By Nick Chibunna
The remains of Late Esinne Eunice Ada Nwandom Oparaji of Umunnemoche, Abazu Akabo in the Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State was last weekend laid to rest amidst tears and tributes.
St. Andrew’s Anglican Church Akabo, venue of the event was a beehive of activities as relations, friends, in-laws and sympathizers gathered to bid farewell to the 98 years old matriarch described as committed Christian and a woman leader.
The funeral service which attracted dignitaries from within and outside the state had the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ikeduru, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, JP, and his wife Mrs. Anuli Maduwike (Nnedinna Ikeduru) in attendance.
Speaking at the funeral service, Bishop Maduwike reminded the people of the need to always be prepared for death, as it would surely come.
He said that the dreadful day of the Lord is at hand when all would give account of their stewardship before the Almighty God.
Bishop Maduwike pleaded with all to live aright with God, and to be wary of worldly enticements that war against our faith, adding that inspite all attractions the world is vanity.
To the bereaved family, he enjoined them to have faith in God, and to imbibe those attributes that made their matriarch a committed Christian.
Earlier, in a sermon, entitled, “I have fought a good fight…” (11 Tim. 4:7-8) the preacher, Ven. Sydney Akuwudike enjoined the people of God to run the present life race with patience and perseverance.
He said that only those who finished the race, and kept the faith would be rewarded by God.
Ven. Akuwudike said that although the way to victory and glory is often encumbered with thorns and thistles, people of God are expected to stand firm and fight their battle.
He said that we are living at a time when evil and wickedness abound with their attendant consequences, and therefore urged the people of God to rise and fight against every sinful habit, adding that any fight that is not against sin is in vain.
He described the death of the matriarch as a celebration of life, as God had fulfilled her days with numerous blessings.
Ven. Akuwudike eulogized the Christian spirit of late Ezinne Eunice, adding that she was not found wanting in the church activities.
He described the deceased as a devout and committed Christian mother who loved the things of God and church workers. He thanked the children of the deceased for taking good care of their mother at her old age and prayed God to reward them abundantly.
The service was conducted by Ven. John Akahara, Vicar, St. Andrew’s Church Akabo, and Archdeacon of Akabo Archdeaconry. The only lesson was read by one of the deceased’s grand children, Dr. Chimdiuto Oparaji.
Both St. Andrew’s Church Choir, and St. Andrew’s women rendered special anthems.
In emotion-ladden voice, the first son of the deceased, Sit Joe Oparaji, FCA, thanked all who came to commiserate with the family in a time like this. He described his late mother as, “my dearest mother, and wished she lived a little longer.
The first daughter-in-law, Lady (Dr.) Happiness Oparaji described the deceased as, “my irreplaceable mother-in-law.
By Nick Chibunna