“Pa Senator Cyrus Nunieh was a legal icon, great statesman and my father” ~ Dumo Lulu-Briggs
His Majesty, Gbene Senator Dr. Cyrus Nwidonane Nunieh (Gbene of Ogoni) departed this world on the 14th of August, 2018.
Like Don Domenico Clericuzio in the Last Don series of Mario Puzo, Senator Cyrus prepared for his last day and had his last dance on one of the most special days of his life; the day he broke a record as a ninety eight years old man who married a very young and beautiful lady. He later took his final rest, but with an expressed satisfaction that he lived fully and completed his mission as a public servant and as a total man.
On the 17th of November, 2018, his hometown; the Beeri Town of the great Ogoni nation in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, witnessed a momentous increase in population size as people from across the country and beyond, converged at the Beeri High School Field to celebrate the enviable life of this icon, Senator Cyrus Nunieh, De Marquis.
Indeed, Pa Nunieh was a man of peace and love. And the trueness of this claim is better attested to by the overwhelming outpour of love and the conviviality of the day’s atmosphere. In earnest, the funeral moment was graced with series of magnificent and remarkable friendly appearances of guests, accompanied with heart melting eulogies and melodious praises that greeted the sky.
The epochal funeral service was conducted by fifteen great men of God drawn from various Diocese of the Methodist Church, Nigeria. And leading the officiating ministers was the Archbishop of Port Harcourt, Most Rev. Sunday I. O. Agwu who appraised the standards by which Senator Nunieh lived, and expressed hope that his place of abode in eternity is the paradise and cautioned the living to embrace the godly standards as their guide for everyday life.
Senator Nunieh as a lawyer and a politician, made great friends and established valuable contacts both far an near. He raised children who also are respectable men and women of the society. Notable among the great children of the senator is a wonderful woman of substance whose friendship and leanings also stretch beyond the south south region through the Oriental and occidental landscapes, down to the North Eastern Savannah settlements.
Expectedly therefore, the funeral service was a gathering of who is who in Port Harcourt and in Nigeria at large. The wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through her representative eulogized the Late senator and referred to him as a man of peace. Senator Magnus Ngei Abe expressed the thought that the Late Senator achieved everything that a traditional Ogoni man would be expected to achieve while he was living. And so he (Senator Nunieh) does not fall in the category of departed men whose spirits will be charged by the living to go through another incarnation in order to achieve the things they couldn’t realise in their immediate past existence.
In his sensational and evangelical presentation, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs who is renowned for his long lasting relationship with the Ogoni people, spoke in the Ogoni language as he greeted the people in their cultural style. He welcomed the APC Deputy National Chairman, His Excellency, Ninyi Adebayo and other dignitaries including the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Distinguished Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, Tonye Cole and other personalities.
He said thus: “Today is a day of celebration. Our father lived until he was 98. What God promised us is three score and ten, that is 70. But he didn’t just live up to 80, he lived up to 98, almost made a hundred. So, we are here to thank God for a life well spent. Pa Senator Cyrus Nunieh lived a fulfilled life; he was happy until he passed on. So, today is for celebrating the first Ogoni lawyer; the Ogoni hero who fought for Ogoni state and for Ogoni people; a man remembered across the Niger Delta for his sterling qualities. We thank you for celebrating him.”
Chief Lulu-Briggs also reemphasized the need for people to believe in Christ and in the efficacy of prayers as he led the chorus titled ‘why worry when you can pray’. He consoled the family as he reiterated the natural fact that nothing prepares anyone for death. He said: “no matter the age a man died, his loved ones will always feel his absence.” He bade the great Iroko a farewell to eternity and wished guests a smooth journey back to their destinations.
Other dignitaries who spoke at the event and extolled the noble qualities of Gbene of Ogoni were Tonye Dele Cole, Hon. Dakuku Adol Peterside, DG NIMASA and Hon. Kenneth Bie Kobani, SSG Rivers State Government.
Adieu Senator Cyrus Nunieh.
To God alone be the Glory.
Uche Woke E. is the
Special Media Assistant
to Dumo Lulu-Briggs.