By Patrick Obia
Leaders in various capacities have been urged to inculcate the habit of charity and good deeds as it will speak for or against them on the day of judgement.
This was the take home message by Rev. Fr. Christopher Enang at the funeral service of late Pa Adolphus Oben-Etchi, at Immaculate Conception Parish Mfamosing, Aningeje, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River where the State Governor, Ben Ayade urged the family to uphold their late father’s legacy.
Governor Ben Ayade represented by his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, in a condolence message urged the family to celebrate and remain united while ensuring his legacy linger on.
“You all have to be very proud of yourselves that, you have a father who was so much loved by God, and has done so well to raise children of the status of Hon. Commissioner, George Oben-Etchi. Today you should be celebrating the exit of your father. We hope that you will stay as a united family and push forward and make sure his legacy remain forever and ever.”
The clergyman who said late Mr. Adolphus Oben-Etchi lived a charitable life, he said, “the land we are living is a passage and harbour to a place of eternity”, stressing that, one’s personality means nothing to God but what matters is one’s charity to fellow man and God.
“If actually we understand that there is peace, we will accept the fact that our life here on earth is just a passage; that the world we find ourselves, the earth we live is not a permanent city but it is only a temporary harbour where God himself prepared for us in order to prepare ourselves to return to him.
“As I address you today, if you know anything other than God, if you love anything other than God, if you serve anything other than God, then you have derailed; search yourself.
“The gospel reading of today has a very strong message for each an everyone of us. Everything the Lord has bless you with here on earth is meant for charity and service. Your relationship with the other person; the bulk of our judgement on the last day is going to be base on charity; it doesn’t matter what you have, the amount of money in the bank, cars and estate you have opened but one thing is basic, God is not going to judge you base on those things you have, what will make meaning is, when I was hungry, when I was thirsty did you help? God has already given us the expo that the yardstick for judgement is going to be charity.”
In tribute to his father, Hon. George Oben-Etchi, Commissioner for Solid Mineral Development said his father was everything to him and his family. The former member of the House of Assembly, expressed sadness that, in all the years of his father’s meritorious service to Cross River State Government, he died without pension and gratuity.
“My dad was a good man, a good husband; a God fearing one at that. He was at peace with all men. He was very hard working and dedicated to duty, he was my chair leader. To my dad, family was everything. He was very loyal to the core to his friends, family, community and his country Nigeria.
“One of his regrets that gave him so much pain was that all the years of his meritorious service to the State he loves most, Cross River, he retired with Cross River State Agricultural Development Project without any form of benefit; no pensioner, no gratuity to date and all efforts to correct the Injustice proved abortive. That pain caused him constant headache which finally led to his death. No one deserves to be treated this way but in all things the Bible says give thanks to almighty God.” Fair well my beloved dad, I am confident that some day we will meet again in the after life.” He prayed.
Late Adolphus Oben-Etchi was born January 1924 in Sabes Village, Upper Bayang in manfe mamyu division of the Republic of Cameron, to Ntor Etchimanyi Oben-Etchi. He arrived Calabar, Nigeria in 1954 and naturalized and got employed with Cross River State Agricultural Development Cooperation (ADC) where he retired.
He is survived with 6 children, 13 grand children and 4 great grand children.
Prof. Ivara Esu; speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Jona William; member, representing Ogoja State constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Odey; former DPD State Chairman, Ntufam. John Okon; Chairman, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Linus Bassey; Commissioner for Financial, Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr; members of the State Executive Councils amongst other dignitaries who graced the occasion.
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