By Anayo Ezugwu
THE family of late Michael Okechukwu Ogbonna has announced his burial arrangements which begin on Friday, August 28, with a service of songs at Club House, Royal Palm Villa, Off monastery Road, Sango Tedo, Lagos State.
The family said Ogbonna, who died on March 26, at the age of 54, will be buried on Saturday, September 5, in his home town, Itu-Isielu Olokoro, Umuahia South Local Government of Abia State.
His remain will leave the TOS Home in Lagos, for his home town in Umuahia, on Wednesday, September 2. There will be a funeral service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Itu-Isielu Olokoro, Umuahia South on Saturday, September 5, by 10am.
Ogbonna is survived by Uloma Ogbonna, his widow, four children, siblings and relatives.
Since his death, many friends, relatives, and well-wishers have been paying tribute to him at the website specially created for him. One of those who are deeply touched by Ogbonna’s death is Chuks Anyiam, his close friend. Anyiam, in his tribute, said he thought Ogbonna’s death was a fairy tale. He said but as the days passed by it dawned on him that it’s real. “We struggled so hard. We hustled so hard. We played so hard. But in all of these, empathy, compassion , and love for family and friends were never lost. We started life living in the ghetto barracks in Ikeja, in the slum in Bariga. You kabu kabued your way to your Master’s Degree while carrying the burden of your younger ones and family and yet came out tops and successful.
“If death was a fair entity why will it come to you now? What happens to all the big plans when we turn 60. The luxurious cars, the fancy house we dreamed of at 60. The vintage car plan for our kabu kabu at Ojuelegba at 60. It was all a dream death snatched from us. As I’m writing, I’m getting mad. Because who did you leave Uloma and those kids for.
“Chizara called me and said Dedem Mike is gone. Do you know the pain of the only brother that you left David behind? What of Ndidi and others. This is crazy because you didn’t think it well before you chickened out. You bailed out Mike. I feel betrayed. I have cried and wept hoping it’s gonna solve the problem. It does not Mike. I know if you could fight death, you would have wrestled it to a stop.
“In all, you are a mere mortal and gave in to the supernatural powers. For that I excuse you. Go well Mike and rest in peace. May the good God rest you peacefully and look over your family and please may your good spirit watch and guide them. You will be so dearly missed Mike.”
On his part, Kenechukwu Arodiwe, another friend, said Ogbonna was a brother, confidante, man Friday and a good friend. “I don’t even know where to start eulogising this debonair, urbane and quintessential gentleman who I met as far back as 1994 through my Oga, Jerry Eyimuche. They were staying in the same compound in Bariga, Lagos, while I was just a JJC coming to Lagos after Youths Service.
“As he was (I can’t believe that I am referring to Mike as “was”) friends with Jerry, so he accepted me as a friend and subsequently my own friends and relatives. And through that friendship, I visited the beach (Eleko beach) for the first time in my life and bought my first car. In fact, Mike completed the payment for that car for me with the outstanding N10,000 in the year 2000.”
Maureen Chigbo, another friend, was shocked at the sad news of Mike’s death. “He died too soon. He was a very good and loyal friend. He was like a brother to me right from when we worked in Best Mag before moving to UNILAG for our Master’s programme and then lived in different apartments in the same building where we all started life with nothing before moving to greater heights. Okechukwu as I always called him will be sorely missed by friends and family.”
Ogbonna was born on December 15, 1966, in Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, to the family of late Ezekiel Ogbonna, retired superintendent of police and Late Akumefule Gloria Ogbonna of Itu-Isielu in Olokoro Autonomous community in Umuahia South Local Government of Abia State.
He always described himself as a Barracks boy having literally spent his formative years in Barracks as a result of his Fathers profession. He loved nature and outdoor life and derives great pleasure watching over birds and animals for many hours on end without getting tired.
He had a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from the University of Calabar, Cross River State, and a Masters Degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations from the University of Lagos, Akoka. He was a member of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel Development as well as Nigeria Chartered Institute of Personnel Management. His active working life spanned a period of 28 years in rich Human Resources experience across a variety of industries, ranging from Financial Services, Food, and Beverage and Oil and Gas, including Shell Petroleum Development Company. He was a consummate HR professional who had consistent top-quality performance ratings.
“Ogbonna was a kind and loving individual who was highly committed, down to earth, frank, and a dependable ally. He was very generous and supportive to friends and family alike. He impacted lives positively and treated everyone respectfully. His evergreen memory will forever live in our hearts and he will be fondly remembered by his wife, children, Siblings, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, In-laws, and friends,” a brief bio of him in the website stated.
– Aug. 27, 2020 @ 9:29 GMT |