Ngozi my daughter, the one who answered me whenever I called on her; the only child that gave me whatever I wanted. Ngozi, go in peace. Give her eternal rest o God and let Your perpetual light shine on her and let her soul rest in peace. Amen
Ten months ago, it was her wedding at the Knot Centre, Yaba, Lagos mainland. She returned to the area yesterday in her immaculate wedding gown, but not as a bride. It was Mrs. Ngozi Agbo’s burial.
Mrs. Agbo, co-ordinator of the high-flying Campus Life in the Education Section of this newspaper, died at childbirth on May 28.
Her remains were buried yesterday at the Atan Cemetery.
It was a grim but necessary ceremony.
Today, the late Mrs. Agbo would have celebrated her 38th birthday, cuddling her baby boy, Chima (God Knows).
As if aware of the gem that was lost, the heavens opened up, and the rains came pouring, but the large gathering of mourners was not bothered.
Her mother, Madam Nwozor, who was preparing for Omugwo (the nursing of a newborn by a mother or mother-in-law) before the sad news, struggled to stay strong, as she approached the white casket containing her daughter’s body.
When she arrived in a Honda salon car as it rained, the deceased’s spiritual mother, Pastor Iphy Okonkwo, instructed the driver not to stop at the hall where the remains were laid-in-state, but the elderly woman insisted she would disembark from the vehicle.
The driver was forced to stop as she made to open the door. An umbrella was presented to her, but she was not interested.
On getting closer, she spread her arms to embrace the coffin. She held the casket and wailed.
She was still crying when the casket was opened. She then lay over the body and prayed in a strong, clear voice for the repose of her daughter.
Speaking in Igbo, she said: “Ngozi Nwam na-azam mgbem kporo ya, nwam na enyem ihe obulam nchoro, Ngozi nwam, jee nke oma oh. Nye ya ezumike ebigebi; O, Di Nwelum; ka ife nkegi di ebebe chakwasa ya; Ka mkpuru obi ya zuru ike na ndokwa. (Ngozi my daughter, the one who answered me whenever I called on her; the only child that gave me whatever I wanted. Ngozi, go in peace. Give her eternal rest o God and let Your perpetual light shine on her and let her soul rest in peace. Amen).
The widower, Mr Agbo Agbo, broke down in tears and sobbed at the reality of the loss of his dear wife of less than one year.
Even in death, Mrs Agbo looked as elegant as she was when alive. Laid in a white coffin, the body wore the wedding gown she proudly wore on the happiest day of her life.
Colleagues, friends, relatives and students from across the country gathered to mourn the departure of a gem.
Students she mentored and campus journalists, from the University of Calabar came in a big bus. Others came from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and nearby institutions.
Bishop Humphrey Erumaka, in a short sermon before the interment, read from Romans 8:35-39. The verse: “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth shall separate us from the love of God.”
The cleric said the late Mrs. Agbo did not die because God did not love her.
He said: “No; the love of God is perfect. God loves her and has decided it is time for her to come be with him.
“If you claim you know her and you do not know the Christ she knew, then you did not know her. Today, let us awaken our consciousness.”
Bishop Erumaka reminded all that a day will come when “we shall be no more.”
Using the analogy of the Jews in the Bible, whose prophesies came to pass, he said: “All that are happening today are signs of the end times.”
Culled: The Nation