Tears flowed uncontrollably like raindrops as the body of late journalist-turned-politician, Hon. Loveday Ogbowu Ihua (JP) was committed to mother earth on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Umuakidinma Village, Ubimini Town in Emohua Local Government Area.
The mourners wept uncontrollably for the demise of the man many described as a colossus, hero, mentor and a loving dad. No wonder his colleagues both at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Rivers State Indigenous Publishers Association (RIVPA) led by its Chairman and publisher of National Network newspaper, Pastor Jerry Needam, turned out in their large numbers to bid him farewell.
Also there was the Executive Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Hon. Tom Aliezi, Assemblyman, Hon. Sam Oge; leadership of Emohua Legislative Assembly and Hon (Dr) Chidi Lloyd, an iconic politician who recently defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also present were Hon Emma Nyema Wonodi, Former Chairman of Emohua LGA; Hon Arthur Uchendu , Former Commissioner Rivers State Assembly Service Commission; Hon Mrs. Ngozi Nyemonwu, Vice Chairman of Council; Rt Hon John Douglas, Leader Emohua Legislative Assembly; Chief Uche Minikwu, PDP Chairman Emohua Local Government Area; Surv Sam Agwor, Former Chairman of Rivers State Road Maintenance Agency, Hon Ikpechi Oriji; PDP Youth Leader in Rivers State and Hon Eze Ozuru , Governor's Liaison officer Emohua Local Government Area , amongst others.
The funeral service was officiated by the Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel), Christians were enjoined to live uprightly as their destination is in God's throne where righteousness and holiness reigns.
Pastor Eyitayo Adeyemi in the message, captioned “Blessed are those who died in the Lord” restated the fact that only those who lived a godly life and dies in the Lord would have the hope of the new resurrection promised believers.
To corroborate his claims, the cleric who drew his text from the books of 2nd Thessalonian 4:13, empathized with the bereaved family and urged them not to mourn as those who do not have any hope. He described the day as a day of celebration and not of mourning as the departed has reunited with his maker.
In a moving tribute, the son of the late pen maestro, Prince Ihua chronicled the odyssey of the deceased – his birth, education, career, marital life, sociopolitical life to his religious/Christian life up on to his death.
“I saw you as my father, friend, mentor, brother and adviser. You were someone who had solution to any problem, a man who had an advice for every situation, a man of peace and love. Dad, I love you so much and would continue loving you till we meet again in the resurrection morning”, he said.
In her tribute, the late Ihua's wife, Mercy described him as a man of wisdom, intelligent, hospitable, generous and adviser to many. “You were not only a husband but also a brother to me”, she wrote.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Hon. Tom Aliezi described the death Hon Loveday Ihua as a great loss to Ubimini Community and Emohua local government area at large.
The Emolga Council boss acknowledged the contributions of Late Hon Ihua to his administration's achievements in rewriting the story of Emohua local government area.
He said that the death of Hon Loveday Ihua has created an irreplaceable vacuum in the media profession because of his wealth of experience as a renowned publisher.
He prayed God to grant the immediate family and the people of Ubimini Community the fortitude to bear the loss, and accept the soul of the departed in his bosom.
Also speaking while presenting cash donation to the wife of the deceased journalist, on behalf of members of the Rivers State Independent Publishers Association, the Chairman of RIVPA, Pastor Jerry Needam urged the Ihua family to sustain and immortalize the legacies left behind by Late Loveday Ihua.
One of such legacies, he said, is Ihua's pet project, Port Harcourt Sunrise newspaper. “You must do everything humanly possible to ensure that the paper does not die”, Needam said.
Late Ihua, who in course of his budding journalistic career worked as a Reporter with The Tide and Independent Monitor newspapers, respectively before venturing into newspaper publishing as Publisher of The Port Harcourt Sunrise newspaper in 2004, later veered into politics, serving his people as Councilor in Emuohua Legislative Assembly and until his death, he was the chief press secretary to Emuohua Local Government Council.