Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, laid his father, Pa. Arthur Okorie to rest in a private ceremony in his home town, Owa-Alero in Ika North-East LGA, Delta State, on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
The ceremony was attended by former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, distinguished Senator James Manager representing Delta South Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Minority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives and member Representing Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Delta state Deputy Governor and Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly,
Others were Archbishop of Bendel Province, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Cyril Odutemu, Chief Jide Omokore, Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice Marshall Umukoro, and former deputy governor of the state Chief Benjamin Elue.
A tearful and visibly subdued Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who eulogized his late father at the funeral service, thanked Nigerians for their show of love, describing all who came to the ceremony and the numerous others who identified with him as “truly family members’.
The Delta Governor celebrated his father thus: ‘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.
‘We do not know when it is best to die but we thank God he took our father at a ripe age,’ the governor said.
And writing on his verified social media handles, Governor Okowa posted thus:
“Today, in a private ceremony, my siblings and I laid our dear father, Sir Okorie Okowa, to rest.
In my eulogy, I remembered our late father as a good man who fought for the ordinary people in his community. As a teacher and a man of immense faith, he often suffered the consequences of standing for the truth — however, God always vindicated him at the end.
This is why, today, as we paid our last respects to my father, I was proud of the extraordinary life that he lived, and I will always be honoured for the unique God-given privilege that I had to be his son.
I will miss him… Till we meet again.
The Governor also apologised to those who couldn’t attend the funeral because he had declared it a family burial.
‘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.
Governor Okowa who had earlier announced the decision of the family to give his late father a private burial, also confirmed that, subject to the fluid Covid-19 pandemic situation which was presently unpredictable, following the unexpected outbreak of a second wave of the virus in the country, a bigger event has been scheduled for August this year, to celebrate the life and times of the Octogenarian.
Pa. Arthur Uzoma Okorie Okowa was born on August 21, 1932 and passed away on January 28, 2021, at the age of 88.