The rites of passage and memorial service for late former Nigerian Ambassador to Northern Ireland, Her Excellency, Hon. (Dr.) Bolere Ketebu O’Kehie (Lolo-Ozo Enyi Diya of Amaigbo), has been successfully conducted amid tributes from friends, family and associates. The event for the deceased, who died on January 16, 2020 at 66, was held in Imo state over the weekend.
A traditional ruler in Imo state, His Royal Highness, Eze Nelson C. Nwosu (Igbo 111 of Amaigbo), has joined the list of distinguished personalities eulogizing the deceased. Tributes have equally poured in from her husband, Onumonu Chief Dr. Collins O’Kehie (Eze Nnanyereugo Ozo of Amaigbo, Ugwumba Amaigbo), a renowned United States based lawyer; Chief (Mrs) Ngodi Nkwoji, the deceased sister; Mrs Bekky Ketebu Igweh, her twin sister and former Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development and a host of others.
For the monarch, he described the deceased as a great woman who will greatly be missed by all. “She was a very good wife to us. For me, she was a lady I knew before she got married to my bossom friend Onumonu Chief Dr Collins O’Kehie. I have known her to be a very disciplined and highly educated person. No wonder Nigerians celebrated her appointment back then as Nigerian Ambassador to Northern Ireland.
“Her Excellency, she was really excellent. She will be greatly missed by all including myself. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, she didn’t die surrounded by the people but we are all consoled by the fact that she lived a good life worthy of emulation.”
The monarch prayed to God Almighty for reposal of soul and for God to reward her good deeds while on Earth, adding: “she played very dominant role in leadership positions in this country, including at Women Organisations and at the state levels. She was a great woman and will be missed by us.”
On his part, Onumonu Chief Dr. Collins O’Kehie, United States based lawyer and husband to the deceased, described late Amb. Bolere O’Kehie as a best friend who turned around to be his wife, revealing that it has been very difficult accepting the reality that his lovely wife and childhood friend was no more let alone move on.
Chief (Mrs) Ngodi Nkwoji, sister to late Amb. Bolere O’Kehie, who was physically present during the rites of passage in Amaigbo said, “though Bolere is not here anymore, but her spirit of love which she had for the family will continue to be with the husband(Onumonu Chief Dr. Collins O’Kehie) as he moves on with life.”
For Mrs Bekky Ketebu Igweh, twin sister to the deceased and former Minister of State for Solid Minerals Development, she said: “To lose a sister is one thing, to lose a twin sister is another thing; but to lose both at once is totally heart wrenching.”
She described late Amb. Bolere O’Kehie as a wonderful and loving caring wife to her dear husband, Onumonu Chief Dr. Collins O’Kehie, her five children and two grand daughters, adding: “she was very brilliant and yet an embodiment of humanity and simplicity to say the least.”
“She had a positive impact on people’s lives through her numerous good deeds and love she showed to everyone. For many people she served as a dependable shoulder to lean on and a strong support system and bridge to success in so many people’s lives.
”For me, it is not how long but how well. She lived a live worthy of emulation and achieved so much in her live time. She made a success at everything she set out to do therefore I will continue to be proud of her. I am consoled that she left unforgetable and indelible foot prints at the sands of her times.”
For Barr. (Mrs) Ngozi Njoku, a former Commissioner in Imo state, she believes that great men and women do not die because their legacies live on, stressing that late Amb. Bolere Ketebu O’Kehie would be greatly missed by all.
“During her time, she set a standard. She showed us as we were coming into politics, that indeed politics is just an avenue for one to serve humanity and help others. She spoke for Nigerian women and advocated for women empowerment,” she said.
Dr. Innocent Emerole, Chairman of UNILAG, Imo state branch and President, Saharco Old Boys Association added: “From the onset, from the beginning, from her name, Bolere which means first, though in her family she was not the first child, but from that name, she maintained first position in all her careers and dealings to the extent that wherever she goes, she was always singled-out.”
For Dr. Cletus Egbuzie, Chief Nwachinemere 1 of Amaigbo and Chief Uzoma Udemba, Udemba of Amaigbo, they see the deceased as a shining light to the Community, describing her death as not just a loss to the family, but to the state, the Amazons, medical body, the voiceless Nigerian women and Nigeria at large.
Lolo Ijeoma Nwajames, CEO, Eastern Stars Entertainment, said the deceased was very supportive in the lives of the women, not just in Nigeria but across the world Internationally. “Amb. Bolere O’Kehie was a diplomat, an icon and legend that we cannot forget in a hurry,” she added.
For Chief Jude Frank Mkpadobi, Ezekwesiri of Amaigbo who portrayed emotions, he described the demise of Amb. Bolere Ketebu O’Kehie as a great loss to Amaigbo, Imo, Nigeria and the world at large.