…Ahizechukwu Azodo served Church, Society with Dedication – Bishop Okpaleke, Fr. Nwankwo
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Eulogies filled the air from October 4-6, 2018, during the burial and funeral ceremonies of the President of Church Warders Association of St Vincent’s Parish, Amesi, Aguata L.G.A, Anambra State, late Nze Ahize Eliseus Azodo, who died in active service at a blessed age of 96 years.
Late Ahizechukwu Azodo, who died on August 14, 2018, and was buried on October 5, 2018, at his compound, Q]x]akx, Amuwo Village of Amesi, was the patriarch of Azodo Family and the community.
Leading in the concelebrated burial Mass at St Vincent’s Catholic Church, Amesi, the former Catholic Bishop of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke, in his homily, eulogised the deceased, who was the longest serving church warder and the founder of Mgbadike Cultural Troupe, for putting his God-given talents into good use.
The Amesi-born Catholic bishop said he knew the late Ahize Azodo from his (Bishop’s) childhood as a church warder and as an individual, who had the talents to, with drums, talk to and control the spirits. He enjoined all to, like the deceased, put their God-given talents into use for the good of the people, the Church and the society.
He thanked God for the exemplary life of faith as well as dedication and service to God and humanity, spent by the late patriarch, who though was baptized as an adult at the age of 33 in 1955, was an ardent and devoted Catholic.
The bishop commended the bereaved wife and children of the deceased for taking good care of their late husband and father, who managed his health challenge very well up to 96 years old. This was even as he enjoined the children to uphold the legacy their late father left behind and be his worthy successors through taking up hospitality services in their various domicile parishes, and the home parish.
He prayed God to accept the sacrifices offered by the late Ahize Eliseus Azodo, and grant him eternal rest in his kingdom.
Bishop Okpaleke, who further based his reflections on the book of Deuteronomy chapter 30: 19; 13 from verse 1, exhorted all against neo-paganism. He advised Christians to, like Joshua in the Book of Joshua 24: 25, make firm decision against neo-paganism and all manner of fetish activities, and instead chose to serve God.
Earlier during the concelebrated vigil Mass that was led by the Manager of Monsignor Maduka Memorial Secondary School, Ekwulobia, Rev. Fr. Maximus Okonkwo at the deceased’s compound on October 4, the parish priest of St Vincent’s Parish, Amesi, Rev Fr. Jude Nwankwo, described late Azodo as a committed Catholic, who distinguished himself in service to the Church and humanity.
Late Nze Ahize Azodo was among the first generation of Catholics in Amesi. He was an active member of Catholic Men’s Organisation (C.M.O), Catholic Laity Council and Altar Knights Association as well as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Building Committee of St Vincent’s Catholic Church.
A renowned community leader and a caring father, the patriarch was also the founding member of the Famous Mgbadike Masquerade (Ojiqnx Cultural Dance), Amesi and a living encyclopedia in cultural and traditional matters.
He was survived by his wife Mrs. Felicia Azodo, 10 children- 7 males, who are Christopher Azodo, Romanus Azodo, Agochukwu Azodo, Dennis Azodo, Senan Azodo, Augustus Azodo and Peter Azodo, and 3 females- Mrs. Fidelia Mbakosi, Mrs. Sophina Agazie and Mrs. Jacinta Enwere; 2 sisters- Ezinne Veronica Ezenyilimba and Mrs. Virginia Ezeobi and 35 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren.