According to the great philosopher Bill Newman, “The true leader is the man who will subordinate his need to those of others; someone who is sensitive to the needs and feelings of his team or organization to support them, help them and be concerned for their well being”. This informed the large turnout of personalities who came from all walks of life within Delta State, beyond the State and outside the country to accord their leader, mentor and associate a befitting burial ceremony; as the remains of Honourable Ezinna Benaiah Onyemaechi Egbuchinem was committed to mother earth on Friday, November 13, 2020, at his compound in Anieyime Quarters, Igbodo, Ika North East Local Government Area Of Delta State.
Earlier during the funeral service which took place at St. George’s Anglican Church, Igbodo; the Guest Speaker, Rt. Rev. E. U. Olorunfemi, the Bishop of Etsako Diocese of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, in a brief exhortation spoke on the message he titled, “Whatever Your Hand Finds, Do It Heartily”, reading from the book of Colossians chapter 3 from verses 22 to 25; he admonished the congregation to be heartily committed to whatever job or activities they are assigned to do both in the church and in the larger society; disclosing that as individuals they are accountable to everything they do. He stated that God brought human beings into the world to ensure that His (God) kingdom is established on earth. Continuing, he noted that a time of darkness could be when death comes, when no man can work; explaining that as humans, there is a purpose of God which they must fulfill in the lives of those around them.
Speaking further, the man of God, charged the gathering to serve God and humanity with the potentials which God had given to them; emphasizing that the life we live in is for a while and can be likened to a vapour that appears briefly and vanishes away. He urged them to repent from their sins in order to be saved by God, so that they will enjoy His eternal salvation.
Rt. Rev. Olorunfemi, eulogized the sterling qualities of the late icon whom he described as a lover of God, a humble and compassionate man who was very committed in the works of God; a philanthropist and a complete gentleman. He enjoined the children of the deceased to emulate the virtues and legacies which their father left behind.
At the graveside before interment, the Anglican Bishop of Ika Diocese, RT. Rev. G . I . Ekpenisi, Prayed God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest and to also grant his family members, friends and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
According to his biography, Late Hon. Ezinna Benaiah Onyemaechi Egbuchinem, was born on August 29th, 1936, to Pa Robert Isiuwe and Mama Gladys Titi Egbuchinem (both deceased) of Anieyime Quarters, Igbodo, in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State.
Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, started his education at CMS School, Ute-Okpu and later moved to CMS School, Owa-Alero, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1954. He received his TC 1 and TC 11 Certificates at the Teachers Training College, Asaba and Teachers Training College, Oleh. He later went to the University of Benin to obtain his Certificate in Literature in English and graduated in 1979. Hon. Ben Egbuchinem’s teaching career spanned over three and a half decades, when he retired in 1990. Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, was a committed Christian and a very active member of the Anglican Communion, where he served God and the church. He was a great music lover; he served as the choirmaster of his church for over Fifty years without asking for stipend.
In ,1993, he was elected as a Councillor under the Platform of the National Republican Congress (NRC), to represent Igbodo, in then Ika Local Government Council, with the current Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, as the Chairman of the council. Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, was instrumental in bringing numerous progressive projects to Igbodo kingdom, including the provision and installation of the first electricity transformer, Igbodo general post office, grading and maintenance of major roads in the community and the renovation of the community market.
As a community leader and peacemaker, Hon. Ben Egbuchinem demonstrated a strong passion and unflinching commitment to the peace, unity and development of Igbodo kingdom. He was a member of the Obi-in-Council, the highest decision making body in the land. He also served as Treasurer and later as the Chairman of Anieyime Odinma Obodo for many years. He was an active member of Igbodo Indigenous Teachers Association (IITA) and Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Delta State.
In recognition of his immeasurable services to the community, the church and humanity; Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, was recognized and honoured with the prestigious EZINNA (Virtuous Father) title by St. George’s Anglican Church, Igbodo.
Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, was a great orator, a disciplinarian, a philanthropist, a selfless and dependable leader and above all, a friend of God, who positively touched many lives.
Hon. Ben Egbuchinem, wedded his amiable wife Mrs. Grace Egbuchinem (New Mordi) in 1968 and to the glory of God, the Union was blessed with Six children and Twenty grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers, a sister and many relations.
He passed unto glory on March 23rd, 2020, at the age of 84 years old.
In his tribute, the eldest son, Mr. Chukwunweike Egbuchinem, described his late father as the most wonderful father in the world, who had always shown his children love and care in every way; a man of God who often brought them before the throne of God in Prayers; a hero and a great icon whom they the children would want to emulate in every way.
In his words, “Dad, thank you for all you were in life and how powerful an influence you were to so many. I love you to the moon. You will always hold an honoured place in all our hearts and we will love and remember you forever. May you rest in peace and rise in glory. Adieu dad! Onye Udo!! Ijeoma!!!”.
In a related development, the former Secretary General of Igbodo Development Union, (IDU) Worldwide, Emmanuel Egbuchinem, a Nephew to late Hon. Ezinna Ben Egbuchinem; in his tribute described his late Uncle as a man of many parts, skills and virtues; who was a gentleman of scent, humble, loving, caring and kind hearted; an accomplished educationalist with a wonderful intellect and a politician of repute who lived a very impactful life; a disciplinarian and a great inspiration to both the younger generation and the elderly.
He prayed Almighty God to grant the soul of his beloved Uncle eternal rest.
Late Hon. Ezinna Benaiah Onyemaechi Egbuchinem
Children of the deceased acknowledging greetings from guests during the reception party
Management and staffs of BEDC at the ceremony
Members of the UNIK Committee of Friends Igbodo at the event