By ABEL JOHNGOLD
It is commonly said that “heaven itself announces the passing of great icons”. So, it was with the final burial rites of Pa. Mieseigha Alale Nagberi, a retired diplomat from the Federal Ministry of External Affairs and now Foreign Affairs, the father of Richard Nagberi Esq., lawyer, humanist and Director of Legal, Delta State Contributing Health Commission, whose burial programme and reception party would remain a talk of the town for a very long time.
The funeral programme which began with a Service of songs last Tuesday, at No 4 Eze Obi Ujukwu street, opposite Marble Hill junction, off Okpanam road, Asaba, attracted dignitaries and people of means and substance.
The late sage remains Funeral Service was held in the morning of Friday, 13 January, 2023, at Saint Philemon’s Anglican Church, Preware Quarters, Abari. The church was filled to capacity with dignitaries from all walks of life.
Before the retired diplomat was buried at about 1pm after the church service at Saint Philemon’s Anglican Church, for a very good number of minutes, the ancient town of Abari stood still with the people holding and waving the Nigeria Flag and sign of honour and proudness of the great Abari Icon as the remains of Pa. Mieseigha Alale Nagberi, was being taken to his house for interment.
Taking his sermons and processing hymns from the Bible verses of John 11:25-26, Deut. 33:27, Rev. 7:16, Romans 14:8-9, St John 14:1, Job 19:25-27, Rev. 14:13, Matt. 5:4, Psalm 90 and Revelation 21:1-7, Ven. Isaiah Okegbe – Vicar, who prayed with confidence in God that He would raise him to perfection in the company of the saints, admonished brethren to emulate the good life Pa. Nagberi lived describing him as “epitome of peace” and lovers of quality education.
At the Church service, prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of the deceased, his family, the riverine Abari town, Patani, Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.
Among the clerics at the burial were Rev. Blessing Eghagha, Rev. Ben Osofa, Pastor Solomon Akeni, L/D Isaiah Ovie, L/D G. Imah, Ven. God’spower Jordan Angalapu, Rev. Righteous Ombu and Pastor Rev. James T. Tombiri among others.
In their tributes, the children of Pa. Mieseigha Alale Nagberi, disclosed that their father made them to understand that quality living meant fear of the Almighty, love and respect for humanity, self-dignity, integrity and hard-work.
While noting that they were also made to be contented with whatever was provided for them and never to envy others, the nine children of the 87yr old retired diplomat said ” Daddy, you procured the best possible education you could for us and told us the best legacy a parent could leave for children is education and that such education transcends the classroom.
“You believed in us and we also believe in ourselves. One great lesson was that of the “genuine grade”: how that the “honest C” was more honourable than the “stolen A”.
“You were so full of humour and showered all of us with love. Your jokes and laughter will be fondly missed. The stories you told us, the advice you gave and your generosity towards humanity are other reasons your absence in the physical world has created a void”.
His burial was attended by top dignitaries across the country, large numbers of civil servants from the Delta State Civil Service, members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), humanitarian groups, religious leaders, politicians and community leaders from within and around Patani Local Government Area.