Former Minister Tony Momoh laid to rest in style at Grailland - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Friday, 12 February 2021

Former Minister Tony Momoh laid to rest in style at Grailland


By Paul Ukpabio


Nigerians from all works of life, defied Thursday rain, to be at Grailland in Iju Lagos, to pay their last respect to the late Tony Momoh, ex Minister of Information and culture, who died on the first day of February, 2021, at the ripe age of 81.

Despite the strict protocol put together by officials at Grailland to restrict crowding of persons, the usual quiet and serene, flower festooned acres of land that makes up Grailland, was besieged by family and well-wishers of the deceased, who deemed it honourable to witnessed first-hand, the burial of a great man which late Tony Momoh was while he was alive.

"Tony Momoh was different things to different people," said his son Abdulrasheed Momoh, "I am not surprise that so many people came out today to honour him. The other day, I marveled when I saw streams of students from different schools coming home to render their condolence on the loss of our father. I just shook my head. You see all these days it had been sunny even till this afternoon. Then suddenly it started raining. That is the sign that he was a good man. It is a rain of blessings."

Abdulrasheed recalled how his father used to take care of different people and groups when he was alive.

Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Deputy Governor of Edo state who was also at Grailland, had glowing words for late Tony Momoh.

"He was a good man, a man of letters. I recall that if you invited him to present a lecture, Tony Momoh will get there early with a clean lecture ready for presentation and photocopies for everyone. He was always a reliable person."

Marian Immaculate Momoh, a granddaughter of the late Tony Momoh also spoke well of her granddad. “We will all miss him,” she said repeatedly.

Activist Ebenezer Oyetakin, the Executive Director at Anti-Corruption Network said that the late Tony Momoh was very much loved by social activists because he stood by his word."

A calm, smiling Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross river state was also notably at Grailland this evening along with other dignitaries.

The sky had turned dark grey as the rain continued to pour easily. And soon the massive bell at Grailland rang, and all paths suddenly led to the massive temple on the hills of Grailland. We walked in the windy rain solemnly towards the temple for the funeral worship.

It turned out to be a solemn worship with men in suit, or full traditional attire, while the ladies were in white, with white gloves. However, visitors, family members and well-wishers who didn't know about the protocol at Grailland, and who wore conflicting clothing, were not allowed to go into the temple.

For those who did not meet up with the strict protocol, they were allowed to remain at the collection point, which like every other place at Grailland had a peaceful atmosphere. 

The entire atmosphere at Grailland was serene despite the crowd that was there this evening and the flowers and trees embraced you as if to keep you company within the loneliness you feel.

The formal worship commenced and you could hear the sound of a pin drop in the wholesome quiet! The cross bearers as worshippers at Grailland are called, were there as seekers! No pastor, no Reverend father. You perhaps could have been standing or sitting next to the one who would lead the worship, while at the collection point before going into the temple.

A solemn worship in which a new seeker could only but observe! But the spirituality of the moment was not lost on anyone.

An hour passed and the funeral worship was over.

In a procession, the hearse rolled away to the graveside, followed by the ladies and then the men, the body of former Federal Minister of Information and culture, Man of letters, Father and Grandfather of many, Patron of many clubs and associations was taken to the graveside, at a cemetery in Grailland, where it found a final resting place.

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