‘The Last Man Standing’, Pa James Eda Takes The Final Bow At 101

Pa James Eda’s last born child and easily his pet, Dr. Mrs. Bawo Oritsegbubemi Adebowale holds his photo like a memorable song.

The Oasis Reporters

January 20, 2017

But no doubt, the legacy of the lineage lives on. 

The gallant man who was a “considerable adviser, indescribable father and great gift from God” to Mrs Abinoyor Oyibu was committed to mother earth on Saturday 26th of November, 2016 after a funeral service at Christ African Church, 5 Odion Road, Warri, Delta State of Nigeria, and the crew of The Oasis Reporters was there to cover the event and the reception at Hussey College grounds, in Warri.

 

 

Pa James Anomuogharan Eda, alias Agbamu Udugbeghele was a towering colossus of a legend who was born in 1915, at Urhuovie Abraka to Eda Dottie Ugbomo Uwangue of Jakpa town and Mrs Izokor Jessa of Urhuovie  Abraka. His father was a successful merchant, community leader and counsellor, born into the Ugbomo – Uwangue dynasty of Jakpa and Alaigbo of Omadino community.

 

James Eda had his early life in Abraka while attending the Roman Catholic Mission school in Oria Abraka where he obtained the Standard Six school certificate which guaranteed him employment at the United African Company (UAC) in Burutu, a coastal town in which he received training in Marine Engineering.

 

During the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, he relocated from Burutu to Warri and subsequently commenced private business as a building contractor and transporter, providing services mainly to Shell Petroleum Development Company in Warri and the defunct Bendel State government, retiring in 1990 to face community service. 

 

Pa James was very active in some voluntary service organizations and the church. As a long standing and distinguished member of the Christ African Church where he served as Church secretary and also received the Primartial honour.

 

In 1963, he was one of the pioneer founders of the Ugbomo Descendants Union in Warri, where he rose to become the President General in 1986 when late Chief Bennard Otuedon Okome became the Uwangue of Warri Kingdom. He remained President General until his death in 2016.

He was also the head of the Esegbe family of Urhuovie Abraka and past chairman of Warri Progressive Society, a.k.a. “Otonloye”.

 

Pa James was a man of impeccable integrity, self discipline, with deep encyclopedic memory and a large accommodating heart. He was a rallying point for his family members.

 

He had three wives (all late) , Friday, Dora and Apima.

 

His children :

 

Mrs. Abinoyo Oyibu

Mrs. Helen Osah

Prof. Robert Emiko

Mrs. Roli Ogbon

Mrs. Ewetanarami Enaohwo

Mr. Samuel Emiko Eda

Ms. Ebisan Eda

Mr. Charles Eyituoyo Eda

Mr. Festus Eda (late)

Mr. Richard Eda (late)

Mr. Albert Omasan Eteh Eda

Mr. Felix Eda

Miss Omawu Eda (late)

Dr. Mrs. Bawo Oritshegbubemi Adebowale.

Several inlaws, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

 

Roli Ogbon saw in her father, “a wonderful and unifying counsellor”.

 

When you hear ‘osa to bogho osa. Udugbe ele oo’, know that Ewetanarami Eda Enaohwo is greeting her adviser, friend, encourager and mentor to smile.

Therefore saying goodbye to her father is a hard thing to do.

 

Ebisan Eda counts her blessings for the privilege of having Pa James as her father.

 

“He is alive” in the memory of his son, Charles Eda, a Quantity Surveyor whose numerous imprint dot some remarkable government construction projects in northern Nigeria.

He looks at the quantity of love between father and son and says, it can’t be surveyed sufficiently.

His father is the “mustard seed that provided the wide shade for all, and concludes, “my father was sagacious, intensely practical, organized and people oriented as a leader par excellence who lived an exemplary life “.

 

Felix Oritshegbubemi Eda saw his father’s transition as in seasons, for “there is a time to be born and a time to die”.

 

To Dr. Mrs Bawo Oritshegbubemi Adebowale, words are just not enough to express the depth of love her heart can conceive for her father.

She would rather do it in singing Itsekiri spiritual hymns,

 

” Arantuntun Ni Eye Ere We, Isangi Jisos gin Arantuntun”.

 

“Oto ren, uja eye ra tan; Jisos kpe ene r’ iron Arantuntun “.

 

The Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Chief Monday Igbuya took time out to honor Pa James, who “lived a wonderful life full of glory to God”.

 

 

And the Managing director of Geedas Catering Services in Lagos, Princess Gladys Eda, wife to Charles, blesses God the day she came into “Pa’s life, 25 years ago as a daughter – in -law” and was amazed at Pa James’ level of intellect, generosity, honour, wisdom, knowledge and integrity.

“A grammarian for that matter, with a beautiful handwriting”, she concludes.

Then Pa loved her cooking skills!

That was an encouragement for her to launch big into baking and catering services for occasions on appointment.

 

Mrs Grace Okumagba would rather sing

 

“osa to bogho osa

Osa mi;

Sweet, my papa sweet

Sweet, sweet, sweet

My papa sweet”.

