In deed, the inevitability of every circumstance is death. Though it is further believed that without death, new life would not spring forth as made known in the holiest of all books; “The Bible”, yet it is always painful to bear when it strikes, especially the younger people. It is a wicked phenomenon that irrespective of who is affected, God its initiator cannot be questioned. Death a no respecter of anybody had struck and taken a precious jewel of no shabby value away, thereby thrown the entire Obolo (Andoni) ethnic nationality, Agwut-Obolo Community and indeed Nigerians into mourning of a loss that perhaps irreplaceable.
Mrs. Henrietta Nwanyisunday Nelson-Udu nee Etete, the first Obolo (Andoni) indigene and woman to attend the height of head of chancery in diplomatic missions or embassy is cut down by death without notice, a situation too difficult to bear and believe.
Little wonder in a state of mourning, a close friend and class mate of the late ambassador, Richard Usen Mbere-Edeh a lawyer in just few days ahead in an elegy wrote, “How does the finest jewel of inestimable value fades away so soon? How does a sterling quality and substance more than gold rust and decay so easily? How does the rose flower that flourishes in the morning wither and cut down at twilight unripe. Why the fast eventide and darkness veiled our dazzling morning star suddenly, why nature did refuse her to reap the fruits of her labour? Why providence did calls home our darling compatriot without judicial or divine notice”.
Though no one could question the creator of the universe on His decision to allow certain occurrences, yet this is heart broken and very difficult to believe that the ever and first morning star of the Obolo ethnic nationality was cut down uninformed.
Agwut-Obolo, the maternity of Issues Abattoir is grieved, Obolo (Andoni) nation is shocked and Nigeria is deprived of such a genius by death. “O, death where is your sting”.
Late, Mrs. Henrietta NwanyiSunday Nelson Udu was not just a student but a prefect of the COSSA VARSITY – one of the most famous secondary institutions in Andoni Local Government Area in her days.
Late NwanyiSunday as fondly called was the last child of her late parents’ surviving ten children and being loved and admired by her parents, family members and outsiders of course, she was popularly called “Mysis”, a bridge form of my sister.
She was a graduate of Amadu Bello University, Zaria with B.Sc in International Studies. She was also a product of the Foreign Service Academy with several certificates of participation. A lover of service and a woman with an unquenchable spirit of academics further enrolled into the Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna where she bagged her Masters degree in International Affairs and strategic studies in 2015. Her quest for the Doctorate was however truncated by death.
Like the Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala, Diezani-Allison Mbadueke and late, Prof. Dora Akunyili; NwanyiSunday Nelson Udu-nee Etete was indeed a heroine and an ambassador that cannot be forgotten.
To students and alumnae of COSSA VARSITY, a bone had just fallen off our ribs; what a great loss. To patriotic Nigerians, a mother and sister had just departed. Like the Rivers Bayelsa Association The Gambia chronicled in their condolence “…was a very dearly beloved sister to us, the indigenes of Rivers Bayelsa resident in the Gambia. During her brief period of service as a chancery in the Nigeria Embassy here in the Gambia she performed her duty with dedication and uttermost commitment. She was admired by all who came in contact with her. We in the Rivers Bayelsa Community will surely miss her greatly. Her effort in fostering unity and reconciliation and her re-launching of the Association through the inauguration of this present executive has made it possible for us to continue to forge ahead as a united front despite all challenges”. That’s a living legacy.
In commemorating further her life style on earth, the Preacher at the funeral service to mark her departure, the Reverend Gomiluk Egweteng, Vicar of St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Agwut-Obolo challenged the mammoth crowd to provide answers to the difficult question on “how are they living on earth?
The Rev. Egweteng while summarizing the achievements of Late Henrietta, in accordance with Proverbs Chapter 14:11,12; and speaking on the place of the righteous and the wicked, averred that the scripture is authentic and must be fulfilled as he led the congregation through sober reflection of their engagements, and practices on earth, pointing out that all works must be tried and admonished the wicked to repent.
Before her death, late Mrs. Henrietta NwanyiSunday Nelson- Udu served in various capacities in the Federal Civil Service and Presidential villa Abuja, Nigeria. Until the cold hands of death decided to throw us into mourning, she was the head of Chancery, High commission of Nigeria to Banjul the Gambia.
Between January 24, 2014 and July 2014 she was the senior counselor, Posting and Passages Division.
Before then, she was in December 2010 appointed Assistant Chief Protocol to the First Lady (Dame) Patience Jonathan at the Presidential villa, Abuja a position she occupied until December 2013. In August 2009 to November 2010 she served as counselor, African Union Division (AUD). From June 2006 to July 2009 she was posted to the Nigerian Embassy in Togo where she served for three years. In 2005 to 2006 she was the Second Secretary Posting Division Abuja as well as served in the Foreign Service Academy Lagos.
Her diligence in the Federal Civil Services also saw her in between 2001 to 2003 as the third Secretary, Consular and Immigration department Abuja amongst other attainments while she was alive.
Sad indeed, her husband late Chief (Engr.) Mordeciah Adagogo Nelson-Udu died and was buried about April, 2016; a situation she was not permitted to mourn and catered for her children.
To say but the least, Issues Abattoir described the demise of NwanyiSunday as not only unfortunate, untimely, regrettable but also a massive loss to particularly the Agwut-Obolo Community, Andoni (Obolo) and Rivers state as well as the Anglican Communion and Nigeria in general.
Issues Abattoir therefore suggest that Nigerian government as a matter of urgent National importance and as a means of immortalizing the great woman of honour, rehabilitate the children she left behind by awarding them scholarship to the universities of their choices.
A Bride of Nigeria, in the Republic of Togo and The Gambia is gone and diminished just as a flower that is cut down without notice; what has her Country in exchange for her services designed for her in other to challenge others in service.
The Pride and Bride of Nigeria from Rivers State and Andoni, Local government has vanished, a pitiable situation, and what do the people say; only goodbye?
It is suggested that since reward and prizes are the hallmark of services, the departed heroine Late Henrietta Nwanyi Sunday Nelson-Udu of Rivers State like the professor Dorah Akunyili of Anambra State be immortalized by her State and Local government Area.
To Issues Abattoir, this when embarked upon would spur others and several upcoming scholars to challenge themselves to greatness and as well diligently serve their Father Land with hope of better tomorrow.
While Issues Abattoir bid farewell to late Henrietta Nwanyi Sunday Nelson- Udu-nee Etete, it is her prayers for God’s guidance, protection and leadership for the children they left behind on earth.###
With James Mgboineme