From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Awka –Etiti community, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State recorded a large gathering of eminent personalities recently during the burial of Late Chief Patrick Ndubueze Adimike.
Aged 87, Pa Adimike was the father of Mr. Lucky Chinedu Adimike, a foremost philanthropist and businessman with many thriving businesses, including Golden Lucky Stores Ltd.
Also among the deceased’s eight children was Rev. Fr George Ebere Adimike , former Press Secretary to the Archbishop of Onitsha presently undergoing studies in Rome, Italy.
It was also a burial that united different religious denominations, different political party stalwarts and others from various diverse backgrounds.
Six Catholic bishops, two Anglican bishops and over 500 priests were present. Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano and former Governor, Mr Peter Obi were also at the burial mass. Others are Prof. Charles Soludo, Prof Pat Utomi , Senator and Mrs. Victor Umeh, Mr Valentine Ozigbo , Dr Obiora Okonkwo (Dikeora), Chief Charles Odunukwe, Mrs Nwanneka Okolo, Prof Kate Omenugha, Hon Calistus C Ilozumba, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, Sir Jasper Okpalafuluaku and Chief Barth Eli of Transglobe Pharmaceuticals. Sir Willy Nwokoye, Principal Secretary, Anambra State and Mr Tony Annie-Okonkwo
Others were traditional rulers like Igwe Mike Ezeudenna (Obi of Awka Etiti), Igwe Peter Anugwu (Igwe Mbaukwu) Eze A. O Nwaele, Ezeoma of Amaifeke Orlu, Chief Afunwa Anolue. Dr Pamela Obaze, Hon Uche Annie-Okonkwo and Hon. Obinna Chidoka. Dr Chris Ngige, Senator Ifeanyi Uba and Annie Okonkwo were represented.
Leading the clergy was the Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Val Okeke , the Auxiliary, Bishop Denis Isizoh, Bishop Hilary Okeke of Nnewi Diocese, Bishop John Okoye of Awgu Diocese, Bishop Peter Okpalaeke of Ekwulobia Diocese and Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye, the Auxiliary Bishop of Awka and also Mother Mary Claude Ogu IHM , the Superior General, Immaculate Heart Sisters.
There were also several billionaire friends of Lucky Adimike who came in their numbers from within and outside the country.
Preaching during the burial mass, Rev. Fr. Benjamin Ogbunuko described Pa Adimike as a blessed one in many angles, noting that the gathering was to thank God for the good life He gave the deceased.
He noted that Pa Adimike’s time to enjoy eternal bliss really came this period because he had encountered several near death experiences in the past but God kept him.
He praised the deceased for his devotion to God, his generous nature and knack for assisting the needy. He then enjoined the family to continue in the tradition of love bequeathed to them by their late patriarch.
Governor Obiano, who spoke during the burial mass, urged the citizens to maintain a health conscious lifestyle even at this Christmas season. He said the COVID-19 virus remains potent and potentially killing their victims because the country is at the community transmission stage now.
In a condolence message, the Governor observed that the role of a father in the family is an irreplaceable one but encouraged the Adimikes not to mourn like those who have no hope in the resurrection.
Archbishop Valerian Okeke, in his own condolence message entitled, “Our own sympathy” said the death of a father is often perceived with great pain especially when the social role which he plays in the family is considered. He nevertheless said Pa Adimike’s active participation in Christ’s redemptive works through the apostolate of his son, Rev. Fr George and the philanthropic activities of his sons should be enough consolation to the family.
It was also tributes galore from the family members in honour of the deceased. The deceased’s wife, Mrs Veronica Adimike described her late husband as “a prayer answered and a dream fulfilled husband”. She said he was a very wise and sensible man who knew the necessary means to follow life and the things of the world.
First son of the family, Success Callistus Adimike described the late dad as an icon of goodness. “He was my model, mentor and my muse. My teacher, pastor and intellectual consultant. And I ask why death is so disrespectful and so callous because Chief Patrick was all what one needed in a father,” he said.
In his own tribute, Lucky Adimike said death is one of such happenings that leaves unpleasant memories. He described his dad as a saint not because he had no fault but because his life was a constant effort to become better and affect the lives of others positively.
“You were an effective pastor in the domestic church of Christ domiciled in the Adimike’s family. You stopped at nothing in teaching us requisite virtues and principles for our lives and for becoming good human beings. Your life lessons were not mere theories since we found you living out such lessons in your daily life. Truly, you have done your part by being a good father and mentor.
“You lived in the world and now, you live in us your children and numerous others whose lives you affected positively. I could not ask that you lived forever since the fact of death is both true and inevitable. Mine is a sincere wish that you could have spent more time with us in your earthly existence. Nnadiugwu, sleep on as we continue our earthly struggles to uphold your legacies and do nothing less than making you proud in all we do,” he said.
Fr George Adimike, while pouring out his heart in his own tribute, confessed that he felt lonely and trapped while the mental and physical trauma has not left him as he followed his dad’s last moments through a live streaming from his base in Italy.
“You taught me the values of love, honesty, truthfulness, love of God and neighbour. You taught me how to pray. You were so close to me and nicknamed me Ezennia. You imbued in me a passionate and zealous attachment to the Catholic faith. Your simplicity of heart and cerebral effort to offer assistance to others, even at your own discomfort, informed and strengthened our spiritual orientation to life.
“Your virtuous deeds and teachings, your actions and reactions and your correctness and counsels have been like a burning candle securing, guarding and guiding us. Though we are hurting, strength comes from our Christian faith and I am consoled each time I remember that life is only changed by death and never destroyed,” he said.
Senator Victor Umeh in a condolence message to the family urged them to bear the departure with fortitude. He enjoined them to keep his good legacies alive and rejoice that their father lived a decent Christian life and has gone to a higher glory.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi said the deceased was a father of remarkable qualities. He said the late Adimike worthily exercised the authority of his position in bringing up his children who have all become resounding authorities in their callings and leaders in their own rights.
Chairman of Orange Drugs, Sir Tony Ezenna, recalled that even in his old age, Pa Adimike was always full of wits and candour. He said the deceased had words of wisdom and soothing counsel that were like balms that healed wounded souls.
Bishop Godfrey Onah of Nsukka Diocese, Prof Maurice Iwu, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Chief A.B. C. Orjiakor and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu were among many others who also condoled with the family.
Music was provided by Dr Jude Nnam, even as guests had enough to eat and drink, with plenty gifts to take home.