BY FUNMI ALUKO
Former Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Port Command Public Relations Officer, Chief Uche Ejesieme (0zor Ishinmili Agulu) and family members has laid their father, Chief Alexander Okoye Ejesieme (Okwuotoekeneze 1 Of Agulu) in Ifiteani Village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, to rest.
A respected businessman and a beacon of inspiration in the community, Chief Alexander Ejesieme left behind a legacy of significant and numerous contributions to the growth of the lfiteani community, which obviously cherished and will be eternally remembered.
The entire town was enveloped with fanfare as well wishers, town folks and prominent Nigerians came in their droves to honour the departed and to celebrate his impactful life.
The funeral service was held at St. John De Evangelist Catholic Church Agulu by Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, as soon as his remains and the funeral Cortese which included an horse-drawn carriage arrived the church.
In his homily Rev. Ezeokafor extolled the virtues of Pa Alexander Ejesieme who reportedly lived a life of dedication and service to God. According to Rev. Ezeokafor, Chief Ejesieme was a man with heart of kindness, whose greatness was emphasized by his act of generosity flowing from his modest riches and wealth he acquired during his life time through industry and providence.
The burial attracted the presence of His Eminence, Peter Cardinal Ebele Okpaleke, The Catholic Bishop Of Nnewi Diocese Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonas Benson Okoye, Papal Nuncio To Czech Republic Archbishop Thaddeus Okolo, The Catholic Bishop Of Awka Diocese Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev. Fr. Professor Obiefuna, Anglican Bishops and Reverends from other Denominations.
Others include His Excellency former Governor Anambra State, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi, Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo represented by His Deputy, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim; High Court Judges, Controller, Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi Area Customs Command, Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah, Very Senior Officers Of Nigeria Customs Service, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association Anambra Branch, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, Senator Victor Umeh.
Also in attendance was His Royal Highness, Igwe Innocent Obodoakor Igwe of Agulu, Igwe Innocent Obelle of Nawfia, His Royal Majesty Ezeuzu III Of Awka Austine Ndigwe, other royal fathers and their cabinet members, representatives of ministries departments and agencies (MDAs), former Governor of Enugu State , His Excellency Emeka Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu), Senators Tony Nwoye, Chris Ngige and Uche Ekwunife, represented.
Captains of industry in attendance include the Managing Directors of DONCLIMAX Shipping, Zenith Shipping, Clarion Shipping, Ikoro Bonded Terminals, Ocean Organic Services Ltd, and representative of Coscharis Motors, Ematoks and Innoson Motors; including representative of Akuyie of Agulu, their son in-law His Royal Highness, Chief Eunan Eke, Ezeokpo 1 of Okpo Autonomous Kingdom.
Also represented is the 20 villages of Agulu with the full complement of their traditional cultural/masquerade groups, the Obi Cubana Group, the ObiDIENTs, APC and PDP families, alumi of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, old boys association of Agulu Grammar School, Igwebuike Gramnar School, and Boys Secondary School.
Pa Ejesieme who died at age 93 was born in 1927 to late Chief & Mrs. Ejesieme Obikwelu of Ifiteani village Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra state.
He attended standard school in Agulu during his formative years before enlisting in an apprenticeship training under the late Mr. Okeke Mgbafor of Ifiteani village Agulu, as a metal fabricator in Agulu where he demonstrated exceptional skills endearing him to the heart of his master.
However, as an only son of his parents, he sought an opportunity to try his hands in other business ventures, leading to his relocation to Onitsha, where he started learning the trade of kitchen utensils (Ọkapị Stainless Knives) at the popular Onitsha Main Market. Here again, he quickly learnt the trade to the admiration of his contemporaries; shortly after, he started his own business.
He got married to Chief Mrs. Elizabeth Uzoamaka Ejesieme JP (ADADIORANMA) from Umubiala Village Agulu and the marriage was blessed with 9 children among whom is Chief Uche Ejesieme and Chief Alexander Ejesieme Jnr,SAN.
During his life time, Chief Alexander Ejesieme a devout Catholic contributed immensely to the cause of the Catholic Order across various Catholic Churches, where he had opportunity to worship but was most active in St. John’s Catholic Church Agulu, where he served at different times as the PPC Chairman and Chairman of harvest and bazaar committee. His sense of philanthropism at the time was legendary too.
The former NCS Tin-Can Island Port Command PRO described Pa Ejesieme as his best friend and “a man who loathed dishonesty”.
“A very open-minded and passionately detribalised Nigerian, he encouraged and supported his children to see every Nigerian as one.He was a natural activist, speaking up against injustice and man’s inhumanity to man, an attribute he bestowed on his children” Uche said.