By Galaxy Imanmadu
The remains of Pa Aloysius Igbojiokwu were buried on Friday, 21 May, amidst tears, as sympathisers thronged his Umuerim country home to witness his burial.
Pa Aloysius passed on Tuesday 24, February at St. Andrews Hospital, Warri, as a result of a protracted illness.
He began the journey to his final place of rest from St. Demian Hospital mortuary, Okporo to his ancestral village, Umuerim for lying on state. The journey continued to St. Fidelis Catholic Church, Atta for a requiem mass conducted by the duo of Rev. Fr. Dumlesi Tor, and Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji. In his sermon, Rev. Fr. Nwokeji admonished all to live in peace, stressing that late Pa Aloysius Igbojiokwu was a peaceful man who placed highest premium on the welfare of the people of his community.
Continuing, Rev. Fr. Nwokeji said that death is an inevitable end of all humans and living beings, even as he admonished the all to always remember death and engage in good deeds while alive.
While praying for the repose of the soul of Pa Aloysius, he also prayed for the safety, protection and divine provisions for the family members he left behind.
When the mass was ended, the remains of Pa Aloysius were conveyed in a motorcade to his compound for interment in accordance with Christian rites.
Presenting a glowing tribute in honour of late Pa Aloysius, the Senior In-law, Comrade Emeka Nwokocha described him as a symbol of peace who deployed his humane disposition to contribute immensely to the development of his community, saying that he had very prominent and inspiring character.
His words, “Pa Aloysius passed on at a critical time his wealth of experience, modest carriage, vast knowledge, elderly insight, peaceful inclination, and wise counsel are most needed to right the many wrongs in our fledgling society.
His love for humanity, unwavering belief in hard work, peaceful coexistence, and honed expertise in handling community affairs were legendary. To be honest, Pa Aloysius had in stock a repertoire of appellations that stood him out as a man of honour. He was a sage, a rare gem and an illustrious elder statesman enviably gifted with uncommon wisdom and always willing to offer his wise counsels and experience whenever the need arises.”
He continued, “Pa Aloysius was never one to stand in support of falsehood. He was always on the side of justice, fair play and transparency, not minding whose ox is gored.
“In a society where people do all sort of things to acquire wealth and fame, it is amazing that Pa Aloysius opted to be different by sincerely believing in hardwork as the only genuine and legitimate route to acquring wealth.”
“The life and time of Pa Aloysius presents us an opportunity of emulating his modest and honest lifestyles. We could draw vital lessons from the spartan lifestyle of our departed patriot, Pa Aloysius by desiring to be different and endeavouring to stand by the side of truth and justice at all times,” he stated.
The climax of the funeral was performing of in-laws’ rites by the son in-laws, Comrade Emeka Nwokocha (senior in-law), Mr. Meshach Irobo and Mr. Endurance Anigala.
Members of various organizations including the Igbo Union, Egbema, Rivers State, the Christian Friends Association (CFA), Egbema, Rivers State, representatives of Okere community, Warri, and representatives of ECWA Group of Schools, Ekpan, were among dignitaries who paid their last respect to the late sage.