By Chim Ogwutum
A Christian cleric once said that death is the narrow gate everyone will pass through to meet God. Though a natural phenomenon, death of the young evokes pains, sorrow and tears but death a ripe age is termed glorious and thus, celebrated. So, it was on Saturday, September4, 2021, at Okerewa Community in Aleto, Eleme Kingdom, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, as innumerable persons from all walks of life, including traditional rulers, chiefs, elders, politicians as well as in-laws gathered to celebrate the heavenly call of Late Mama Violet Aaron Nwokenta, mother of Her Majesty, Emereowah, Mrs. Evelyn Ada-Gokpa, Owe Eta Aleto-Nchia-Eleme III, the Queen Mother of Eleme, Kingdom who gloriously took her exit at a very ripe age of 111 years.
The centenarian began her home journey from Kpamos Mortuary at Ebubu, Eleme to her father’s family compound at Adama Community in Ogale, where her corpse was received by the head of the family, Emere Nnanta Ebekwua and other chiefs and elders. Emere Ebekwua who, is also the chief of the Community, expressed happiness receiving the corpse of his cousin sister, who he said was the elder sister to his father.
“The woman is pure, great and lived a fulfilled life worthy of note. I am very proud of her and wish her a safe journey to heaven”, he said, and prayed God Almighty to grant her gentle soul a peaceful rest in His bosom.
The remains of the matriarch of Okerewa Community finally arrived her husband’s compound at exactly 11:35am, and was received by the family head, Chief Mgbigbi Osilaechuu, and some elders.
Chief Osilaechuu, the paramount ruler of Okerewa Community in Aleto, described Madam Violet Aaron Nwokenta as a very simple, loyal, humble, and great mother to all.
“She is the oldest woman in the Community. She deserves the best honour from us. We are not mourning her glorious exit, rather we are rejoicing because it is not easy to get to such age”, he said, adding, “We wish her a glorious journey to heaven”.
She was laid in state briefly before being taken to the Church of the Holy Spirit, Anglican Communion, Aleto Parish for her funeral service. The only bible lesson taken from 2nd Corinthians 4:7-18, was read by one of her granddaughters, Mary Kenneth Nwogu while her biography was read by one of her grandsons, Mr. Jima Denj Gokpa.
Delivering his sermon, Vicar of the Church, Rev Canon Godfrey Okechukwu Onochie in partnership with other ministers, taking his texts from Revelation 14:13; Romans 8:33; and Romans 5:11, noted that through one man death came into the world and through one man, death was removed. He urged the congregation to always take interest in the things of the Lord.
Rev Canon Onochie admonished people against struggling too much over things of the world, as prosperity comes through Jesus, as he urged all to believe and hold onto God strongly.
“The Church is the body of Christ. Allow your time and resources to give God glory”, he advised.
Onochie recalled that Late Madam Violet Aaron Nwokenta held onto God and died gloriously at a very ripe age of 111 years, describing her as MAMA ALETO, and a virtuous woman that lived a worthy Christian life all through.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after, only daughter of the Late Mama Nwokenta, Her Majesty, Emereowah, Mrs. Evelyn Ada-Gokpa, Owe Eta Aleto-Nchia-Eleme III, the Queen Mother of Eleme Kingdom, said she feels so happy that her mother lived up to 111 years on earth before her demise, adding that it was not easy, but God’s kind favour upon her life.
“I am the only daughter of my parents but my mother later married another woman for my father and she bore him a son,” she explained.
The Eleme Queen Mother described her mother thus: “My mother was a very vibrant woman, so humble, faithful, very hard working and a well-known farmer in the community. With her farm produce she sold to support the family.
“She was God fearing, and a devoted Christian of the Anglican Communion, who worshiped her God in truth and spirit, and was the women leader in the church for many years”.
According to her, the mother inspired and thought her so many things that made her unique in life including going to church, how to marry her husband and how to take care of her children and she was always praising God.
“My mother could not do anything without singing praises and worshipping God. She had always advised me to stick to Anglican Church, and hold on strongly to God as He is the ultimate”.
She stressed that at 111 years of age, her mother lived a very fulfilled life worthy of emulation and that the legacy she left behind will be sustained. “My humble supplication is that God Almighty should prepare a better place for her in His bosom, also grant me the grace of longevity, just like He did for my mother”.
Former president-general of Eleme Youth Council, who is the chief security officer (CSO), Eleme LGA, and a grandson of the deceased, Prince Brain Emere Gokpa expressed elation and fulfilment that his grandmother lived to the very ripe glorious age which is not easy in today’s modern world.
“I know my grandmother very well; since I was born she had been so good, loving and caring for me and all in the family. She is a great woman who devoted her time serving God very well and embraced everybody as her own. I am really very proud of her”, Prince Emere Gokpa stated.
He said that now that the woman is no more, he will miss her kind grandmotherly care, and wished her a perfect and peaceful rest in the arms of the Lord Almighty.
Her Majesty, family, relatives and friends at the church service
Emereowah, Mrs. Evelyn Ada-Gokpa, Owe Eta Aleto-Nchia-Eleme III, the Queen Mother of Eleme, Kingdom
Family members Family members