Six years ago, on Uncle Chiweyite’s 50th year marriage anniversary, this effort was commenced thus:-
TO MY SPECIAL UNCLE, AGUOWULU, and his wife, ESOMUBADIE
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF ROARING IN THE WILDERNESS
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF LOVING AND CARING
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF SEARCHING AND SEARCHING
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF INTEGRITY
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF WORTHINESS
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF TRUSTWORTHINESS
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF EXCELLENCE
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF MENTORSHIP
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF FRUITFULNESS
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF BOLDNESS AND COURAGE
FIFTY GOLDEN YEARS OF FUN AND LAUGHTER
AND NOT A MOMENT OF WASTEFULNESS
NOR OF WICKEDNESS
NOR OF FOOLERY
NOR OF DECEIT
NOR OF WEAKNESS
NOR OF COMPLEXITIES
AND IN THE MIDST OF ALL THESE, REIGNS the splendor of COMPASSION, CANDOR AND DISCIPLINE
MY family and I wish you both the best of everything as never known before, and nothing less than the peace of Christ!
Then you can take the full basket of a 50-carat gold as the crown and a well-deserved gift from God.
ix years later……….today.
As the world got ready to welcome a new Aguowulu, a continuation of the Lion-hearted all-round achiever, the death knell rang. And like him, no time nor space to dilly-dally with death, he bowed benevolently to nature, and accepted the change in the venue and armory of the new contest: LIFE HEREAFTER!
Massive literature exists on the heights this GIANT of this time achieved, in the different fronts of life. Indeed one will need to employ “departmental studies and assessments” to be able to adequately address this INSTITUTION called AGUOWULU. That certainly cannot be the task of a single person. As an academician, he was a GIANT. As an intellectual, he was MERCURIAL. As a traditionalist, he was EXTREMELY CONVINCED, as a human, he was VERY HUMANE. He lived and died, fully CONVINCED AND UNAPOLOGETIC. As a member of the human society, he was HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL. He lived HIS TRUTH. I am sure there will be an avalanche of ably qualified personalities to join the choruses of adulation on the virtues mentioned above, and much more.
For me, he was an uncle very dear, and a powerful father image. He was that UNCLE……His fame arrived long before I met him. Aguowulu was a new name, for he was the darling Uncle Chiweyite unforgettable.
The title, Aguowulu, took something deep out of me. I never connected with that, not quite, because he was so compassionate and emotional. I wasn’t aware that lions and leopards (not even pussy cats of same genre) were into WEEPING. This Aguowulu was full of compassion, and was often caught weeping, when he felt he was treated unfairly by acts of disloyalty and treachery. This was worst when he thought the treachery came from ‘home’, close to home.
AAAAGUOWULU! AAAAGUOWULU!! AAAAGUOWULU!!! His loving sons and daughters will intone, to drive home the emphatic tincture of certainty in his essence. What more joy can come to a man than the adulation from sons and daughters, kit and kin.
But he earned this sobriquet from foes alike, for he was COURAGEOUS, AUDACIOUS, HEALTHY AND STRONG, KNOWLEDGEABLE, OF A SOUND MIND, AND VASTLY STRATEGIC. He was deeply involved with the study and knowledge of CULTURE AND TRADITION, and like a lion, defended it with gusto and guts. AAAGUOWULU!
n his numerous battles of life, against many foes, one of which was his deep-seated desire to UNDERSTAND the relationship between his own HUMANITY AND DIVINITY, Aguowulu excelled in style. His style was HONEST, FORTHRIGHT, COURAGEOUS, DESPERATE, AND CAUTIOUS. He fought gallantly, very gallantly, sure of his steps, every single step……..
But we are here now, on this earth, dependent on oxygen, fluid, food and therapy, the physicalities of a platform from which we peep into the hereafter, wherein AAAAGUOWULU is right now, perhaps awaiting the HIM Whom we must all meet…..we are all agreed on this, whatever you conceive HIM to be.
THIS IS WHY I THINK AGUOWULU WILL WIN THIS BATTLE OF THE MERCY OF GOD
St. John Henry Newman wrote, “A thousand difficulties do not comprise one doubt.” In other words, asking the tough questions when we have difficulties is the right thing to do. It means we are taking the Faith seriously and thinking it through. A difficulty is saying, “How can this be?” A doubt is saying, “This can’t be.” One with a difficulty, questions the Faith. One with a doubt despises the Faith. One who dissents denies the Faith. AGUOWULU had difficulties and doubts with the FAITH, but his life with his wife, a devout Catholic woman, did not habour a dissent or hatred to the faith. On the strength of her witnessing (AGUOWULU ANAHE’JE UKA, MANÜ UKA D Õ N’OBU), I make bold to claim AGUOWULU for Christ, standing on the Word of God in Lamentations 3:22-23 which says
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[a]
(B)his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
(D)great is your faithfulness.
- BAPTISM: He was baptized, and there’s nothing he, or anybody else for that matter, could do about that fact. The graces or benefits of the sacrament of baptism are not dependent on the efforts, or otherwise, of the recipient. On that day, arranged and approved by his legendary father, IGWE OZO EJIKE WA OZONZE WA OZONEVO, whom Aguowulu himself revered intensely and swore by his name till his (Aguowulu’s) death, a baptism did take place leading to the re-birth of CHRISTOPHER CHIWEYITE EJIKE.
Whatever happened thereafter, including and especially in the milliseconds between loss of the power of speech and death (cardiac arrest or cardiac death), is unknown to any living man today. And by my faith, BAPTISM “Incorporates someone into Christ,, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the INDELIBLE spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. … Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated”.
- SINCERITY: Romans 12:9 says
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good”
Aguowulu’s sincerity of purpose was legendary. Such INNOCENCE will weigh heavily in his favour, and at the end, it will boil down to THE MERCY OF GOD.
Again the Word of God says in 1 Timothy 1:5 “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
- FRUITFULNESS: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. – John 15:5. The fruitfulness in the life of Aguowulu is top notch: children, wealth, knowledge, ikwu n’ibe, academic laurels, service to humanity, service to community, and much more. Aguowulu touched the lives of many positively. For this, the MERCY OF GOD will count in his favour.
- FREEDOM: God blessed Aguowulu with freedom of speech! In all his life, he fought for, and obtained a high level of freedom of speech. He was fearless and courageous. This was certainly the grace of God. Aguowulu was not denied freedom of speech, and what a marvel his delivery of this God-given gift. He was blessed. On how he used his freedom of speech, again, the MERCY OF GOD will be favorable to him. Amen.
- LONGEVITY: More than 80 years of unqualified vitality! Surely this is grace!
Psalm 91:16 says, “With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see my salvation”. Aguowulu lived a long fruitful life, and was waxing stronger and stronger, heading for the legendary 90 something years, and had it not been for the pollution of the times…….
The MERCY OF GOD will triumph.
So what really are we saying?
It is good to be honest, sincere and trusting in God.
These are the ideals that the MERCIFUL GOD will put side by side the life and times of our husband, father, grandfather, brother, wa Ozo Ejike, wa Ezeagu, friend, colleague, a man of many parts, a hero of our people, a child of God.
And with the abundance of MERCY, God will welcome him to PARADISE.
AAAGUOWULU! Je nke oma.
May the Divine Mercy of God, JESUS CHRIST, take over, as He did on Calvary, and do with your soul as He had planned for you from the beginning of time.
SIR DR. FERDINANDMARY EJIKE ORJI
OZO UGO AKHL N’IGWE