By  Chima Amakiri

“The pillar that holds the house has fallen,  The unprepared rain has fallen upon us. The only hen of a poor man has flown away. The blind man has lost the snail he found with his legs.” 

Let me withhold my tears and tell you stories he once told us as his children, which formed a greater part of  his life’s philosophy over his beliefs in relationship with one another, as he once said to us that when he thinks about the depth of the grave and kilos of sand that are going to be thrown on him, there is no need to harm a brother.

When I think of the darkness that pervades the tomb after it is closed, there is no need to hurt my sister. When I think of  the heat driven back by the ground and amount of  water that will drown me during the rains in this grave, I cannot make my neighbour suffer.

When I think that I will be alone abandoned by all in this grave, I prefer to enjoy communion when I am alive. When I think that my relationships are cut off by my past, I want to perfect my future, for if  I could be reborn and start all over again; I would no longer make mistakes in my actions for everything about life is but vanity upon vanities.

My good people, friends and family, Ugo Eberele Na Ngba Gbu, lend me your ears for this story which you all have gathered here to hear.

About a man whom you once referred to as Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother-in-law and friend but now would be left in a grave only to himself, no sister, no brother, no son, no daughter, no wife, no grandchildren, no great-grandchildren, not even best friends so dear to him will offer to accompany him on this journey of eternity.

  Which makes it hard for me to go on with this story, but for your pains in coming here to witness this, I shall tell you a few of him.

On December 4, 1939, was a ‘shout of Joy’, that heralded the birth of Ezeji Hyacinth Ukachi Amakiri Uhagiro to the family of the late Chief Augustine Nwabugwu Amakiri Uhagiro and Lolo Monica Ahubiriuwa Amakiri Uhagiro as they welcomed the their second child who later took the responsibility of the first child due to the death of his elder brother.

This responsibility he did very well by sacrificing educational pursuit to join his father’s business and some construction companies.

Academic status

He had his primary education in 1945 at St. Dominic’s Primary, School, Onitcha Ezinihitte Mbaise, in Imo State.

With his academic excellence, he entered the famous Mbaise Secondary School (MSS), in 1951, and finished in Class 5, to join his father’s business of fish trading, due to his zeal to assist his parents in providing for his family.

Work and labour

Ezeji Uhagiro spent his time moving from one construction company to another due to his good experience in the business, which attracted most construction companies to him, seeking his services.

In 1964, he joined Starling and Starling Construction Company in Kaduna, where he worked until the civil war and he came back home. After the civil war, in 1974, he joined another construction company, the Monier Construction Company, popularly known as MCC, Port Harcourt, and, due to his expertise in the construction business the company transferred him to Aba, where he stayed with his family till 1994.

When he left MCC, he joined another construction company owned by the late Eze Nwachukwu Udoaku, which specialised in building engineering, where he showed his diligence and expertise in building and road construction.

He was with the company for several years and was later invited by the late Chief Fimber Orchulor to assist him in his construction company, which he accepted and proved his expertise, and many who knew him attest to this.

He was a generous person, always ready to assist and to provide for the less privileged.

    

Family life

In 1969, he got married to Lolo Comfort Amakiri and the marriage was blessed with 10 children.

Things we remember him for

We remember that he was very religious and he strongly believed in the power of the Rosary; and we remember an incident that happened between him and his late younger brother Monsignor Paul Chineyeze Amakiri who once came back from America and he visited him hoping to get some money from him and other gifts which he brought back from America, to his surprise Monsignor Paul Amakiri told him that he didn’t have any money to give him but what he had for him was a Long Rosary.

To everyone’s surprise he received it with great happiness and he made the rosary his symbol of faith as he turned to it in times of difficulty and he encouraged everyone to have faith in it.

He was a constant parishioner at the week day mass and Sunday mass, and he loved to be early in church. Not going to church was the easiest way to offend him and for you to get something easily from him you had to be in church on time before presenting your problems before him.

He believed in equality of everyone and he demonstrated this when sharing meat or any food as he often said that everyone was equal and, therefore, everything must be shared equally. This often annoyed me but there was nothing I could do, as one’s philosophy is his best tool.

He loved his grandchildren and, oftentimes, he was seen playing with them.

We remember at the start of the Nigeria-Biafra war in 1966, when the Igbo were gathered in numbers in the northern part of the country waiting to be slaughtered and he was one of them, having been arrested by the northerners as they were selected one after the other. He slumped to the ground and fell into a gutter and dead bodies of those that were slaughtered felled on top of him and covered him up.

After his captors left the area, thinking he was dead, he woke up among the dead bodies and came back from the North to his father’s house, where everyone thought he was dead, which lead to a big celebration on knowing he was alive.

 Heroic achievements

He was the first in Umuhu Eziudo to build a storey building and the building became a landmark, which was used by many residents of the community as a reference point or as a means of direction.

He was a man of peace; he settled many disputes and resolved many problems among families. As a result of this, he was elected as the chairman of Nzuko Marriage, which duty he performed very well in resolving many family problems, helping families that would have broken up to stay together.

In the 1990s, he took his father’s traditional title Oka Nga Oziri II, as he believed in truth and he stood up for the truth at all times, and people who knew him attested to this, that he was a defender of the truth.

He also took the traditional Ezeji title as he believed in farming and he assisted his father in making his belief in farming a reality.

He believed in the art of giving as a farmer and he assisted the less privileged with yam tubers from his farm to enable them meet their farming needs.

He was the chairman of Stella Maris Church building committee, which duty he performed diligently in supervision and in making the church building one of the best in Eziudo.

He offered to assist his siblings with their educational pursuit as he paid most of their school fees even to Higher Institution and University level. He was there for his brothers and sisters at all times.

His house was a land mark as at the time the house was built, it was the first of its kind in Eziudo and the house was used in accommodating every of his family members.

TODAY WE HAVE TO MISS THE FOLLOWING THINGS AS A RESULT OF YOUR DEATH

We have to miss his sense of Judgment as he speaks the truth without fear

We have to miss a man with a generous heart who is ready to sacrifice what he has to the less privilege.

We have to miss a man who sees an opportunity and took his relatives along as through him many of his friends and relatives were employed in different companies where he worked.

The pillar that holds the house have fallen. Today I have learnt from you that death is Jealous, for if not so how come he takes the best.

I appreciate you all for coming out to mourn Ezeji Hyacinth Ukachi Amakiri and giving me the opportunity to tell you the little I know about him.

•Thank you for listening Chima amakiri, Attorney at Law For Amakiri Family.

The post Life, times of Eze Ji Hyacient Ukachi Amakiri Uhagiro (Oka Nga Oziri II) appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news