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EPISODES AND EVENTS AT THE FUNERAL SERVICE AND INTERNMENT OF LATE - MADAM COMFORT UZUNMA NWORISA

HER LIFE AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

“An incident that took one’s mind to the words of the Holy Scriptures that; “A flaming sword was placed to rotate and protect the tree of life that humans may not live forever”. It was clearly evident that there is time for everything under the Sun. “Time to be born and time to die”.

Her Body was taken away from Abuja Hospital to Obinaocha village, Nkwerre for lying in state, where her beloved ones paid her the final respect, Ahead of the Saturday 9th of  May, 2015 when the Corpse was taken to the St. Peter and John Cathedral Nkwerre where a funeral Christian rite of the holy mass was held in her honour.

It all began with the Pallbearers bringing the body to the central place in the middle of the Church. The Service eventually began with the officiating priest moving round and sprinkling the coffin with the holy water to sanctify its presence in the church while an entrance hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross on which the Prince of Glory died” rang in the air.

The Introductory Rites of the church worship had followed it, leading to the prayer made to God by the Priest who at this stage, invoked God’s Divine grace and Mercy to grant that the name of her servant, Comfort be inscribed into the book of Life”.

In the Liturgy of the word, the First Reading was taken from the book of Wisdom with the theme of consolation that “even when the righteous person dies young, it pleased God to take them, that evil may not stain them for a blameless life is equal to ripe old age”. That “it became the Lord’s wish to take them away lest they be caught up in evil and it changes his understanding or guile deceives his soul, but humans do not realize this”.

This was accompanied by a Responsorial Psalm whose Response is: “The Lord is my light and my Salvation, whom should I fear?” In the 2nd analysis, St. Paul in the letter to the Romans chapter 8 asks salient questions: “If the Lord be for us who can be against us. Who shall bring any charge against the Lord’s elect since it is the Lord who justifies, who can condemn us? If in all  of life, we are conquerors, how can anything separate us from the love of Christ?” It was acclaimed with the prelude to the Gospel

stating that: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; Let them rest from their labours for their deed go with them”. Added to this, in the Gospel of St. John the lord Jesus tell everyone that; “he is the living Bread from Heaven, not like the Manna the Father’s ate and died, that whoever, eats his body will live forever”. Homily:

The homilist, dwelt on the above triadic images that looked at the issues of life and death, creating a synergy of the three, he admonished everyone to fear God and remember him always as that is one solid way to live a life without sin, and a good way of preparing to die a good death. On this, he quoted the scripture that says; “If you remember death, you will not sin”. He expanded the words of the scripture by giving allusions to the life of the late Comfort who had lived a compassionate life and showed concern for others. He encouraged everyone to emulate her virtues in seeking to please God.

With this came the general intercessory prayers for her repose, the well being of her relatives she left behind and for the safe journey back of all who came all to mourn her death. Concluding, he beckoned on Jesus who destroyed death and gave men new life to hear these intercessions and answer them. These led to the offertory procession while the church sang hymns like: “All you who seek A comfort Sure and Hark! Soul”.

As beyond it too, came the prayer over the offering, as conciliation sacrifice to God at the funeral of Comfort that any sin or any human fault hanging on her may be wiped away.

COMMUNION RITES:

This had several prayers amidst hymns suggesting the tunes of sorrowful reflection on the issues of death. When those in the state of grace had received Holy Communion. There was a post communion prayer where it was offered to God that Comfort, who had journeyed on from this life may by her sacrifices be cleansed of sin and receive everlasting joy and resurrection.

FINAL COMMENDATION AND FAREWELL

The leading priest commenced the burial rites with the prayer of commendation, in which he prayed in faith and confidence in Jesus, who brings life in all things, as the good shepherd, may lead her who is now buried in mortal body, safely home to be brought to perfection among the saints through a merciful judgment and forgiveness over her sins. Leading the church in prayers of invocation of the lord’s mercy and the intercession of the saints, where everyone was singing may the Angels lead you to paradise…the New Jerusalem where Lazarus is no Longer poor.

After these interludes, the Pallbearers came on board to lift the coffin consisting of her body and these led the entire people to the place of burial with a continued processional hymn echoing: “Peace Perfect Peace”. Until they reached her graveside where the body had a final stopping over for the final  blessing of the grave. On this, the priest proceeded to pray by invoking; “God who gave Abraham a burial in the Promised Land and inspired Joseph the Arimathea to bury Jesus in the tomb he has made for himself”. To earnestly bless this grave prepared for the burial of Comfort.

After all the prayers for the blessing of the grave, all the people chorused Amen. As her body was being led down the grave and the ritual of pouring sand into the grave was going on, the array of Christian mourners continued to sing some; Farewell Hymns. To this, they sang GOD BE WITH YOU TILL WE MEET AGAIN.

As they sang this, people were going sorrowfully away, but majority waited while the funeral oration was being read. Some gave her tributes mostly rendered in soft touching emotional words of the funeral oration giving deep introspection into the life she had lived. In these one who never met her could picture these very facts that visibly reflects who she is.

