By Omon-Julius Onabu
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has expressed the desire of his family to ‘hold a private burial’ for his late father, Sir Arthur Okorie Okowa, the patriarch of the Okowa’s family of Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okowa, who made the decision publicly yesterday in a statement signed by him, disclosed that while the private burial would be conducted this month (February), a public reception to celebrate the life of his late father would hold later in the year in August, with the hope that the curve of the coronavirus infection would has dipped remarkably by then.
The governor, however, expressed profound appreciation to Nigerians for their uncommon show of love and condolences following the demise of Pa Okowa, thanking all those who came to condole with him and those who called or sent messages of condolences to him and his siblings.
According to him, “In view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, we have opted to hold a private burial ceremony sometime this month for my late father, while a celebration of life event will take place on August 21, 2021.
“Hopefully, by then, the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic would have given way to a freer and more assured environment.
“On behalf of the Okowa family of Owa-Alero, Ika North-East LGA, I wish to thank all those who have taken time to commiserate with us on the death of my beloved father, Sir Arthur Okorie Okowa.
“Ever since the news of his demise broke out, our family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of goodwill from a wide spectrum of political, business and religious leaders as well as the Nigerian masses.
“My siblings and I are deeply grateful for the show of solidarity, which have, in no small measure, helped
us to cope with Papa’s
“Although he died at what may be considered a good old age, the death of someone so dear cannot but leave one with a sense of void.
“My late father was a strong pillar of support all through my political/public service career. I drew immeasurably from his fountain of knowledge and wisdom, and he was very passionate about the growth and development of our beloved state.
“As a family, we will greatly miss his physical fellowship, but we thank God that he lived a good and fulfilled life; he has etched his name in gold with his legacy of hard work, selfless service, discipline, godliness, love for others, community, and passion for positive, lasting change.
“Once again, I thank all those who have called, visited, prayed for us and issued statements in solidarity with our family. May God richly bless you.”
The late Okowa, a retired educationist and politician, who held a senior traditional title in his community, died of undisclosed ailment at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Asaba on January 28, 2021, at the age of 88.