The remains of the late Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia, Chief Johnson Onuigbo, were on Wednesday laid to rest in his country home at Umuobasi Ugba in Umuahia North Local Government Area.
Prominent politicians in the state, who attended the burial in large numbers, paid glowing tributes to the deceased.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu described him as “a true description of loyalty, friendship and courage.”
Ikpeazu said that Onuigbo was devoted to serving God and humanity, adding that the society needed people with such virtues.
He said that the burial provided an opportunity for the living to live, bearing in mind that man would be required to give account of his life someday.
“2020 is a year of sober reflection for you, for me and our leaders.
“We must sit back and know that there are forces that control our lives and soon the owner of the universe will descend in the cloud of heaven to take his own.
“At that moment it will be our turn to render account of how we lived our lives.
“I want to say that today should not be in vain,” the governor said.
Also, the PDP Chairman, Chief Allwell Okere, said that the deceased was exemplary in all his exploits in life.
Okere said that Onuigbo’s death denied him the opportunity of drawing from his wealth of experience in managing party affairs.
In a tribute, the Council of Knights of Afara Ibeku Archdeaconry Mission of the Anglican Church, signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Obi Ugweje and Mr Knight Uwaemelalam, described Onuigbo’s sudden death as a shock.
The council said that the deceased was faithful and diligent in his service to God and humanity. He urged the family to take solace in the fact that their father left good legacies.
The Anglican Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Ibeabuchi, described death as inevitable and admonished the living to be ready for the judgment day.
Speaking at a commendation service at the Chrsit the King Anglican Communion, Ugba, in honour of the deceased, said: “What is more important to God is the soul of man.
“Now is the time to amend our relationship with God. And the question is how will I face my saviour – is it as a sinner or friend?”
He said that the death of Onuigbo was not only a loss to his family but to the church, state and among all who loved and admired him.
Earlier in a sermon, Ven. Godswill Emeruwa, the Archdeacon, Afara-Ibeku West, described Jesus Christ as an antidote to death and hoped for resurrection.
Emeruwa admonished the people to live a transparent life, devoid of wickedness, to enable them to inherit eternal rest in God’s Kingdom.
He said: “Jesus Christ is the resurrection and life, believe in him and you will have eternal life.
“Do not cry like those without hope, Onuigbo is fast asleep. He will wake up at the resurrection morning.”
In a funeral oration, the first son of the deceased, Tochukwu, described his father as “an embodiment of peace, love, compassion, hardwork, honesty, integrity and humility.”
The burial was attended by Dep. Gov. Ude Oko-Chukwu, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, representing Umuahia/Ikwuano Federal Constituency, among other top government functionaries.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deceased, who was PDP chairman from 2016 to May 2020.
He was appointed the Caretaker Committee Chairman after his first tenure, a position he held until he died on July 27 at the age of 66.