From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
It was indeed a celebration of life on Tuesday January 4 2022, as people from all walks of life congregated in Umuanum village in Ohekelem autonomous community in Ngor Okpala Local Government area of Imo State to bid farewell to a community leader, the late Pa Silas Amaghereronu Nwachukwu, who transited to glory at the age of 84.
High life maestro, Bright Chiemezie entertained guests with scintillating music.
The famous “Ikperikpe Ogu” war dancers from Item, Abia State, including other several musical groups were also present at the event.
Pa Nwachukwu is father-in-law to the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr Onuoha Ukeh.
Born in 1939, the late Pa Silas, who had only Standard Six certificate, had started out as a tea boy to Mr Haywood, a white South African and a director at Cadbury.
He was later redeployed to the Sales and Promotional team of the company and reassigned to the then Eastern Region, where he shuttled between Aba and Lagos. He was, however, caught up by the unfortunate civil war between Biafra and Nigeria in 1967.
Rather than keep the company’s goods to himself, including a brand new pick up van, Pa Silas returned all the company’s property in his possession through the office of John Holt in Enugu and ensured that the company received them.
This act of integrity had earned him re-employment, with a promotion as a supervisor after the war. He later relocated to his community where he committed himself to the service of God and humanity, after disengaging from Cadbury Plc.
Until his death, Pa Silas remained a reference point as a man imbued with the zeal to always do the right thing regardless of the circumstances.
At the event, his children and other family members poured accolades on the deceased.
In his tribute, Nkechi Alessandra Onuoha-Ukeh, daughter to the deceased, while waxing lyrical, said: “The scriptures said that when we are dead, when everything in life has passed away, it is only our good deeds that will be remembered.
“At your passing, all your good deeds stare us in the face and challenge us to always do what is right. The ability to do good is inborn and not dictated by circumstances. You were kind, loving, compassionate and accommodating. You were spiritual and could have been a prophet. I remember your blessings and pronouncements when I was getting married. God heard you as they came to pass.”
“As you embark on your third journey in life (pre-mortal, mortal and post-mortal), it is my honour and privilege to say you are unforgettable.”
Equally waxing philosophical, another of his children, Patricia Chikodi Nwachukwu, said her late father was too precious to be forgotten.
“I want you to know that even though you are out of sight, you will always be in my heart. I want you to know that I will always cherish you. You are too precious to be forgotten, too precious to be replaced. I will miss you dearly, she said.
Another daughter, Hope Chidi-Okoro, said of her late father: “I had loved you in life, I love you in death. You lived a trouble-free and humble life. You left us with sweet memories.
“My heart is broken for losing you. Part of me is gone with you. Your love for us, your activities in the family can never be forgotten. We will see on resurrection morning.”
Pa Silas’ son, Andrew Chinaegbomkpa, described his father as a smart and intelligent man who lived his life as a man of peace and who never quarrelled with anybody in the entire community. He also disclosed that his late father had also taught him bravery and how to tackle the storms of live.
Andrew said that his memories of his late father, which he cherishes dearly, would transcend from generation to generation and to the great beyond.
“You were smart and intelligent. You left us with no debts and issues to settle with anyone. You never discriminated against anyone; you never told your children who to relate with or who not to relate with in the village. If everyone were like you, this village will be the most peaceful place to live on earth. You have passed the baton to me, and I promise to make you proud,” he said.
One of his sons-in-law, Chidi Emmanuel Okoro, also eulogised the deceased Pa Silas for raising a family that sees everyone as part and parcel their family.
“You raised a family that always sees everyone as part of them. You are a great father-in-law and I thank God for blessing me with a family such as yours,” he stated.
Indeed, the burial of Pa Silas was colourful. Having been born a prince to Eze Gabriel Uganwa of Umugakwo, Ngor Okpala, his exit had the touch of royalty, with more than 200 cannons shot.
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