Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday, attended the Requiem Mass held in Aba, Abia State, in honour of his long standing friend and oil magnet, Chief Anthony Enukeme (Tonimas) who died recently.
His presence shut down the commercial city, as it took several hours for Kalu’s convoy to get to Aba from Umuahia as his supporters trooped out en-mass to cheer him on at every point on the route, including Isiala Ngwa, Umuikaa and Osisioma junctions.
When the senator’s convoy got to the city centre, it took the security personnel attached to him extra measures to control the surging crowd who sang and praised him for his political sagacity.
Speaking at the Mass held at Christ the King Cathedral (CKC), the former Abia governor said he came to honour Chief Enukeme.
Kalu, who described Enukeme as a great man, said the late business tycoon touched so many lives.
Kalu said there was no greater honour for Enukeme than for the living to give him a befitting burial.
While thanking the new Bishop of Aba Diocese, Dr. Augustine Ezema for celebrating the Mass, Kalu condoled with the Tonimas’ family.
Dr. Ezema said the Mass had earlier been planned to celebrate Chief Enukeme’s 50th wedding anniversary.
Expressing sadness over the demise of the oil magnet, the cleric said Aba Diocese had lost one of its pillars.
Bishop Lucius Ugorji of the Diocese of Umuahia said Enukeme’s death remained incomprehensible to some, adding that his demise is a reminder to the living that they are pilgrims on earth.
“Death is a great leveller, it levels masters and servants, rich and poor, men and women,” he said.
Azubuike, son of the deceased said his father was a great man who was close to many people that he came across.
He thanked Kalu and others who attended the Requiem Mass.
Others who attended the burial included Dr. Alex Otti, Ben Kalu of the House of Reps, Dr. Madukwe Ukaegbu, among others.