MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A Catholic priest, Very Rev. Fr. Felix Ethapemi of Ibadan Diocese has urged parents in Nigeria to inculcate Godly qualities in their children as they grow up in other to stem the tide of unrighteousness that has pervaded nooks and cranny of the society in contemporary times.
The clergyman who delivered the homily at the funeral mass of the late Mrs. Grace Isichei at Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State on Friday noted that there was so much poverty on the land due to the failure of many parents to properly bring up their children in the most righteous manner.
According to him, many parents have chosen to pursue wealth while neglecting the care of their children, thereby creating a society of irresponsible and burdensome youths who could not positively contribute in societal development.
While paying tribute to the Late Mrs. Isichei, Rev. Ethapemi who was the deceased’s Parish priest in Ibadan prior to her demise, described her as a virtuous woman who was a Christian to the core as she lived a peaceful life of charity, discipline, love, fear of God, selflessness, commitment and so on. He added that it was such virtuous qualities that enabled her to bring up her children among whom is Sir Andy Isichei to become responsible citizens of Nigeria.
Between 1999 and 2006 Andy Isichei was the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Government owned National Clearing and Forwarding Agency (NACFA) prior to its privatisation. His managerial prowess helped in turning the Agency which was in a comatose state in 1999 with book value of less than N100million into a multi-billion naira company at the time of its privatisation in 2006. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of ACI Holdings with several subsidiaries.
The clergyman remarked that the death of anyone reminds the living that everyone has date with death. Therefore, “we must endeavor to live an upright life that would ensure some cherishable memories even after we have departed the earth,” he admonished.
The late Mrs. Grace Isichei had died at the age of 92 years and the funeral mass at Ubulu-Uku had drawn a large number of dignitaries across sectors of the economy. The mass which held at St. Charles Catholic Church, Ubulu-Uku had attracted the presence of no fewer than thirteen clergymen from different Dioceses. Leading the pack was a Bishop Emeritus from Ilorin Diocese, The Most Rev. Ayo-Maria Atoyebi with the Parish Priest of St. Charles Very Rev. Fr. Martin Iyamah coordinating.
Sequel to the funeral mass and interment at Isichei’s family compound, guests from various walks of life were lavishly entertained at the event hall of the Church. Prominent among the guests were former Governor of Delta State, Chief Onanefe James Ibori, Secretary to the Delta State Government, Hon. Patrick Ukah who officially represented Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. Others include Delta State Commissioners of Finance and Culture & Tourism; Chief Okemnor Tilije and Engr. Lawrence Ejiofor respectively.
The Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu,
Director General, Delta State Capital Territory Development Commission, Hon. Joan Onyemaechi, Aniocha South Local Government Area Chairman, Pastor Jude Chukwunwike, Director-General of Atiku/Okowa Campaign in Anambra State Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, Sir Tony Nnacheta, Prof. Emeka Ofunne and Prof. Patrick Osiegbu both of whom were former lecturers at the University of Port Harcourt were present at the event.
Other guests were the first Geologist from Ubulu-Uku and currently an oil industry consultant, Mr. Felix Molokwu, Lagos based business consultant Dr. Jude Iyitor, a political leader cum traditional prime minister of Ubulu-Uku, Dr. Emma Ejiofor; former president of Ubulu-Uku Development Council; Dr. Jones Ofunne, his successor; Dr. Jonathan Monye, Port Harcourt based industrialist Mr. Mike Dibia and former Head of Corporate Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Obah.
Other dignitaries included Mr. Ignatius Ukpaka, a guru in the oil and gas industry, a Director/Liaison Officer with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Lagos Liaison Office; Barr. Larry Ofulue, Chief Executive Officer of Jefcon & Associates Limited, Engr. John Onwualu.There were other personalities and groups at the ceremony to celebrate the life and times of the Matriarch of the Isichei family whom many people described as kind-hearted, lover of peace, detribalised personality and committed Christian in her life time.
Staff of ACI Holdings attended in large number and showed so much appreciation to their boss at a time like this.
The Emeritus Bishop Ayo-Mario Akpoyebi and other officiating priests at the funeral mass had spoken in glowing terms about the late Mrs. Grace Isichei. It was interesting to note that Bishop Akpoyebi had known her and the entire Isichei family for over forty years.
The reception party which was anchored by two Masters of Ceremony (MC) Frank Oshanugor of Atlantic Merry Makers and Benedict (a.k.a. Kpakam ) at the Catholic Church events
centre later shifted for an all night dance party at Andy Isichei’s residence where entertainment of guests continued. The Thriller Band which was one of the Musical Bands on stand at the reception lived up to its billing at the night event.