MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A former spokesman of the Nigeria Customs Service, Tincan Island Port Command, Chief Uche Ejesieme (a.k.a. 0zor Ishinmili Agulu) has described his late fathe, Chief Alexander Okoye Ejesieme
(Okwuotoekeneze 1 Of Agulu) as his best friend and “a man who loathed dishonesty.”
Speaking recently at burial of his father at Ifiteani Village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, the former Public Relations Officer said his father
was a respected businessman and a figure of inspiration in the community adding that the late Chief Alexander Ejesieme’s contributions will be cherished, and his legacy remembered.
The entire town was enveloped in fanfare as the former image manager of the Customs and his siblings gathered to give a befitting burial to their late father. Some prominent Nigerians came to honour the departed and celebrate his impactful life.
The funeral service had begun at St. John De Evangelist Catholic Church, Agulu under the guardianship of the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, as soon as his remains of the late businessman was brought to the church.
In his sermon; The Most Rev. Dr. Paulinus 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
intimidating kind heart, whose greatness is not in the riches and wealth he has acquired, but in his unrelenting act of generosity.
The funeral service attracted the presence of a good number of gospel preachers among whom were 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.
Former Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Peter Gregory Obi, The incumbent Governor of Anambra State Chukwuma Soludo represented by His Deputy Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, High Court Judges, Comptroller Anambra/Enugu/Ebonyi Command Comfort Senas Ukpanah, Very Senior Officers Of
Nigeria Customs Service, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Nigeria Bar Association Anambra Branch, Onyechi Ikpeazu Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Distinguished Senator Victor Umeh and other Members of the National Assembly were all present at the event.
Others were 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 father’s and their Cabinet Members, Representatives of Ministries Departments and Agencies, Former Governor Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu) of Enugu State, Senator Tony Nwoye, Senators Ngige and Uche Ekwunife sent representatives, Chief Judge Anambra State.
Lots of friends and well wishers from Nigeria and Diaspora.
Other dignitaries at the event included Captains of Industries like Managing Directors of Donclimax Shipping, Zenith Shipping, Clarion Shipping, Ikoro Bonded Terminals, Ocean Organic Services Ltd, Representative of Coscharis Motors and Representative of Innoson Motors.
The Maritime Community was not left as
Representative of Managing Director, Ematoks, Chief Akuyie of Agulu, their son in-law His Royal HighNess Chief Eunan Eke, Ezeokpo 1 of Okpo Autonomous Kingdom, not forgetting all the 20 villages in Agulu with their Traditional Cultural/Masquerade Groups, Obi Cubana Group, Groups of ObiDIENT, APC, PDP families, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Alumni Association, Agulu Grammar School Old Boys Association, Igwebuike Gramnar School Old Boys Association, Boys Secondary School Old Boys, amongst other Business Moguls.
Pa Ejesieme who died at the age of 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 going on an apprenticeship to 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 in 1963 and the marriage was blessed with nine children from the same mother among whom is Chief Alexander Ejesieme (Jnr) a Senior Advocate of Nigeria amongst others.
The highpoint of the event was the thanksgiving procession by Chief Uche Ejesieme and his immediate family members, amid soulful renditions from St. John De Evangelist Catholic Church choir.
The late Ejesieme was reputed for his no nonsense stance on issues and was ready to speak truth to power irrespective of whose ox was gored. It is also instructive to note that late Chief Alexander Ejesieme, as a devout Catholic contributed immensely to 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 spokesman of Tin Can Island Customs Command while extolling the qualities of his late father added that he was “A very open-minded and passionately detribalised Nigerian who 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” Chief Uche Ejesieme said.