Drama As Catholic Priest refuses to say funeral mass for Late Senator Fidelis Okoro

Late Sen Okoro


...Priest says state of late Okoro was enough homily for everyone


By Obiechina Emeka

NSUKKA ------------ There was drama at the burial of the former three - time Senator representing the Enugu North Senatorial District, late Senator Fidelis Okoro at Agu Nru in Nsukka Friday.

 The Parish Priest of the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Isife, who attended the mass refused to officiate or say the homily only for him to take the microphone to tell the congregation that "the state of the late Senator was enough homily for everyone."

A cathechist officiated at the funeral mass, prompting angry reactions from some notable persons who attended the funeral. 

When Okoro's body was brought from Abuja to the Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, which is managed by the Catholic Church, hospital officials reportedly rejected the corpse, leading to interventions from highly placed persons at the Government House, Enugu.

Late Okoro was ruteless to fellow citizens in his life time and treated the several women he married and threw out of his house like rags just as he adopted notorious nicknames like "uruguru, agbadamal, tufiakwa," among others to scare his perceived opponents. 

However, reacting to behaviour of the parish priest, Senator Chuka Utazi who is now representing the area at the National Assembly, frowned at the attitude of some persons who talk bad of the dead, saying that "judgement is for God alone."

However, Utazi spoke about the two thieves who repented at the point of crucifixtion  with Jesus Christ, said it was not within the powers of the living to judge the dead.

Also speaking shortly after the burial mass  at Agu-Nru, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, the former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, asked the congregation to pray for the repose of Okoro's soul instead of condemning him for his shortcomings on earth pointing out that "only Jesus Christ can judge him, and not his fellow human beings."

His words, "When I was the governor of the old Anambra State, my youngest commissioner who worked assiduously was Senator Fidelis Okoro. He was my son. 

"When he contested the Senatorial election to represent Enugu North Senatorial District, he won the first time but faced opposition when he wanted to recontest for the second tenure. I waded in and ensured that he won; not just for the second term but three times. He was a great statesman."

The member representing Nsukka/ Igboeze South in the House of Representatives, Dr Pat Asadu, who also spoke on the occasion 

described late Okoro as a leader and a rugged politician.

Asadu said that Okoro died at a time when the district needed his fatherly advice in the politics of the state and Nigeria at large, adding that he would be sourly missed.

 "When I was a practising medical doctor, he convinced me that I could be useful in politics. Okoro helped in the formation of the political structure of this district," Asadu added.

Among those who attended the burial included  the Enugu State governor, Him. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the member representing Igboeze North/ Udenu at the National Assembly, Hon. Simon Atigwe, and the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Edward Ubosi.