By Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Emotions ran high as the remains foremost educationist, Diokpa MatthewNnaemeke Uba, were interred at his hometown, Onicha-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government, Delta State. The community leader passed on on July 18, 2021, at 97.
At the final burial rites and subsequent entertainment of guests, his children, grand children, in-laws and relatives and friends gathered to pay their last respect. Among his children is Josfyn Uba of The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun.
Andrew Uwaje, one of his sons, recalled with nostalgia how he lived with the nonagenarian during his days as teacher: “Staying with you was like living on an encyclopaedia. You taught me many things, to be a good observer, an ardent listener and a loyal follower.
“You often admonished that not all spoken words meant what they conveyed. You always stressed that body language is a veritable communication dialectics.
“Your integrity, respect and regard for constituted authority did not allow us to stray, while the fear of your cane guided us from bad peer group influence.”
His daughter, Chiedu, stressed that her dad was a core disciplinarian, a devout family man and doting father to both his biological and adopted children: “You were a man of immeasurable value, a bridge builder, a community leader and a man of peace.”
Another son, Eziafa, noted: “As an educationist, he could go out of his way to get anyone around him educated or even help his enemy acquire education.
“He was the most sincerely selfless person I have ever known with no attachment to material things. He was an extreme disciplinarian who believed in success only through hard work.”
Josfyn penned her own tribute this way: “Your endless love for your family was incomparable. Your heroic conquest in human and educational
developments are unequalled.
“When I think of mountains, their majesty and magnificence, I will think of your quest for justice, equity, peace and need to help humanity.”
For Mrs Isioma Omoregie, another daughter, the transition of the nonagenarian left a vacuum in her heart. She added, however, that his legacy and voice re-echoes each time she is faced with challenges.
She said her dad served humanity with so much passion and love: “You never made fortune or a noise in the world where men seek after fame.
But you worked for the good of others.”
Actor, Norbert Young, was among the numerous guests at the event, which literarily brought life into the sleepy Onicha-Uku community.
Born on May 15, 1924, Diokpa Uba lost his father at a very tender age.
He started his primary education as a pioneer pupil of Kanidinma Primary School, Onicha-Uku in 1929. He had his first stint in teaching profession in 1947 at a private school in Ogwashi-Uku. He upgraded his skills at the Pilgrim Baptist Teacher Training College, Issele-Uku. He was a pioneer student of the college.
In 1952, he graduated as the first set of TTC, Issele-Uku. By 1955, he started Grade II certificate programme and graduated in 1958 and began to teach.
He taught in various towns and villages even during the civil war. By 1975, he went for further studies, HIB at the University of Ibadan, Benin campus.
In 1978, he was transferred to the Teacher’s Training College, Onicha-Olona, where he retired in 1984.