It was a celebration of a life well spent, as the remains of Late Madam Nneoma Chinyere Dora Anyanwu, mother of the wife of Ondo state governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu, was laid to rest glamorously, in Umuikea Emeabiam Owerri, Imo state
Late Nneoma Dora Anyanwu, aged 89, was described by the people of her community as the true symbol of a good woman, women mobiliser, human rights activist, and community developer who contributed immensely to the growth of Emeabiam and its environs.
In his testimony, the President of Umuikea-Emeabiam, who coordinated the community’s special lying-in-state, Chief Herbert Igbo, disclosed that such special honour was designed purposely for outstanding personalities, while describing Late Madam Dora as a woman of excellence, reason she was installed as Nneoma(Good Mother), of Emeabiam.
He said: “This is the last respect we give to any leader, man or woman who had performed in the upliftment of this community. Mama Dora was a woman of excellence, she was the pioneer President of the group you see in uniform, (Oganihu Ndom Umuikea).
“She organised the first women group in this community, so, she deserved to be given this honour. She was a good wife to late high chief BUB Anyanwu; she was at the forefront of the training and the psychological know-how that the children in this community need to go to school”.
The Bishop, Diocese of Egbu Owerri, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Okorafor,in his sermon during the funeral service at Christ Anglican church Emeabiam, also affirmed that the deceased played a great role in the development of the church and the community as a whole, saying, her name was written in gold.
Admonishing the congregation with Romans 5:8, the cleric stated that a life lived without Christ was on the wrong side, and enjoined individuals to leave a legacy full of good reports.
A son-in-law to Late Nneoma Dora, and governor of Ondo state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, corroborated the testimonies of the people of the community about the deceased, by describing her as an inspirator, and personality anyone would love to be with.
He stated that Emeabiam community should be proud of Ada Emeabiam II, his wife, for the unquantified loved she demonstrated towards the community.
Governor Akeredolu, however, appreciated the people of Ondo state who were in Imo for the burial ceremony, saying he was overwhelmed by the honour.
Also speaking, Imo state Governor, Mr. Hope Uzodinma noted that there’s time for everything, and that death was inevitable for all, and reminded Christians to be aware of life after death.
He commended Governor Akeredolu for adding value to the community, and assured of his support for Ondo state.
Mrs. Akeredolu, the first of the three children of the deceased, who couldn’t hold tears, described the demise of her mother as a rude shock but said she was consoled that she didn’t give them stress of being on a sick bed for long period before she gave up the ghost.
She described her as a disciplinarian to the core, and strong woman. “It was through my mom that I knew that women could lead; our compound was like a courtyard as all manner of women would come with their problems counseling them, and she loves it”.
According to her, Late Nneoma Dora Anyanwu championed the establishment of a secondary school in the community in an effort to reduce the stress the children of Emeabiam underwent while trekking to the nearby Eziobodo community to attend school. She also noted that her mother was an advocate of zero tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation in the community.
Dignitaries at the funeral service included Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, representative of Kaduna State governor, Malam El-rufai, members of the Ondo state House of Assembly led the the speaker, Rt. Hon. Oleyelogun, Ondo Chief Judge, members of the State Executive council, among others.
The funeral ceremony witnessed various traditional entertainments by the community women, which was organised by the deceased.