and wonderful man, ever willing to make sacrifices for others. The richness of your character was second to none, a rare gem who I love, cherish and appreciate. That is why I will miss you so much forever.

‘’You have always cared and loved me and you played a tremendous premium role in what I am today by God’s grace. Your memories will always be evergreen in my heart. I derived great joy in your fatherhood. Papa, I know you as a philosopher, historian and I benefitted from your wise counsels.

“You lived a life of integrity and honesty soaked in the love of God.” I see you as a very fascinating and wonderful man, very gentle, simple in nature, appreciative, ever eager to listen, contented, largehearted, never greedy and very tolerant.

“Your generosity, honesty, truthfulness and industry placed you above equals and earned you tremendous honour and respect. You were a role model to many personalities today. Your steadfast fatherly devotion to your family and community, your humble nature, intelligence, generosity,, grace, maturity, poise, high sense of discipline and commitment is worthy of emulation. You were saturated with love for children.

‘’Papa, your commitment to hard work and industry brought that desired inspiration to your family and relations. It is with deep sense of grief and pain that I mourn and continue to pay respects to you my beloved, worthy, amiable, noble and exquisite father ‘Ihenyiri-Mmadu’. You came, you saw, you conquered and you had it all in life…….’’.

His aged wife, Mrs. Felicia Umenzekwe, (aka Di bu ndo), describes him as: “husband of inestimable value”, and prayed God Almighty to accept his soul in heaven.

She said: ‘’Ihenyiri-Mmadu, I mourn your departure with heavy heart, and will miss you greatly. Your faithfulness and fidelity were always heaven for me. You never for once found me distasteful, your intimacy, caution and calculative attitude made me alert always, and you made me knowledgeable and distinctive in all that I do for it gave you joy.

‘’I have always depended on you and I thank you for being such a special companion. Thank you also for your warm, receptive, sensitive and wonderful counsels. You were always telling me ‘Felicia, don’t worry’, trust me! I believed so much in you and I trusted you, you were a very good and hard-working man. I thank you for bringing sunshine to my life.”

The daughter-in-law of the deceased, ‘’Ikwuanyi’’ Henrietta, describes her late father-in-law as “the best father-in-law ever.” She said late papa took her as his biological daughter, and made her feel at home, bequeathing same parental care on her as he gave to his only son and child.

She pointed out that Papa’s advice kept her going in the marriage with his only son. She added that Papa was a religious person and God fearing, good listener and hard working assuring that the good virtues inculcated on them would be their guiding principle in life.

The grandchildren of the deceased, Lilian, Francis, Zita and Keirian, described him as “a rare gem”. The children were pained that they won’t play with Papa again as they enjoyed his jokes and stories. They appreciated God that he lived long and taught them the value of hard-work, sincerity and humility. They said the entire drama was inexplicable.

His brother, Nze Benneth Umenzekwe, says that the death of late Boniface has left serious vacuum among his brothers and sisters.

The family of Nze Godwin Alaedum Umenzekwe, described him as a peaceful man, who left indelible marks in the sands of time.

 An outstanding family friend and relative, Chief Joe Ifediobi (Ijikara) Okosisi Akpo, said his elder maternal uncle Uwadineke was compassionate, kind-hearted and very much adored by students of then St Peter’s Achina, now Peter University, Achina..

HRH, Igwe G.N Obiara, Eze Idegwu III of Achina, says that the deceased lived a good life and left a legacy of hard-work and honour worthy of emulation.

K. C. Ezeanyika Esq, (aka Mkpisi Achina) of K.C Ezeanyika and Co, chambers, Ekwulobia, said that the deceased lived a good life and urged the children of the deceased to take solace in the sense that their father imparted so much in the world, urging them to give him a befitting burial.

In his tribute, former Chief of General Staff, under the administration of former military president Ibrahim Babangida, Commodore (Chief) Ebitu Ukiwe, GCON, said that instead of mourning the deceased, the family should rather cel¬ebrate the multiple achievements of their father.

Babatunde Raji Fashola. SAN in his tribute confirmed that ‘’the character traits of our forebears are forever etched in our genetic makeup. They are ap-parent in all that we do, in our thoughts and in our words’’, hence the entire world is remembering the late Nze Boniface through the virtues of his son Nze Modestus Umenzekwe, who is a rare breed like his late father.

The former Lagos state governor described the late Boniface as courageous, full of valour, steadfast and forthright even as the President of Odun-Ade building materials Dealers Association (OBMDA) Lagos.

On his part, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige , OON, said late Boniface touched many lives positively hence the grief of the moment should be turned to inspiration so that his worthy examples will illuminate and pave a path for those he lived for.

Speaking, the former members of the National Assembly, Hon. Dr. Okey Udeh and Senator Uche Ekwunife urged the family to uphold the virtues for which their late father was known.

The state Chairman of APC, Barrister Emeka Den¬ison Ibe, reminds all that death is inevitable, but ex¬pressed happiness that late Boniface left his footprints in the sands of time.

On their behalf , Achina Community through the President General, Achina Town Union, Sir Chito Ezeani, a lawyer, said late Boniface’s life was eventful and glorious and a loss to the entire community.

Former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Prof. Boniface Egboka, described the deceased as “a highly rated namesake, who imparted so much to his world.”

The member representing Aguata One Constitu¬ency, Hon Dr Ume Ikechukwu, urged the family of the deceased to bear the irreparable loss with forti¬tude. .

Chief Modestus Umenzekwe (Onwa Achina), prayed God to grant journey mercies to all those who attended his late father’s funeral. He also thanked all those who contributed in one way or the other to the success of the funeral.

Achina community today bids final farewell to late Nze Umenzekwe Achina community today bids final farewell to late Nze Umenzekwe Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, March 16, 2017 Rating: 5

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