The body of Mr Anthony Iwelu, Chief Security Officer to the Honourable Minister of Transportation –Rt Hon Rotimi Amaehi –was on Saturday, laid to rest at his hometown, Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State.
The funeral proceedings, which began with a Vigil Mass at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Ogwashi-Uku on Friday, March 13 and culminated into with a Funeral Mass Service on Saturday March 14, had many attendees describe Iwelu’s death as a sad shock.
Iwelu had worked with the Honourable Minister for 17 years as the officer in charge of issues regarding his security.
In his tribute ,the Honourable Minister, Mr Rotimi Amaechi described the deceased as an “ amiable, dutiful and hardworking attachée.”
“The wicked last and cold hand of death has done us a permanent irreparable damage. ÄNTHONY CHUKWUDI IWELU, my amiable, dutiful and hardworking attachee was snatched by this cold hand.
“The realization of Tony’s death was to say the least an unbelievable occurrence even as it still appears to so be.
“Tony had, through thick and thin, been dedicatedly around my family and me for seventeen years.
“That day, the 17th of February, which began like any other day, ended like no other day, with the rude shock of the death of Tony.
“I am truly speechless as it concerns Tony’s death as this is one of my greatest shocks and personal losses.
“Tony will be greatly missed. My wife Judith, my children Chikamkpa, Obinna and Lemchi gravely share in this loss. But at this point, we cannot do anything other than pray for the repose of Tony’s Soul”, Amaechi wrote.
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in a condolence message signed by the Honourable Minister said Iwelu’s life was an exemplary one as he was an embodiment of loyalty to his immediate boss. The Minister noted that Iwelu earned a lot of respect and dignity among his peers and associates.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) South-South Zonal office conveying its heartfelt sympathy to the Minister of Transportation said the news of Iwelu’s death is “heart-wrecking.
Former Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside also commiserated with the Minister of Transport, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi over the demise of Mr Anthony Iwelu.
Peterside described the deceased as a “diligent, hard working and humble personality who performed his responsibilities with sense of devotion.”
“On behalf of the board, management and staff of NIMASA, my heartfelt condolence also goes to his family at this trying time and pray God to grant them the perseverance and fortitude to bear the loss,” Dakuku wrote in his tribute.
Eulogies were also received from the State Security Service, from the Catholic Church, Railway Corporation amongst others.
Present to also mourn him were dignitaries from the Maritime Sector-Rt. Hon. Asita- Chairman NIMASA Board, Dr Dakuku Peterside-immediate past DG NIMASA, Dr Sokonte Davies- Immediate Past ED, Marine and Operations NPA, Commodore Duja Effedua (Rtd)-Rector, MAN Oron, Dr George Moghalu-MD NIWA, Dr Bashir Jamoh-DG NIMASA, Mr Mohammed Koko-ED Finance & Administration NPA, Mrs Margret Orakwusi- Chairman Ship Owners Forum, Engr Greg Ogbeifun- Immediate Past President Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Engr Victor Ochei -ED, Marine & Operations NIMASA, Dr Chamberlain Peterside- Maritime Infrastructure Financing Expert , Mr Tony Cole of Sahara Group, Mr Isichei Osamgbi-NIMASA to mention a few.
Addressing guests during the funeral service, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, in a very emotional speech thanked friends, family and guests for the great support they had shown him at such a trying time.
Mr. Anthony Iwelu died of electric shock from a shower rose on February 17, 2020, at about 10:30 AM. He left behind his wife Ebere, and three young children.