GOING by the encomiums showered on him and the turnout of eminent Nigerians who came for the Service of Songs of The Guardian publisher, Dr. Alexander Uruemu Ibru, at his hometown, Agbara-Otor in Ughelli North Council of Delta State yesterday, there is no doubt that his passage was more of a celebration of 66 eventful years.
At the head of the officiating Ministers was the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, who came all the way from Abuja to personally give the exultation.
Apart from Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and his Deputy, Prof Amos Utuama, former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba also came to bid Ibru bye.
So also were Senior Adviser to the President on Media and former Editorial Board Chairman of The Guardian, Dr. Reuben Abati; The Guardian Managing Director, Mr. Eluem Emeka Izeze; former Managing Director, Mr. Lade Bonuola; the Editor, Mr. Debo Adesina; and a host of others.
“For those of who are here today, weep not for Alexander Uruemu Ibru, rather we should pray that God give us eternal rest.”
With these words, the Primate set an ecclesiastic tone for service of songs.
The Requiem Mass began shortly after the members of the deceased’s family, led by his wife, Maiden, nephew, Olorogun Oskar Ibru and a retinue of friends and well-wishers arrived the specially made arena- a well-lit cozy tent, with twinkling light and sky blue curtains.
After the opening prayer by Rev. Okoh, Uduaghan took first reading from the book of Thessalonians 4: 13-18, saying: “Brother, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like rest of men, who do not have hope.
“We believe that Jesus died and rose and so we believe with Jesus, those who have fallen asleep in him…”
Shortly after the second reading by the Bishop of Ndokwa Diocese, Rt. Rev David Obiosa and a third reading by the state Utuama, the Primate, in his exaltation, dwelt extensively on man’s search for rest amid daily struggle for material and happiness.
“We are here assembled as part of step to bid good bye to our brother, father and uncle.
“Comfort yourself that Alex was not a failure. He was someone whom you can count on. The fact that the governor and his deputy and many great Nigerians are here is testimony to Alex’s greatness,” the Primate told the congregation.
For Oskar Ibru, who spoke on behalf of the family, his uncle lived a good life and had a great vision.