 

Pa James called his daughter – in – law, ‘Oghare – emo’, and Anthonia Emiko Eda would get emotional, wishing Pa James were her biological father. Time was not enough “to pack an entire life time of love”. But Pa James would be remembered for always.

 

 

Oritsetsemaye Emiko Eda always enjoyed being with her grandfather, whose “exclamations were constantly reminding her of her father”.

Her grandfather was “larger than life”.

 

The painful shock to Rita Eda was that her father-in-law gave no warning before departure. She couldn’t cook Papa’s delicacies of ‘gbagbafofo’ and ‘ukodo’ for ‘Adviser’ and darling father – in-law.

 

His step children say their tribute cannot speak audibly about all that is in their heart.

“Papa was a truly decent, tolerable and kind man “, who loved them unconditionally and was always there in good times and bad times for them.

Those were the words of Daniel, Julie, Philo, Segbu, Odidi, Bridget, Jane and Kevwe.

Pa James loved them like his own biological children.

 

Every single visit to Warri for David Oritseseundede Eda was an “experience” and grandpa made it so for him with his words of wisdom and his recall of dates and events, especially his birthday.

 

“A grandfather is someone you can look up to no matter how tall you grow “, Ogheneenyore Owen Enaohwo pays tribute to his grandfather.

 

” I love you, sleep well, grandpapa “, says Praise Igini.

 

Temi Brume – Bekibele lost “an exceptional individual” when her grandfather died. She was abundantly blessed to have lived with him and she felt she had

“lost a friend” when Pa James passed on.

 

“Thanks for all your love ” and Franca Ogoru has got what Pa was always praying for in her.

Unfortunately she can’t share the testimony with him since he’s gone.

 

Eta Eda appreciates his father for his “exceptional humility”.

 

Mr. Onome Amogbokpa will never forget Pa James’ legacy of sincerity, truthfulness, fear of God, love and unity.

 

Tayo Adebowale, husband to Papa’s last born girl, Dr. Bawo quickly moved from being

”Tayo my law” (my son – in- law) to “Tayo my son”, because he persevered from the intercepted phone calls on the analogue  phone line to his then girlfriend, now his wife, maturing into his new relationship with a Father – in – law.

“The glory of your testament speaks ” he says about Pa James. ” O dojo arinnako, o d’ oju ala. Papa Eda, baba daradara, sun re o”, Tayo prays in yoruba.

 

To Ogoru Emmanuel, the Dugbele 1 of Africa, Pa James is “Gone But Unforgettable”.

 

More grandchildren like Rhima, Tracy Efe (Mrs),, Toritseju Tshayegbe – Sifo (Mrs.) and Oke Oyibu all poured in their tributes.

 

“The expression of lament and encomium which greeted the news of the death of Pa James is indicative of the high esteem in which he was held”, and the “candle burned so fast without the wind”, eulogized Comr. and Mrs. Elvis Bemigho Omatseye (JP) in their tribute.

 

Sir S. O. Adollo KSC, Chairman of Ugbomo Descendants Union and MDM Olumewo Dottie, the secretary, both appreciated the “life” in the years of Pa James.

 

The “amiable” Pa James was a man of “manifold values”, according to his brother  Elder and Mrs. Benson Esi Edema.

 

“The last of the first generation of Eda dynasty, is gone “, Napoleon Y. Eda laments the passage of the man who taught him “the music of life” by raising him because he lost his father when he was four months old.

 

The Olukpe /Mene dynasty pay tribute to their “indefatigable uncle and with gratitude to God, they realize that “every story has a beginning and an end” ; “and every life must die”.

 

The Dottie family of Jakpa town cannot question God, but thank him for a life well spent.

 

Sir Emmanuel Ejewino, on behalf of Ugbomo Uwangue Descendants, Sapele branch called Pa James Eda a “great achiever” who worked hard to unite the family.

 

At the church service was no less a distinguished personality than the former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. This signifies the level of esteem Pa James was held in the Itsekiri ethnic nation.

 

Mr. Charles Eda in the Church service singing Itsekiri spirituals with other siblings.
Some of the grandchildren singing at the service. From right is David Eda, to whom Grandpa made every visit, “an experience”.
The former Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) chairman, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor had to make time out to attend the funeral service, in honor of a veritable elder of both the Itsekiri nation and the Urhobo clan of Urhuovie Abraka.
Elderly Itsekiri choristers take their turn to sing in the native dialect, their special hymns to bid Pa James Eda a peaceful rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Choristers lead the clergy out after the service.
‘Pa James Eda, the good man has traveled’ a proud daughter, Dr. Bawo Oritsegbubemi Adebowale  holds aloft his photo in a photo shoot with her husband’s family.
Various traditional dance troops of both Itsekiri and Urhobo nations thronged the reception venue at Hussey College playground to display breathtaking dance steps in honor of the Exit of a Patriarch, Pa James Eda.
‘Welcome, honourable guests’, the family goes round to make dignitaries feel appreciated.
Princess Gladys Eda, wife of Charles, welcoming guests. Pa James Eda appreciated her cooking skills and would laugh heartily at her jokes, even when they weren’t too hilarious.
Seated in various canopies are family and their numerous guests.

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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