Adieu, Francis Obiorah Enuebuka
FRANCIS Ojeli Obiorah Enuebuka, fondly called Pa Nkechi after his daughter Nkechi, was born to Mr. Odita Enuebuka of Umu-Oshele and Mrs. Uzor Odogwu Odita Enuebuka of Umu-Iyasoge, Dukwenze both in Abala Uno in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State on December 25, 1923. He was the younger of two brothers that lost their parents very early in life. Daddy never knew his dad. He was raised by his uncle Eze Obiosha (Obiorah) as an infant.
Pa Nkechi started his primary education at Salvation Army Primary School, Abala Uno, and transferred to Saint Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Ogwashi Ukwu, after primary two. During this period, he lived with the late Mr. and Mrs. Adeleke who adopted him like their own son.
He obtained his Standard Six certificate in 1942 and went into teaching. He taught at Oko-Anala Catholic School briefly before continuing his education at Saint Thomas’ Teacher Training College, Ibusa, where he obtained his Teachers Training certificate in 1948 and formally launched his teaching career that lasted for 16 years. The career took him to Ubulu Uku Catholic School, Aragba Catholic School and Asse Catholic School all in Delta State.
His teaching career further landed him at Rivers, Imo and Ondo States. It was while in Rivers State that he reconnected with his friend and classmate at Saint Thomas’, Ibusa, Chief Vincent Okonkwo, who introduced him to his cousin, Martha Nwabata Okonkwo. Martha will later become his sweetheart and soul mate culminating in holy matrimony.
The two lovebirds took their marriage vows in 1951. This union produced nine children and over 28 grand and great grand children and counting before Pa Nkechi peacefully transitioned to glory on November 21, 2014.
Daddy was a devoted father, a disciplinarian, a stickler for excellence, a demonstrated believer and peace lover who read his Bible several times a day. Although he left his hometown early in his life in search of education, he did not leave any of his kids uneducated. By faith and hard work, he saw all his children through tertiary education.
Daddy never really left teaching because he assembled all the kids in the neighbourhood at weekends when at home and taught them. Parents and their kids benefited from his free lesson programme as it reflected on the kids’ report cards.
A few years after his marriage and having risen to the post of headmaster, Daddy left teaching and joined the then Lever Brothers (now Unilever) as a Sales Representative and rose to the position of Senior Sales Manager before retiring in 1979. While at Lever Brothers, he travelled the country, won Best Sales Manager award and was honoured for producing the company’s national sales manager’s manual, which was used as road map by new hires.
Retired but not tired, Daddy served as a member of Customary Court in Kwale and later became the president of the court in Ashaka during which period he issued a few landmark rulings that reinforced natural laws and justice. He finally bowed out in 1998 and focused on community service and spirituality.
As a committed member of the Christian Science Church, he attended the training for Practitioners in Boston, Mass. USA in 2003 to become a certified Practitioner of the Christian Science Mother Church.
A few months before his transition to glory, Henry his last son, while spending Christmas with him, asked him to share what he thought was his significant achievement so far. Daddy’s news worthy response in his own words was that “It is having the grace of God to replace the worship of idle (Alusi Oshimili) with the worship of Almighty God in Umuoshele”. He had prayed to God to enable him live long to become the oldest man in Umuoshele so as to mount the mantle of Oshele and make the needed change to the stool. Daddy continued: “My assumption of the position of Oshele brought to an end, the reign of idle and darkness in Umuoshele. The throne is now dedicated to the worship of God. It is an act of providence, which will now continue even after my time. Thank God for the Prince of peace.”
At the community level, a few years ago, Ndokwa East local government council honoured him and his wife as the best family in recognition of their family values, leadership and promotion of peace and harmony in the community. Pa Nkechi was instrumental to reviving Abala Development Union (ADU) after the civil war. He was at the forefront of ensuring peace and unity of the entire Abala community as well as always urging his children to stay connected with community and help as much as they could.
Daddy was a pioneer member, Christian Science Church, Benin City and founding member, Christian Science Church Utagba Ogbe, Kwale.
His surviving children — Henry Obiorah Enuebuka, Dr Jude Obiorah Enuebuka, Mrs. Adaeze Omezi, Dr Titus Obiorah, Mr Emeka Obiorah, Mr. VC Obiorah, Mrs. Vicky N. Osadebe and Mrs. Juliana Aduku and over 28 grand and great grandchildren all have their individual memories of Daddy. Adieu, Pa Nkechi.