Today, Saturday, April 7, 2018, a community leader and brother, Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh goes the way of all mortals as he joins his Creator, conquering death that is not eternal – death that destroys only the body but NEVER triumphs over the soul, which belongs to the All-Conquering God Almighty.
As the body of Bonifcae Ugwu Apeh is committed to mother earth in Adepe-Udaburu in Ugbugbu Owukpa of Ogbadibo Local Government Area of Benue State in North Central Nigeria, the community remembers his good deeds and support for the development of the community.
Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh was the National Chairman and also the Leader of Udaburu Community (which comprises Udaburu, Adepe and Igidogbe) for about 2 decades and until he took his last breath. During his time, the community witnessed unprecedented developments.
I remember over 2 decades ago when Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh was Chief Launcher for the building of the first Catholic Church building in Udaburu. Through his contribution and that of others, a place of worship was built for the Catholic Church and the Ministry of Jesus Christ, with corrugated roofing sheet and a sitting capacity of about 100 persons at a time when the number of worshippers was less than 30 and the use of corrugated roofing sheet was a luxury to many individuals in the community.
Chief Boniface Apeh also led Udaburu Development Association to build a 4 classroom block of sandcrete for the only primary school in the community.
Together with a member of the community, only 2 individuals, one of who was Chief Boniface Apeh funded the construction of a heavy load-bearing curvet across Onyirada water stream and the levelling of Onyirada mountain thereby making it possible for the slippery mountainous road to become motorable; ending several decades of neglect and suffering by all sons and daughters of Ugbugbu community and their visitors who hitherto used roads passing through other communities to reach their homes. Government was to later use the same work in its rural road efforts to Ubdaburu.
Chief Boniface Apeh and the same individual again partnered with Ogbadibo Local Government to ensure the electrification of Udaburu Community. The project which was jointly funded by the Local Government, Chief Boniface Apeh and another individual from Udaburu is now being leveraged by government to extend electricity from Udaburu to other communities in different parts of Owukpa including Ehaje and Itabono.
The exemplary community service of Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh has also encouraged an individual to solely fund a modern 500 seater capacity worship centre for the Catholic Church in Udaburu and the community counterpart funding for solar powered borehole for Udaburu Community.
On Friday, April 6, 2018, Udbauru Community received with tears in their eyes, sorrows in their hearts but total submission to the supremacy of God Almighty, the body of Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh who was honoured with gun salute at Ubdaburu Centre. After a church service today at the new Catholic Church edifice in Ubdaburu, Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh will be buried in his home, celebrated and missed by all sons and daughters of Udaburu and others that he crossed their path during his sojourn on earth.
To the late leader of Undaburu Community and brother, Chief Boniface Ugwu Apeh, I say and pray that God will grant you eternal rest. Amen.
Agada Boniface Apochi
Deputy National Chairman
Owukpa Development Association; and Udaburu Development Association