The Global Administrator and the “Field Marshall,”New Umuaka Project Initiative NUPI, a community based and the apex socio-cultural organization in Umuaka, Dr Austin Chidi Agbahiwe has created a new Whatsapp group for those who wish to pay tributes for the late Dr JOL Ezeala who died a couple of months ago in the United States after a brief illness.
Since the family and the Nigerian Bar Association MBA Owerri Branch, announced the passage of the legal luminary a few months ago in a joint press statement signed by Barrister Jude Ezeala (son) and Barrister Chukwura Onuorah,a top official of NBA Owerri Branch, not much had been heard about the funeral arrangements of Dr Ezeala who was also a Professor at Madonna University Okija, except a follow-up story by Umuaka Times. The reason for that was as a result of the lockdown and suspension of social gatherings in Nigeria as a result of the outbreak of Covid19.
In his opening and written speech, Dr Agbahiwe wrote, “Dear great people of Umuaka Nation, when the news of the demise (in the United States of America) of our illustrious son, great leader, community icon, international lawyer, philanthropist, orator and the father of ‘’Umuaka Modern Nation”, our own Egbendu, Jaborigbo, Kwekukwe, Papa Onye Eze and the people’s professor, Chief Prof Barr Jude O.L Ezeala, filtered in, in early April 2020, it was as painful as it was shocking.”
The demise of Dr Ezeala was shocking to many in the state including Umuaka Times newspaper which has been planning to secure an interview from the colossus. Dr Agbahiwe went further to extol the virtues of Dr Ezeala and described his death as highly painful. Hear him: “Also, when a family that has given so much to the upliftment of a society/ humanity and someone you love and care about, …friends indeed, and who incidentally, equally care about you, just like our friends, HRH Eze Barr Justin Ezeala (Ezenwanne) & Barr Chuks Ezeala (Ebubeagu), are grieving over the loss of a beloved father, it can be difficult, yes, very difficult to know what to say or even do.”
Agbahiwe went further to give reasons that inspired the creation of the Whatsapp tribute platform which he named, Umuaka 4 Prof JOL Ezeala.
“This platform is therefore created as a vehicle to commonly communicate with some of the family‘s friends of Umuaka Ebeiri origin (as much as whatsapp can accommodate) during this mourning and trying period. You may use same channel to commiserate with them. All other communications regarding the burial of our great icon will be shared to all citizens of Akahland included in this platform. Thank you for your willingness to identify with the family in this moment of grief.”
By the time Umuaka Times visited the platform, about 356 participating Akahlites were already members of the group. Many Akahlites of different status and professions scattered around the world had already sent in their condolence messages to the group.
Meanwhile Barrister Jude Ezeala, the second son of the late Professor Jude Ezeala has confirmed to Umuaka Times that due to the restriction of gatherings in Igboland as a result of Covid19 preventive measure, the burial committee of the late Dr Ezeala has not been constituted. According to him, the first task now for the family is to conclude arrangements on how to bring back the corpse the moment the ban on international flights is lifted.