Sir Godfrey: A true believer


Sir: In a classic published in the 1950s, Eric Hoffer, an American self-trained intellectual and writer, coined the term, a true believer. The term quickly caught the popular imagination. A true believer is someone who genuinely and wholly believes in a given cause. To such a person, there are no half measures. A popular example is St Paul in the New Testament. When he was a Jewish teacher and polemicist, he was absolutely dedicated. And when he converted to the Christian faith, he became exemplary, quite quintessential. He even surpassed earlier converts if not in dedication, at least in writing. He wrote more books of the New Testament than any other person.

As Pa Godfrey Egbuniwe Okwuosa joins the saints triumphant after a most fulfilled pilgrimage on Earth following a requiem church service at St Jude’s Anglican Church in his country home of Oraifite in Anambra State, there is perhaps no better way to describe him than to acknowledge him as a believer through and through. To him, there were no half measures in all he undertook.

When he joined the nationalist movement in Cameroun and naturally joined the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun (NCNC) then led by the Great Zik of Africa, he was burning with patriotic fervor. To him, politics was just an avenue to serve the public and humanity generally. In no time, he rose to the post of secretary general of the foremost political party in Anglophone Cameroun. People were not surprised. His love of service to the public was well known. This love led him to bring from Nigeria his Oraifite relatives to live with him while they were going to school or learning business or any legitimate trade.

Consistent with the tradition of true believers, Sir Godfrey was one of the first people to be initiated into the society of ichie in his hometown and consequently became a member of the royal cabinet under the leadership of Igwe Ude Ubaka. He cherished the status because he felt it was a way to contribute to the preservation and promotion of Igbo culture which has for several decades been under sustained attack by western civilisation.

However, when he felt at some point that his ichieship was somewhat in conflict with core Christian beliefs, Pa Okwuosa gave up the title and relinquished his membership of the royal cabinet. He re-embraced Christianity, this time with greater commitment and force, and displayed features of what is generally known as born againism. He went a step further and became a Knight of St Christopher in the Anglican Church. Henceforth, all he did throughout his life on Earth was to live in Christ and for Christ. His whole family got immersed in spirituality, as different from religiosity.

Sir Godfrey lived well for a whole 96 years. And he died well, too.
C. Don Adinuba.



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