Posted by News Express | 23 March 2017 | 3,247 times
When on the 9th of January 2017, Mr. Chidi Odor (one of my loyalists) informed me that Mr Ejike Ogbonna, another loyalist, had lost his amiable wife, Mrs. Constance Ogbonna, to the cold hands of death, I refused to believe the news until I put a call across to Ejike who tearfully and painfully confirmed the sad news to me.
I broke down and wept. Not because death would not come to all mortals, but because we have lost a woman of substance who was of immense assistance to her husband, children, community and place of work.
Most painful is the fact that Constance died at the age of 39. Nevertheless, we have to take solace in the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said: “In the end, it is not the years in your life that count, rather it is the life in your years.”
Considering the above to be true, the question now is: What were the ingredients that actually made Mrs. Ogbonna’s short sojourn here on earth to count, such that people who knew her have continued to shed uncontrollable tears? But it was Thornton Wilder who said: “The highest tribute to the dead is not grief, but gratitude.” Therefore, a brief profile of Constance Ogbonna would be necessary and to show she lived an exemplary life worthy of commendation.
Mrs Ogbonna (nee Okoro) was born in 1978 in Kano State, to Mr and Mrs Virginus Okoro of Ogbor-Ugiri in Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo State. She attended primary and secondary schools in Makurdi, Benue State, before enrolling at the famous Our Saviour’s Institute of Agriculture and Technology (OSISATECH) in Enugu State, where she bagged her National Diploma in Mass Communication in the 90’s. Not satisfied with an OND, Constance later obtained her Higher National Diploma (HND) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism, Owerri, Imo State in 2010.
She met and married Mr Ejike Ogbonna of Owerri Municipal Council in 2008, while their church wedding was in 2009. Together they had three bouncing boys, namely: Destiny Ogbonna, Goodluck Ogbonna and Akachukwu Ogbonna.
Her marriage to Mr Ogbonna came with its challenges, just like every other young family. Her husband, a trained journalist ran into troubled waters, but Almighty God remained on the throne. The late Constance showed the virtuous woman in her by engaging in the trading of various items like wrappers, shoes, perfumes, necklaces, and provision store business, etc, all in the bid to sustain her young family. She was, indeed, the pillar of her family. Although her husband later recovered from the challenges that faced him, late Constance continued with her trading business. She combined all these with her job as a top civil servant in the Imo State Local Government Civil Service. She worked at Isiala Mbano LGA, as Higher Executive Officer (HEO) till her sudden demise.
Her husband, Ejike, who was my accredited correspondent at the Imo State House of Assembly, in the popular African Herald Newspaper, later became the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of First Citizens Newspaper in Owerri, Imo State, through the support of his wife, Constance.
She was also a devout born again Christian who served God and humanity with all her mind, soul and body. She equally served her community, Umuonyeche village in Owerri Municipal. She was loved by all, especially her husband’s siblings, who saw her as the pillar of the house.
Constance was humility personified. She was, indeed, a humble wife, a caring woman, and a loving mother who taught her children the loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ. That she would be missed by all is an understatement. Constance Ogbonna is already being missed by all. Few days ago, I visited her family to find out how they were preparing for the burial. I wept when I met her husband (Ejike) preparing the children for school. Ejike was dressing the two little older boys, while at the same time cuddling the youngest (an eight-month old baby boy) and pleading with him not to cry again. Later, Ejike dashed to the kitchen to prepare food for the
boys. After that, he spoon-fed the boys in my presence. Honestly, I pitied Ejike on his newly-imposed responsibilities. Such is, indeed, life with its challenges.
The truth is that the death of Mrs Ogbonna is a great pain not only to the Ejike Ogbonna’s family but to humanity. As her remains will be interred on Friday 31st of March 2017, we pray that her humble soul will rest in the bosom of Almighty God.
To the family of Mr Ejike Ogbonna, I urge them to take heart. Ndo nu. Especially, to the children I say Ndo nu. To the human race, I say Ndo nu, for we have indeed lost an irreplaceable and unforgettable woman of substance.
May the soul of Mrs Constance Ejike-Ogbonna surely rest in peace, in Jesus mighty name, I pray. Amen.
•Citizen (Dr) Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha, FCAI, MKDA, was former Senior Special Assistant on Media Immediate past Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Imo State House of Assembly Owerri.
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