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Published On: Sun, Dec 2nd, 2018

Celebration Galore As Evwreni Indigenes Lay Oldest Man To Rest

Late Pa. Daniel Idekpe Enakpa Ukoko. Okpako Orere of Evwreni Kingdom.


By Young Erhiurhoro
LAGOS DECEMBER 2ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The Mukoro Mowoe Primary School playing field in Evwreni town, Ughelli North LGA of Delta state was recently jam-parked with both indigenes and invited guests as the oldest man of Evwreni Kingdom, late Pa. Daniel Idekpe Enakpa Ukoko aged 124 was peacefully laid to rest in his abode.
The funeral ceremony which was held on Friday 30th, November, 2018 began with a funeral service conducted in his honour at St. John’s Catholic Church, Evwreni. The holy mass which witnessed uncontrolled crowds of people that just wants to catch the glimpse of the service ended with prayers offered by the Catholic priest to both Papa’s children and the family members. According to the biography of late Pa. Idekpe as presented by his eldest son, Mr. John Idekpe, late Pa. Idekpe was born in 1894 during the pre-colonial era in far away Depe, Okitipupa in the then Western Province in the present day Ogun state.
He said Papa was both a businessman and farmer and was also one of the founding members of the St. John’s Catholic Church in his Evwreni community. According to the biography, Pa. Idekpe had served in various capacities as a community leader in Evwreni before he became the oldest man (Okpako Orere) in the entire Evwreni Kingdom. He finally bowed to the call of the Lord in 2018 at the ripe age of 124 years old.
Immediately after the interment which took place in his compound at Uwotie street, Okpawha community, Evwreni Kingdom, a sumptuous reception was put together by the children and families of late Papa for invited guests and the Evwreni community that came to join them for the celebration of a life well spent by their late father at the primary school playing ground.
Speaking to our correspondent during the dancing and eating session of the funeral ceremony, the president general of Evwreni Clan Improvement Union, Chief (Hon.) Victor Ohare said, “Today, the entire Evwreni Kingdom, including the children of our late father are gathered here to celebrate the life and times of the Okpako Orere of Evwreni Kingdom. Without doubt, in Africa and other parts of the world, life expectancy continue to depreciate everyday as a result of health issues and sinful nature of man. According to the United Nations, life expectancy in Africa is now between fifty and seventy years. So when we see such an old man that passes away in such an old age, then we ought to celebrate his peaceful passage with joy and fanfare. We are celebrating our late father because of his wisdom and his historical acumen. Papa was truly a historian with long lasting memories of past events within and outside this kingdom. On behalf of the entire Evwreni Kingdom, we join the children and families of our late father to celebrate his final rites of passage. Thank you.”
Another of Papa’s son, Mr. Ake Idekpe said, “Today we are happy that our late father died at old age. Yes, old age is a free gift from God to those who are pious and have clean hands. The position of the oldest man (Okpako Orere) is not contestable with wealth or traditional influence. It’s determine by age and it’s also a free gift from God to those with clean hands and pure hearts. Papa’s death have taught me to live peacefully with everybody around me. Death is just a calling to a higher sphere of life by God Almighty. As a Christian, I strongly believe that I shall see my late father at the resurrection in the last day as promised by Jehovah. As a Catholic, Papa served God with his heart and made us, his children to serve God in like manner. Papa was generous, kind and loyal to every person even as the oldest man in the community. I want to at this moment thank our royal father, HRM, Eruvwedede 111, the Ovie of Evwreni Kingdom for his countless support to us. I want to also thank the president general of Evwreni Kingdom, Chief (Hon.) Victor Ohare. Even after his financial support, he is still here to give our late father a befitting burial. I thank all my friends and social clubs that are present here with me. I also thank the entire Evwreni community for being there for us. They have really made me proud. May the peaceful soul of our late father rest with Jehovah.” He prayed.
The Reformed Opiri Dance Group of Evwreni and other cultural dance grounds, including live bands, Disco Jokers (DJs) and variety of orators and comedians were on ground entertaining the teeming crowds of people with different dance steps and rib-cracking jokes. Late Pa. Daniel Idekpe Enakpa Ukoko was survived by numerous children, grand children, great grand children, great great grand children and the entire Evwreni community.

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