By Hilary Akalugwu
Nsukka (Enugu State) – The remains of late Chief Patrick Omeje, Chairman, Nsukka Local Government Area in Enugu State has been laid to rest at his country home, Amaeze Owerre Nsukka amidst tears and eulogies.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deceased died on June 16.
Speaking in a homily during a church funeral service at St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral Nsukka, on Monday, Monsignor Thaddeus Onoyima said that to the people, Omeje died a sudden death, but to God, he died at the appropriate time.
“What we failed to understand in this world is that nothing takes God unaware because He created every human being and He knows when everybody will die.
“Death is inevitable to every living being that will surely come at God’s appointed time, what is important is that one serves God in truth and in spirit while alive,“ he said.
Onoyima, who led no fewer than 10 Catholic priests to the funeral service, noted that it was not how many years one lived on earth that mattered but one’s good relationship with God and fellow human beings.
“The family of Omeje should take solace that the former council boss impacted positively on humanity as well as respected and feared God while alive,” he said.
In a brief funeral oration on behalf of Omeje family, Mr Ikem Omeje, the eldest brother to the deceased, thanked everybody who identified with the family during the moment of pain, sorrow and urged them to continue to pray for the family.
He said that no matter the circumstances the Omeje family would continue to have absolute faith and trust in God who knows everything.
The eldest brother announced that only 20 people were expected to come to late Omeje residence where he would be buried.
According to him, this is in respect and keeping with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocols that there should be no gathering exceeding 20 people as result of COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the remains of late Omeje was laid in-state at Nsukka Council hall for staff to pay their last respect.
In his tribute, the new Chairman of the Nsukka LG, Mr Cosmas Ugwueze, who until his elevation was the Deputy-chairman to late Omeje, described the demise of deceased as a big shock and surprise to him.
”Omeje lived a short life, but he impacted positively to humanity. He gave me hope, showed me love and called me back to serve with him at a time I was rejected by others.
“I promise to continue with his plans and projects in Nsukka LG and will never let his family suffer his sudden exit,” he said.
Also speaking, the Leader of Nsukka Legislative Council, Mr Celestine Ezechinedu described the late Omeje as kind and visionary leader who had Nsukka people at heart.
In a remark, Sen Chukwu Utazi representing Enugu North Senatorial District, condoled the family, the people of Nsukka LGA and prayed God to grant Omeje eternal rest.
“Our hearts are burdened for this painful and irreparable loss because we never expected it to happen at this particular point in time,” Utazi said.
NAN reports that the church was brief brief as it lastEd for less than an hour.
Sympathisers who attended the service wore face masks and maintained social distancing and were also screened by health officials.