MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A priest of the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Victor Ofili of Abavo Parish in Delta State has decried the increasing rate with which community change agents and role models were dying in contemporary times in some communities in Nigeria.
He has also expressed worry over the gradual decline in the moral upbringing of many youths by their parents in Nigerian societies with the ultimate consequence of raising an army of irresponsible future leaders.
The clergyman made the assertion in his homily on Friday at the funeral mass for a foremost agriculturist, the late Chief Alfred Mordi-Ojubi which held at St. Charles Catholic Church, Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
According to Rev. Fr. Ofili, many communities in present day Nigeria which were once dominated by men of noble character and regarded as change agents and role models were fast losing such men of virtue to the cold hands of death, though not necessarily in premature ages but without replacement or filling of the vacuum created.
He recalled his childhood days with nostalgia and explained how the community leaders with noble character helped to nurture and mentor them into becoming responsible citizens. He paid special tribute to the late Mordi-Ojubi whom he described as one of those who contributed to his upbringing and mentorship in Ubulu-Uku community which ultimately led to his becoming a priest.
While decrying the high degree of moral decadence in contemporary Nigeria, the Priest did not hesitate to partly blame parents who do not pay attention to the upbringing of their children rightly. He described them as “un-parented parents.”
The priest was also worried with the increasing incidence of vices like ritual killing, election rigging, armed robbery, drug addiction, cyber crime and so on, among the youths whom he said, had invariably borrowed such criminal conducts from their parents. “Therefore, we owe our children a life of positive attitude”, Rev. Ofili admonished.
The late Chief Alfred Mordi-Ojubi until his demise in April this year was a leading member of the Ubulu-Uku Council of Chiefs. He held the title of “Alo of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom” and was highly revered as a community leader with high degree of uprightness and peaceful tendencies.
He had begun his agricultural career soon after leaving school in the 50s with the former Western Nigeria Development Corporation (WNDC)
in the then Western Region of pre-independence Nigeria. The Company was into rubber and palm oil plantations, which were Nigeria’s highest income earner at that time.
After the attainment of Independence in 1960 and upon the creation of Midwest Region in 1963, WNDC was dissolved, giving birth to the establishment of Midwest Nigeria
Development Company (MNDC). The new company then absorbed Mordi-Ojubi with some other deserving staff of former WNDC. This was ostensibly due to his hard work and recommendation of his superiors.
When MNDC was bought over by the Oil Palm Company (OPC) in 1972, Mr. Mordi-Ojubi was re-absorbed into OPC where he worked at various locations of the company at Ajagbodudu, Ewohimi, Igueben, Akwukwu-Igbo, Nsukwa and Ubulu-Uku. Over the years he had risen through the ranks to the Director cadre.
On retirement, he became a very strong community leader and was the fourth in hierarchy of administrative chiefs in Ubulu-Uku Kingdom. He was also into politics and until his death, a leader in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Dignitaries from various parts of the country particularly Delta State attended the funeral mass and reception that followed at the Catholic Church Event Hall. The personalities
included the Director-General of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, Hon. Joan Amaechi, Hon. Emeke Nwobi of Delta State House of Assembly, Delta State Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Engr. Lawrence Ejiofor, Executive Chairman of Aniocha South Local Government Area, Pastor Jude Chukwuweike, Dr. Emma Ejiofor (Onishe of Ubulu-Uku), General Manager of Nigeria Television Authority, Asaba Mrs. Phil Obanor and many others.