Pa Odjoji laid to rest
By Jon Egie
The celebration of the life of the late centurian began with a service of songs in his compound in Oteri-Ughelli on Thursday, Nov,10 and was followed by a funeral service held in his honour at the St Peters Anglican church, Oteri-Ughelli on Friday, Nov,11.
In a homily delivered during the funeral service, Ven R.Y.O Ayadju described the funeral service as ecumenical and taking his message text from the bible book of Psalm 90:12 the cleric said the congregation was gathered to celebrate the life of a man that was full of many angles.
He made emphasis on the funeral date, 11-11-11, saying the date was a day of perfection.
He said because human beings hardly remember God when they prosper and all go well with them, the biblical king David was inspired to write the song contained in the quoted text.
Citing the biography of the late Olorogun James Odjoji who was described as hard working even at old age, the cleric berated the attitude of youths in the Niger Delta towards work and lamented their resort to kidnapping and other crimes just to make money.
Ven Ayadju recalled the encounter he had with the late Pa Odjoji during which the centurian decided to become a Christian.
He said the old man met him in his office and requested to be shown a way to be converted to Christianity since according to him, “I have carried the wine and the water and I know the difference”
The cleric said the day he announced that Pa Odjoji was to be baptized, the men, women folk and youths of Oteri community jubilated and subsequently, the late Pa Odjoji was baptized at the age of 109 years.
At the time of his baptism, the cleric said Pa Odjoji owned no idol to be burnt and therefore challenged chiefs in Ughelli kingdom who were yet to repent to take a cue from the life of late Pa Odjoji.
He charged the children of late James Odjoji to absolutely surrender their lives to God as heaven will not forgive anyone of them who fails to do so at least to uphold the integrity he (Pa Odjoji ) maintained .
For the parishioners of St Peter Anglican church Oteri-Ughelli, the cleric charged them to maintain the tempo and build on where the centurian left the church.
He told politicians to realize that God is watching them and if they do not rule the people with fear, there will be consequence.
The body of the late Olorogun James Odjoji which was received into the church at 1159 am was commended to God at 1250 pm by the Ven R.Y.O Ayadju who in the commendation benediction said: ‘our brother in Christ, go forth upon your journey in the name of God the Father who created you; in the name of Christ who suffered for you; in the name of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies you; and may you rest in peace and your dwelling be in the paradise of the people of God”.
The body was then taken to his compound in Oteri-Ughelli where it was interred at 220pm.
Later, the burial ceremony progressed with the entertainment of guests at the Itive primary school playground which became filled to capacity with the Oteri-Ughelli community witnessing an overflow of persons that surpassed any festival in record.