Life and Birth of Comfort Uzunma Akueme-ugo Nworisa, - Chief Tony Nworisa.

Madam Comfort Uzunma Akueme-ugo Nworisa was born in August 1941 in Amanagwu village in Arochukwu L.G.A of Abia State to Pa Okronkwo Achinivu. She was given the name Uzunma due to her beauty at birth; she was 4th of eight children and 2nd out of the surviving children of her parents. Little Uzunma lost her father at a tender age and was now raised by her grandmother Madam Uzunma Achi who was a big time fish-seller and whom she was named after due  to their resemblance. Madam Uzunma Achi being the only daughter of a royal princess from Ndi Owu (Ada Ada Owu) in Ibom ancient kingdom in Arochukwu and was respected by all thus the little Uzunma was highly treasured and pampered hence she was restricted from any stressful work.

Madam Comforts’ first test of Education was in Mary’s Slessor Primary School in the old Bende division in the then Eastern Region of Nigeria. Then tragedy struck mama lost her beloved grandmother, this event left the poor young Nwannediya to cater for four children alone, when her grandmother died, she could no longer continue with her education. Little Uzunma was taken to Enugu to leave with her Aunty, Madam Chiboo Umeham Irokanulo, then, a big time palm wine seller; the little Uzunma got her business acumen from her stay with her aunty in Enugu.

Her humbleness, beauty and moral conduct gave her into early courtship and later marriage to the love of her life, late Martins Akuemeugo Nworisa (AKA) Stormy Weather, of Obinocha village, Nkwerre, Imo State, who proposed to her and she accepted without a second thought in 1958. Young Uzunma had moved to Aba and then sent down to Nkwerre to spend her early pregnancy period with her mother-in-law who showered her with love. After giving birth to her first son (Late Kinsley) After her ‘Omugwo’ by her motherin-law Madam Ihudiya Nworisa, Madam Comfort followed her husband back to Aba, while in Aba she was enrolled into St Georges’ Primary school, to make up the years she dropped out of school. But a second pregnancy put a stop to her education and she had her second son Tony. Her husband wanted her to go back to school but Mama had something else in mind, business.

Da Comfort, as both her seniors and mates fondly called her went into trading of provision store in jubilee road, Aba until the down of the Biafra/ Nigeria civil war. The civil war separated mother, father and children but we found ourselves reunited after the civil war in the 70’s. She was a distributor of textile materials, she sold her goods to the likes of the Late R.H Eze Zeb Philips Nwosu to name but a few, the death of her husband in 1979 cut short her thriving business, mama relocated to Aba from Lagos. Shortly after she went into trading on textiles and other related materials from Aba to Lagos, Da Comfor who worked hard in business went into the restaurant business (Jamboree Cool Sport In). Madam Jambo as she was also called then was an active member of Nkwerre Aborigine in Aba. Mama relocated to Nkwerre and went into active politics and leadership under the tutelage of her mentors Late

Nzenwanyi, a great politician. After the fall of the second republic in 1983, Madam Comfort once again relocated to Lagos. While in Lagos she went into the business of clearing and forwarding at the port. She was also an active member of the Nkwerre Aborigine Union (Lagos Branch). She retired from active business in 1989 and moved down to Nkwerre on the insistent of her son.

Da Comfort, at home was more or less a distinctive activist and a great fighter of women’s right…this earned her nick name Babangida. Wherever she goes, mama makes a lasting impression to people around her. She was a founding member of ‘Ugosimba’ (the association of none indigenes wives of Nkwerre community. She was a unifying factor for all the associations she belongs to. Mummy starves herself in order to make others happy.

Da Comfort was a kind-hearted mother and was a mother to all who came across her. She was a cheerful giver, a great leader and above all a peace ambassador of our time. She was a woman of integrity, a mentor of all sorts. Da Comfort's lifetime was an epitome of a real mother. She was a caring mother to the motherless and a friend to all. Mum was always there in hard times cuddling her children onto and towards the strife of life. Mum we are of the belief that your faith, trust and hope in God orchestrated your attaining ripe of 74, and seeing your third generation to the glory of God. You were a pacesetter and a stepping-stone to all nook and crannies of these regardless and resentful world full of hide and seek, who passionately will hope through the boredom of unresisting tunnels.

In all these, she would be missed by her friends, families and to so many people, her life is a painful sudden exit and irreparable lose. As to her children she was a brave support in face of any challenge and she lived a life worthy of emulation to all, in spite of her fragile education. Everyone considered her a peace partner, a graceful and peaceful person.

All these characterized the quality of attendance at her funeral and the words of appreciation from Chief Tony, Nworisa first son, for the family who prayed God to reward everyone for the love they have shown them in their moments of grief. The entire visitors were treated to great reception held in her honour after her interment, at Chief Tony Nworisa’s Country home, Obinaocha village, Nkwerre. The family capped up her memorial service at the thanksgiving service held on Sunday the 10th of May 2015 at St. Peter and John Cathedral, Nkwerre

 

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