Kamsi D’Mode Okonkwo Burial
TEARS, TRIBUTES FLOW AS KAMSI D’MODE OKONKWO GETS A HERO’S FAREWELL
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 was a day of solemn reflection, tributes, and fond memories as family, friends, colleagues, and well-wishers of Kamsi Okonkwo gathered to pay their last respects to the rising leader who recently died at the age of 23.
Kamsi, who until his death, was one of the youth leaders in the Valentine Ozigbo Campaign Organisation, was laid to rest after a series of ceremonies that began with a funeral mass led by Rev Fr Professor BAC Obiefuna alongside 15 other priests at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Nibo.
Kamsi Okonkwo was a student leader and activist who served as the President of the National Association of Political Science Students, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu University Chapter before he graduated from the institution.
Speaking during the sermon, Rev Fr Anthony Attansi described Kamsi’s death as the kind that throws everyone into a state of utter confusion and even makes one question the existence of God.
“It is very easy for us to say that deaths like this prove God’s will for mankind, but I dare to say no, this is not God’s will. It is not the wish of God that we should suffer and die this way,” Fr Anthony said.
“Kamsi’s death is as a result of irresponsibility. Every day, everywhere in Nigeria, people are dying as a result of the horrible death traps on our roads.
He made a passionate plea for better governance and active citizenship and then spoke about the virtues of Kamso, describing him as “a jolly good fellow” and “a man of the people”.
“Kamsi was all shades of humanity while he lived. From testimonies, he was always there for his family and friends at their points of need,” Father Anthony said.
In his address, a visibly devastated Ozigbo described the death of young Kamsi as a loss too painful to bear.
“When I got the news of Kamsi’s accident on the evening of April 6, I prayed and hoped that it ends at just at the accident, with at most few injuries,” the respected business leader said.
“I came to terms with the fact that death was a part of life when I lost my eldest brother in the Sosoliso plane crash of 2005,” he said.
“Since last week, when this tragic accident happened, I have tried asking God why Kamsi, but then, God owns all of us and can call us home at any time. What’s important is how well we spend the time God has given us.
Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, eulogised the late Kamsi Okonkwo, saying that the deceased was mature beyond his years and was always cheerful.
Mr Ozigbo also expressed his deepest condolences to the entire Okonkwo family, urging everyone to take heart and bear Kamsi’s loss with hope in the resurrection.
Mr Valentine Ozigbo prayed that God should give the family and friends the fortitude to bear the painful loss and grant Kamsi an eternal repose in his kingdom.
The ceremony was graced by several dignitaries, including Sir Willie Nwokoye, the Principal Secretary to the Governor of Anambra State; Hon Ebele Ejiofor, the Deputy Minority Leader of the Anambra State House of Assembly and two House of Assembly aspirants in the 2019 elections, Hon. Prestige Okafor and Hon. Moses Anene.
Ozigbo was accompanied by several directors of his campaign organisation, including Rt. Hon. Eucharia Azodo, a former Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly and a two-time member of the Federal House of Representatives; Hon. Tim Egboka, a former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly; and Chief Tony Offiah, a stakeholder in Anambra PDP.
Others are Chief Ejike Oguebego, a former chairman of the PDP in Anambra State; Dame Love Ebeh, a former woman leader of the PDP in Anambra State; Chief Ikechukwu Akaeze, a former PDP Chairman in Dunukofia LGA; Sir Izuchukwu Oraelosi, the General Manager of the VCO Foundation; Chief Damian Nwafor; Mrs Amaka Tamuno; Casmir Ilechukwu; and Perry Ozobia.
Also present were Comrade Innocent Ugwo, the VCO Youth Movement leader; Mrs Oby Mezi, the woman leader of the VCO Youth Movement; and several members of the VCO Youth Movement and VCO Youth Media Team.
The well-attended event was witnessed by hundreds of students, colleagues, ex-classmates, and church members who came to sympathise with the Okonkwos.
Valentine Ozigbo’s Moving Tribute to Late Youth Leader, Kamsi Okonkwo
Dear Kamsi ,
Today is another day of sadness and grief for your parents, your family, your friends, and for my wife, my children, and me.
We paid our respects to you and committed your remains to Mother Earth amidst tears, anger, and regret. This morning, I asked for a sign from God to tell me you are with Him and that you are at peace. He gave me more than I asked for.
Despite the anguish of losing you so tragically at such a young age, I could sense hope in all the people I met at your parents’ home. Though we are all mourning, we have faith in God and are comforted by the scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14.
I saw so many of your friends, young and full of life just like you were, as they pledged to be sons to your mother today. In every one of them, I could see that spirit of service that you demonstrated in the few months that we were privileged to meet you.
Then, there was this inexplicable peace. Often when young people die tragically, their funerals reflect the trauma, confusion, and anger the community feels about their death. But yours was different. The atmosphere had a certain calm, there was a kinship amid our mourning, the feeling of connectedness and community pervaded Nibo. We were all united behind your memory.
So I asked for a sign, and God gave me three. I saw and felt the three things I remember you for – hope, peace, and service, and as I left your home this evening, the realisation that your gentle spirit was here with us today.
Kamsi, I know you are not dead. You have only returned to God, the Divine Source from where you came. The outpouring of grief and testimonies from your friends and family shows that you touched many lives positively. I am grateful that for the brief period you were with us, you left only good memories.
We are all certainly going to miss you. I am comforted because I know you are with the Father, at home, and at peace.
We love you, Kamsi, and we will take care of your mum.
Yours truly ,