On Saturday, Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, bemoaned the absence of the South-East governors as the remains of Lady Adanma Okpara, widow of former Eastern Nigeria Premier, Chief Michael Okpara, were laid to rest in her country home, Umuegwu Okpuala in Abia State’s Umuahia North Local Government Area.
Okezie Ikpeazu, speaking during the Methodist Church Nigeria’s funeral ceremony at Williams Memorial Grammar School, Afugiri, Umuahia, said the occasion marked the end of Okpara’s magnificent reign as Premier of the defunct Eastern Region.
He noted that, as Premier, Okpara ensured that Eastern Nigeria was one of the fastest growing economies in the world at the time, thanks to effective administration.
He bemoaned the absence of the South-East governors, as well as the Federal Government’s failure to send an official representative to honor Okpara’s late wife, who brought the country honor during his time as Eastern Nigeria’s Premier.
He emphasized that the late Premier’s wife, Adanma’s, ultimate departure should be used to “reawaken our strength, tenacity, and entrepreneurial spirit as a people.”
Ikpeazu, who described the deceased as a humble woman, said he was personally touched by her and that he had learned a lot from her. He added that he would carry on her legacies.
Dr. Uche Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, praised Lady Adanma Okpara as “one of our best” who helped her late husband elevate Eastern Nigeria to international prominence.
In separate speeches, former Governor of Enugu State, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, and the immediate past state governor and now senator representing Abia Central, Theodore Orji, described the deceased as a woman of virtue, discipline, and lasting companion to her late husband, and urged families to learn from their relationship.
The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Uche, preached earlier on the importance of people making good names rather than focusing on accumulating wealth in his sermon titled “A Good Name Is Better Than Everything.”
Prelate Uche remarked that life should be lived for God and humanity, noting that the deceased worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others.
Mrs Chinyere Eccles-James, the deceased’s first daughter, hailed their mother as a huge source of inspiration to many and as someone who lived a life of service.