DANIEL OKELEKE ODIAKA (1938-2022): EXIT OF AN INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITY LEADER
By Anthony Awunor
The remains of late Daniel Okeleke Odiaka popularly known as Ekecha will be buried at Ubulu-Uku on Friday, 31st March, 2023.
Mr Odiaka self-made entrepreneur, civil servant par excellence, community leader, renowned patriot and a stounch Anglican passed on to glory on the 13th November, 2022. He was 84.
According to the family, Service of Songs will take place on Thursday, 30th March, 2023 by 5:00pm at his residence in Onicha Okpe quarters, Ubulu Uku in Anioma South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Funeral service will take place on Friday, 31st March, 2023 by 11:00am at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Ubulu-Uku. Interment follows closely at his Onicha Okpe residence while entertainment of guests will be held at Ubulu-Uku Primary School, Ubulu-Uku same day.
Traditional burial rites will continue on Saturday, 1st April, 2023 and the burial ceremony will be wrapped up on Sunday 2nd April, 2023 with a Thanksgiving Mass at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Ubulu-Uku by 9:00am.
… A Life Well Lived
A peep into late Daniel Okeleke Odiaka biography mirrors a life well lived. He was born on 27th April 1938 in Idumu-Olise, Onicha-Uku Quarters, Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State to the family of late Anikor Odiaka and late Madam Awutu Beatrice Odiaka (Nee Nwabude of Onicha-Okpe quarters Ubulu-Uku.
As expected he lived and grew up with his parents but at a very tender age lost his father and circumstances beyond his control made his mother to relocate to his material home which is Onicha-Okpe quarter in Ubulu-Uku. In his youthful age at her maternal place, young Daniel enrolled in CMS Primary School now known as Ubulu Primary School where he obtained first leaving certificate (standard six) as it was known then. After the elementary school his quest to improve himself educationally made him write and passed entrance examination into the then famous St. Finbarrs College Akoka in Lagos and CMS grammar school also in Lagos. As fate would have it and due to lack of sponsorship, he could not pursue his dream of going to college. This did not deter him in pursuing his life goals.
He started his career in the then Mid-Western Region Ministry of Justice as a court messenger but later joined the Ministry of Agriculture where he worked for several years before transferring his service to Aniocha-South LGA as a Revenue Collector where he worked until he meritoriously retired in 1995 after 35years of unblemished service.
Mr. Daniel Okeleke Odiaka popularly known and called Ekecha was a disciplinarian whose name strikes fear in the heart of recalcitrant adult male indigenes of the local government who evaded taxes (personal income tax) in those days. But behind a strict and conscientious workaholic that he was, he was fair, compassionate and very considerate. D.O as fondly called by people very close to him was a consummate politician who served at various capacities in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including Chairman Ward 4 in Aniocha South LGA of Delta State and recently the Ward 4 Party Chairman of Labour Party, the position he held until his death. He was an entrepreneur par excellence, after retirement he ventured in business where he was among the first persons that brought cassava grinding mill and maize/bean mill to the community as well. He named his mill “Afu Bu Ego” which means “No Amount is Small”.
He was a merchant that sold wood, diesel (Gas) and engine oil. He was a devout Christian and a devoted Anglican who loved God and inculcated same virtue to all his children which culminated to one of his sons Gabriel Chukwudiebele Odiaka ordained as a Priest in Anglican Communion. His service to God and Humanity was worthy of emulation. His integrity saw him as a treasurer to many groups both in the church and community until his death. He was generally loved by everyone who in one way or the other came in contact with him for his forthrightness, peaceful disposition and in most cases referred to as a professor by his folks for his uncanny wisdom which he brought to bear in handling issues in the community
The Man Daniel Okeleke Odiaka was married to Mrs. Josephine Adaolie Odiaka (Nee Isichei) and the marriage was blessed with many children and grand children and was survived by two sisters.
Behind a strict and conscientious workaholic that he was, he was fair, compassionate and very considerate. D.O as fondly called by people very close to him was a consummate politician who served at various capacities in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including Chairman Ward 4 in Aniocha South LGA of Delta State and recently the Ward 4 Party Chairman of Labour Party, the position he held until his death