Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese, Dr. John Ebebe Ayah has charged Christians to live in a way that preaching at their funerals would not be a burden to the priests.
Ayah says the life-course of some persons and their inability to leave a legacy have continued to place a challenge on men of God, making it difficult to find what to say about at their funerals.
The bishop who said this at the funeral mass of the Late Sylvester Omadewu Odama (Silver Oko), a retired editor with the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) and former Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel of NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Ijegu, Yala of Cross River State at the weekend, described the late veteran journalist as a civil servant with a difference, a simple man, an exemplary husband and a man who wouldn’t touch dirty monies.
He added; “I felt ashamed of myself each time I encountered this man, I tried to copy a few things from him. I do not mourn when people like this die because they lived well. There is so much we can learn from him
“I want to urge the children to work hard to take over from where their father stopped. It takes so much to wear your father’s shoe. He was so comfortable just being a simple catholic.
“There are some people that you would find it very difficult to have what to preach at their funerals because of the life they lived and inability to leave a legacy, but he was different.” he said
In a tribute to her late husband, Mrs Cecilia Ekawu Odama said her late husband was “a remarkable man, dependable, loving and caring, a centre of my world, a true companion and a wonderful husband.
“If I will ever have another chance in life, I would still choose him as my husband, he never kept a misunderstanding overnight and would never again mention whatever he has already forgiven you for. I have lost a true friend”. The widow said..
Speaking on his working relationship with the late Odama, the former Chief Press Secretary to the former Governor Godswill Akpabio and Director General of Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, Pastor Anietie Ukpe described His late colleague as a consummate, sound and intelligent team player.
Ukpe who was pioneer Chairman of the Correspondents chapel in the state; added; “Silver Oko was a dependable ally in the struggle for better society, he always wanted to do what would please his conscience, he spoke ill of no one and no one spoke ill of him, he was a great Comrade and his legacies will continue to speak for him”.
In a message of condolence by the Correspondents Chapel, presented by the Chairman, Comrade Idongesit Ashameri, the chapel acknowledged the roles played by the late former Chairman in repositioning the chapel to the path of integrity and dignity.
Ashameri.described the late Odama as an exemplary leader, a mentor, a father, a man of integrity, a man of peace, a thoroughbred professional and a devout Christian who would be greatly missed.