Wilson Okereke, Afikpo
Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, former governor, Senator Sam Egwu and Senator Anyim Ude, were some of the friends and associates of Dr. Emmanuel Oko Isu, who gathered recently to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death.
Isu, who was one of the founding fathers of Ebonyi state, became its pioneer deputy governor from 1999 to 2003, under Egwu but died in 2009.
At a thanksgiving memorial organised by the family at St Patrick Catholic Church, Ndibe, Afikpo in Afikpo North Local Government Area, Ebonyi state, Umahi advised people to always find means of keeping memories of their parents whether they are dead or alive so as to sustain those virtues that the Igbo are known for.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, the Governor noted that the late deputy governor lived a good life, not just as one of the founding fathers of the state, but even while in and out of office.
He stated that his presence was a mark of honour to the family; while also reassuring both the church and the community that the leaders of the state would always remember the sacrifices, supportive roles and wise counsels rendered by their illustrious son in his life time.
He condemned the attitude of some people who would hardly remember their parents, year in, year out: “Lives of some of our people mostly the young ones are fast eroded by strange culture, people no longer regard their parents rather they opted to sagging dressings which is far away from how I was brought up.
“Such persons, there is tendency that when their parents die, the deceased will be forgotten but fortunate enough, late Dr Oko Isu family members are remembering their father”.
In his homily, titled “The reality of resurrection”, parish priest Rev. Fr. Augustine Ovia, said that the act of arising from death and become alive again had been the target of all Christians which according to him would be joyous as many people would not only see their departed loved ones but also interact with them on the resurrection day.
He appreciated the Isu family for initiating such event in honour of their father while frowning at the unconcerned attitude of some persons who could spend millions of naira to bury their relatives only to forget them forever shortly after the interment.
Also speaking, Egwu said that his presence at the service was induced by the high regard he had for his departed deputy and love for those he left behind.
Second son of the late politician, Mr Igwe Emmanuel Isu, told Daily Sun that the event was prompted by the need to refresh in their minds on the legacies laid by their father before his demise. He noted that their father was not only humble and generous but that he went ahead to inculcate such virtues in the lives of all members of the family.
“This memorial service was necessitated by the need to keep our father’s memory alive and in order to achieve it; our family will continue to support the church as part of his legacies.
“My dad had taught us that no matter how affluent a man is, if the person cannot give back to the society part of his wealth by affecting lives of the people around him positively that such riches do not worth celebrating,” he explained.
He, however, added that the family was devastated by the shock shortly after their father’s death, but having realised that there is life after death, they comported themselves knowing fully that he had already made heaven.
On behalf of the family, he thanked immensely Governor Umahi, Sen. Egwu, former Governor Martin Elechi, Sen Anyim Ude; Chief Fidelis Nwankwo, former Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Afikpo people as well as relatives and friends for their support.
Widow of the former deputy governor, Mrs Agnes Isu, added that the service was geared towards requesting God to grant her husband’s soul eternal rest.
She described him as a man with policy, an act through which he contributed to the progress of the state, promoted the welfare of members, Ebonyi State Executive Council, spoke for the state civil servants and fought for equity both administratively and otherwise.