The Ngwadom Royal Family, the Obi-In-Council and the entire Amiri community of Oru Local Government, Imo State, have announced programmes for burial and last Ofala festival of their departed king, His Royal Majesty, Efelemegide Alphonsus Ngwadom.
According to a programme of events unveiled by the Ngwadom Royal Family, there would be Christian wake for the departed at his palace, Amakpu/Amaudo Ward 1, Mbubu Amiri, Oru on April 15, 2021.
This will be followed on April 16 by temporary prayer by the parish priest at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Amiri where he worked as a catechist by 8:am. Subsequently, there would be ‘viewing’ in his compound from 9am to 10am.
A requiem mass will be held at St. Martin’s Catholic Church, Mbubu, Amiri by 10:30 am. This will be followed by burial at 12 noon in his compound, after which celebration of life begins.
Later on Sunday, April 18, there would be Thanksgiving church service at St. Martin’s Catholic Church starting from 9am.
The late Igwe Ngwadom was born on April 15, 1928 to Eze Nathaniel Ibenyenwa and Lolo Urekwere Ngwadom (Nee Okoroagwu) of blessed memories. He attended St. Boniface primary school in Nkwo, Amiri from 1934 through 1938 where he experienced his first tragedy. His older brother, Felix, died while digging a pit hole during a school exercise.
He later attended Trinity College in Ugwuta from 1942 to 1945 where he became the best writer in literature. Unfortunately, his success was short lived after he was poisoned and had to drop out of school. His father spent all he had to save my his life. He would, however, continue his education on correspondence and long distance with Cambridge College.
In 1948, he got a job in Abakiliki with John Holt Company as a clerk. He took his younger brother, Ezeanyanti, to live with him. Few years later, he was transferred to Lagos in 1952. There he worked with Holt and Julius Berger intermittently until 1966 before the Nigerian civil war.
Ngwadom met his wife, Bridget in 1956 when she was living with her uncle Chief Boniface Ahanotu. Years later, after a long courtship from 1957 through 1962, he proposed to her in 1963. They wedded on September 29, 1963. Their marriage was blessed with 9 children – Ekelekamchukwu, Love-egbulem, Amakonze, Adadiozor, Azunmdi, Chukwudi, and Ogechi and two others of blessed memories (Uzonna and Uzoamaka)
He left to settle at home during civil unrest from 1966 -1970. After the war, he got a job at Enugu with the East Central State government as a clerical officer with the ministry of local governments. In 1976, he was transferred to Owerri at the creation of Imo State. He rose in rank to Assistant Executive Officer with the Ministry of Local Government until 1979 when he resigned to answer a call to duty as the heir apparent to the throne of the Traditional Ruler of Amiri his father was aging. In all these places, I lived with father.
Same year, 1979 he joined the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and became the zonal secretary to Oru Local government Area. In 1982, he contested the Federal House of Representatives under the Grand Nigerian People Party (GNPP). Though he lost the election, he continued serving humanity through the electoral process.
He was a devout Catholic. In 1962, he challenged his faith by questioning why Igbo people cannot be baptized with their Igbo names rather than with an English name that they do not understand. He changed his baptismal name from Alphonsus to Efelemmegide (meaning- I have passed people abusing me). He served as a Catechist for all Amiri people at St. Paul’s Catholic Church. He was a member of The Knights of St. John. He was an instrumental and founding member of the creation of St. Martin’s Catholic Parish, Mbubu-Amiri.
Igwe loved to pray his rosary and read the Book of Psalms. Until his death, he loved to attend Mass, read his Bible, and sing his favorite songs of worship from artists like Bro. Israel Anyamele and Sister Rosemary Chukwu. He forgave all those who wronged him and prayed for those who did not agree with him.