It was a torrential rain of encomiums as the remains of the late Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, PhD was laid to rest in his Asaga Ohafia home.
Speaking at the funeral service conducted by the Presbyterian Church, Nigeria, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu described the deceased as not just a friend but an elder brother and close political associate.
Governor Ikpeazu said that the late Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai was a good friend and ally who exhibited courage, loyalty and wisdom .
He stated that Late Ukpai can not die except when we throw away those legacies that he lived and died for and assured that as his friend , he will take care of late Ukpai’s family.
Dr Ikpeazu who promised to leave indelible mark in Asaga in memory of the late deputy Chief of Staff, announced that the road leading to his house will be completely constructed.
He also requested the Presbyterian Church to articulate all that late chief Ukpai could not actualize and send to him, pointing out that life should have deeper essence than just living and dying.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor , Sir Ude Oko Chukwu said that the deceased was a dependable ally, political juggernaut and a recurring decimal in Abia politics who made great contributions to the development of Ohafia and Abia State.
Also Speaking on behalf of members of the National Assembly, a former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara and the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Orji all described late Chief Ukpai as good man whose death has created a big vacuum in the state and assured that he will not be forgotten.
Preaching a sermon earlier, The most Rev Dr Ekpeyong Akpanika maintained that death is a leveler and enjoined people to live with eternity in view.
He reminded the living that the life they live is not theirs as God could demand it any time, stressing that there is no repentance in the grave.
In a biography on behalf of the family, the younger Brother to the deceased Elder Ndukwe Ukpai said that his late elder brother was a man of many parts, very accommodating and was a true and faithful party man who loved his Asaga Community and Abia State in general.
Earlier,a Special Valedictory Service was held in honour of the late Deputy
Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai by the Abia State Government.
In his tribute at the Valedictory Service conducted by the Presbyterian Church Of Nigeria at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, the Governor, Dr Okezie lkpeazu described his Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai as an astute political strategist and solid Administrator whose views and deep thoughts on governance played huge roles in the
stability of his administration and the PDP as a Party.
Dr Ikpeazu represented by his Deputy, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu noted that the late Chief Ukpai apart from being a wonderful ally, a patriot , committed and reliable person remained a political pillar in the Abia North Senatorial Zone, describing his death as a rude shock to all and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest as well as give all those affected by his death the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
In their various tributes, the member representing Abia Central Senatorial Zone, Chief TA Orji, the Speaker Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Chinedum Orji, the Commissioner for Police Mrs Janet Agbade and the Secretary to the State Govt, Mr Chris Ezem described Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai as gentleman ,good Christian whose extraordinary zeal in Security Matters was not only unrivaled, but was very dependable, loyal and a distinguished politician and pointed out that his death has created a huge vacuum which can only be filled by emulating his wonderful legacies and supporting the family he left behind.
Contributing also, the State Chairman of PDP, Chief Allwell Asiforo Okere, a representative of Abia professional Partners, Chief Samson Orji, Lady Victoria Akanwa while extolling the sterling qualities of the late Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, described him as a man with a towering status in Abia politics with very stable character that endeared him to be appointed to key positions in the State by past and present administration.
Speaking on behalf of the family, a Senior Advocate of Nigeriaand a one time State Commissioner For Justice, Prof Awa Kalu and Elder Ifeanyi Agbai on behalf of the Presbyterian Church described Chief Ukpai as a good Christian, family man, philanthropist, reliable politician that has served various administrations and a pillar of the Church that contributed immensely to development of the State and implored all to support the family he left behind.
In his homily, The Most Rev Dr Ekpeyong Akpanika of the Calabar Synod of the Presbyterian Church Of Nigeria stressed the need for all to prepare for eternity by living lives that will endear them to people by empowering and touching humanity positively and described late Chief Ukpai Agwu as a loving father, great christian, politician and Philanthropist and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.
The Service which featured valedictory lecture titled ” Grassroots Mobilization For Good Governance And Sustainable Development by Prof EJC Duru ,ministrations from various choirs and prayers for the bereaved family attracted the presence of the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi lkpeazu, the wife of the Deputy Governor, Lady Vivien Oko Chukwu, Federal and State legislators, top Govt Officials, Body of Permanent Secretaries, PDP Chieftains, Elderstatesmen notable personalities and the Commissioner For Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu who thanked Governor Ikpeazu and all for their support and attending the Service and urged them to be at the burial ceremony taking place tomorrow at Ohafia LGA
Late Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai who died at the age of 67 was until his death the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor and is survived by his Wife , Mrs Uchenna Agwu Ukpai, three Children and host of other relations.
The funeral ceremony attracted the presence of the wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, the wife of the Deputy Governor Lady Vivian Ude Oko Chukwu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Hon. Uko Nkole, Hon Chimaobi Ebisike , Commissioner of Police ,Ms Janet Agbade and host of distinguished Abians and Nigerians including the legendary man of God ,Rev Dr Uma Ukpai.