By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The remains of a former Chairman of the governing council of the National Youth Service Corps, Chief Linus Okom was on Saturday laid to rest in Bekwarra Local Government Area of northern Cross River State.
Okom, popularly referred to as ‘Ada Ebekwarra’ which loosely translates to “The Father of Bekwarra,” passed away on January 9, 2021.
And, at his funeral, family, friends and well wishes gathered to bid him farewell with Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade announcing the donation of NGN30 million towards the completion of the church near his home.
A press release from Government House Calabar shared by Mr. Ayade’s deputy spokesman, Linus Obogo said the Governor extolled the virtues of the late statesman in his farewell address.
“In his last and final goodbye to Ada Bekwarra, who was famously called ‘Manure’ for his political mentorship and guidance, at the Roman Catholic Mission Parish, Nyanya Ulim, Bekwarra Local Government Area, Ayade said it was the first time he was attending a funeral mass with joy, noting that; “it has always been that each time we have had to come to church for a burial, it has been about burying somebody that did not die at a ripe age.”
The church, upon completion will seat 2,000 people, the presser said. Also, NGN30 million was donated, “for the centenary celebrations of the Catholic Diocese of Ogoja.”
The Governor also donated NGN10 million to the family of the deceased.
Insisting that the death of Chief Okom called for celebration because he died at a ripe age, the governor said: “Today I am happy to celebrate one of the greatest voices of the Ogoja people, Ada Bekwarra, the man who had been part of my political history and growth.”
Eulogising the fallen Ada Bekwarra, Ayade, waxing philosophically, said: “Today I do a great reflection on his past and I say that Ada Bekwarra was indeed Ada and was a great man. If I was to write a book or if I was to do a poem, I would imagine him as a River, and he would be a blue ocean, if he was to be a bird, he would be an eagle, if he was to be an angel, he would be Angel Gabriel, and indeed, if he was to be a military man, he would be a full general.”
On Ada Bekwarra’s forthrightness, the governor intoned: “He was brave, he told you to your face what he felt, but when he supported you, he did so with the last breath in him. Ada Bekwarra would give his right eye to honour his words.
“He was full of intellectual sagacity, he was great in his candour and carriage, he was a man who would tell you if you have to invite me to a dinner, please invite me with all the aristocracy, because even by his construction and built, he was a noble man.
Lamenting the huge vacuum created by his passing former NYSC Governing Council Chairman, Ayade noted that “while we are here to celebrate a great man, his exit will leave for the people of Ogoja a major shortage in our footfalls, particularly in the political landscape because indeed, his voice added to the emergence of a governor from the NorthernSenatorialDistrict. We must owe that to him and must give him the credit.
“He was a great man that’s why he has a great family, a refined man who was very seasoned and experienced. Ada indeed was a great son of Ogoja, a true Cross Riverian who stood by his words.
“I listened to him and heard him loud and clear in his challenging times where he shared his compassion and his deep thoughts.”
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