Not all who observed his commons social life, especially, the jovial part where he often joke and seat out to drink with youths and students, will take it to be normal life as many regarded it as a useless lazy life where an elderly man play with youths as if they are mate. But, that was the part many youths who gathered to pay him their last respect during his burial can’t stop recounting; that was the testimonies of students from across Nigeria higher Institutions’ who gathered during the burial of late Chief Ben Anagboso in his home town in Awgbu, Aguata Orumba LGA of Anambra State. Most of the youth wore T. shirt crested ‘farewell Ijenwata’ (Ijenwata meaning how children or youth walks, in remembrance of his youthful exuberances even during his old age).
It seem like the burial of a youth as bulk of students from Unizik, Oko Poly, Bukky Poly, FUTO and their counterpart from Unical among others gathered. While many are there to mourn with their friend Comr. Ejike Anagboso (widely known as Chief Ezembanabu) who is a unionist and activist from Unical, many others came on their own to bid valediction to the remain of their old friend they drink and joke with whenever they are in Awgbu village. Virtually all the youth around the community has similar testimony about the late Chief Ben.
In his sermon, the officiating priest Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Achuke noted that the burial had affected all the activities in the community that day for both old and young as “nobody was seen in today’s morning mass which is very unusual“. Fr. Achuke said that anyone he ask why he couldn’t make it to the church today will answer him “are you not aware that today is Benu’s burial?” He added that the fathers in the church has the greatest good testimony of the deceased as all of them had to forego their works to attend the burial, he thus urged the people to live such life that even at their departures from planet earth their legacies left behind would attest for itself just like the departed Ben.
Speaking on the forthcoming Anambra state election, Fr Achuke warned the people whose handiwork is to be tearing others posters to desist from such an evil act as it is unethical, uncultured, undemocratic, barbaric and negates Christians’ doctrines. He charged all to participate in the registration and never sale their vote during the election. “As Christians, you must make your community to be good by paying your tax, participating during election and doing other things that aid the betterment of our community” he noted.
Speaking to our correspondent, the first son of the deceased Mr. Ik Anagboso described his late father as his best friend and the most jovial old man he has ever met. According to him “my father is a man of no trouble who lived a simple life. He can’t be okay whenever anybody around him is not okay. He lived for his people and shared the little he had with family and friends” corroborating with this, Mr. Goddy Obinani (an in-law to the family) added that the late chief Ben is “a liberalist, a man of no trouble, he does his things knowing that the world is a passing place. He can even give someone else what he denies himself”. Mr. Goddy advised the children to continue on the good works of their father.
On his own part, the P.A. to the Federation of Igbo Students’ (FIS) President Comr. Onyekachi Onu who represented the president said that he has heard about the deceased so much while alive and will miss the joviality of the man which is amply replicated in his son (Ezembanabu). Comr. Onyekachi noted that the attitude of Ezembanabu in fighting students’ cause has made him stand tall in students’ unionism as shown by the presence of students across the federation. “Ezembanabu has help in sustaining the life of FIS and NUASS Nationwide; he should bury his father and not his father burying him. Let him be console knowing fully well that all iron are going to blacksmith” he summed.
Ejike Anagboso whom Unical students troop en-mass to console while speaking to our correspondent noted that his father aside being a peaceful man loves his children and others children. He added that “my late father achieved all his goals thru us. I wouldn’t forget his advice, how we used to seat together with other students to drink and crack jokes. He is a father I will never have again. Let those who still have father respect and adore him because he has no duplicate, I now know how it feel to lose a father” he said amidst weep.
As for Philips Obumneme Isielu, “I’m here because of my good friend and a core Comrade, Ejike Anagboso. I Know the late father myself; he is an action man, a no nonsense man and outstanding in social life, although, he is a man of policy. When I say he is a social man, I mean every sense of it, you may not understand” he teased. Another female student of Oko Ploy who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the late Ben is truly “a man of the people. I’ve only met with him twice, but the experience is unforgettable. He is such a brilliant man that you will marvel that he is not a graduate. I came on my own to bid him farewell”. The President of National Union of Anambra state students NUASS, Unical Chapter Comr. Ogbuezi Henry who led Unical student, speaking to Campuslife said that “we are not just here to mourn with one of our own but to bid Ijenwata farewell. The late Ben is our man, I can’t forget in haste how good he’s been each time you came to his compound, and he makes you feel at home. May the god Lord console the family members”