altAmidst pomp and pageantry in celebration of a life well spent, a great community leader, an achiever, and a devoted father and motivator, late Pa Macaulay Ukoromo Eriomala Mujakperuo, was on Saturday, 2nd November, 2013, laid to rest in his hometown, Opuraja, in Okpe Local Area of Delta State, Nigeria.

The large crowd of family relations, friends, and well wishers from different parts of the country made the occasion such a befitting celebration of life of a man who, in his lifetime, positively affected so many lives in many ways.

Aged 90, Pa Macaulay Eriomala was the father of the Director, Lagos Liaison Office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr. Louis Eriomala; and it was not surprised that staffers from NICO were in attendance in their numbers.

Born into the Orhue Royal Family, one of the four ruling royal houses in Okpe Kingdom, the elder Eriomala Majekperuo achieved greatness through his personal and determined pursuit of modern education, service to humanity, and professional accomplishments in the organised private sector.

At various times in his professional career, as accountant, Pa Eriomala worked with CFAO, Sapele in Delta State, Sterling Esterdin in Lagos, Panalpina Shipping Line in Lagos and later Warri, Delta State, Nigeria; he rose to become the Financial Director, Triana Shipping Line in Lagos and was later transferred to Warri, where he retired from service but not from community service.

Pa Eriomala went on to serve in the Delta State Judiciary for 12 years, first as a member of Sapele Customary Court, later in Amukpe Customary Court, and finally as President in the Adeje Customary Court.

With his wealth of experience, education and deep knowledge of Okpe customs and traditions, Pa Eriomala was a living encyclopaedia of some sort and a valued cultural icon to Opuraja sons and daughters; and he was a mentor fondly revered by the Opuraja community of Mereje district in Okpe Kingdom for his robust exposure to modern enlightenment.

Former Honourable Minister of Information and Culture and renowned Professor of Political Science, Chief Sam Egite Oyovbaire, in his eulogy of this great Nigerian, described late Pa Eriomala as, “a torchlight of goodness… imbued with foresight and knowledge of modernity.”

Many other tributes acknowledging Pa Eriomala’s kindness and fond memories were rendered by his children, in-laws, and kinsmen at an occasion in which Gospel music, traditional African music and dance, food and daltrinks were not in short supply; and neither were the retinue of guests gathered under the array of white canopies to capture and relish the occasion.

Staffers of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) from Abuja, Akure, Yenagoa and Lagos present at the occasion to commiserate with the bereaved Director included the Head, Research Unit, NICO Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Michael Ekoko, Head, NICO South-South Zone, Mr. James Imohiosen, Lecturer, NICO Training School, Barr. Clifford Atakere, Head, Admin, NICO Liaison Office, Lagos, Ms. Overa Okparavero, and Head, Admin, NICO South-South Zone, Mr. Ebi Asene, among others.

Anthony Okafor                                         
Corporate Affairs Unit                                               
NICO, Lagos