By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq
A Unique burial ceremony was held on Tuesday, 16th February, 2021 to bid farewell to Sir Okorie Okowa, father of the Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, at his Owa-Alero country home, in Ika North East Local Government Area of the State.
The private christian burial rites was presided over by the Bishop of Bendel Province of Anglican Communion, Archbishop Cyril Odutemu and other clergymen.
Okowa family opted for a private burial ceremony as a result of the second outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure strict observance of safety protocols required to tame the spread of the virus.
The governor had earlier announced that a grand event christened “Celebration of Life” shall take place in the month of August, this year, to celebrate the departed Okpara Uku, octogenarian and elder statesman par excellence.
In a homily, Bishop of Ika Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Godfrey Ekpenisi, said the late Pa Okowa contributed immensely to the growth of the church and education in Ika nation.
Quoting from the Bible, the Bishop urged Christians to fear God and keep his commandments, saying “this is the whole duty of man”.
He called on Christians to remember their creator in the days of their youth, recalling that Pa Okowa served God and humanity while alive.
In his speech during the funeral service in the home of the late octogenarian, Governor Okowa thanked Nigerians for their show of love, saying that because he had announced that the ceremony would be private for the family, “those who came are truly family members”.
He said that as a teacher, his late father fought for the ordinary man and suffered victimisation for daring to stand for the truth.
“On behalf of my siblings, I welcome you to my father’s home. He is no more, he has just been laid to rest.
“He has been a strong pillar in my life and obviously we wished he had lived longer, but it pleased God to call him at this time.
“Our father was a good man who fought for the church, the children and the ordinary man, especially as a teacher and suffered consequences for standing by the truth and at the end, God vindicated him.
“We thank God that he played his role in the community. He was very passionate about the development of Owa-Alero and I am glad that he saw all we did for the community.
“He did not compromise his faith even as an Okpara-Uku of his quarter and that, we can attest to as his children.
“For those who couldn’t come, I apologise, there is still a time to celebrate his life and times and that will be August 21, his birthday, and we will all be there by the grace of God,” he said.
Pa Okowa, 88, died on Jan. 28, 2021, after a brief illness.
Former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, former Deputy Governor Benjamin Elue, Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, were at the ceremony.
Others included Chief Jide Omokore, Sen. James Manager, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Chief Judge of Delta and Justice Marshall Umukoro.