By Onyekachi Eze
It was another solemn moment at the Imo State House of Assembly yesterday as the remains of late serving Lawmaker, Member representing Ideato North State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Barr. Innocent Arthur Egwim was brought to the Chambers for a valedictory session.
The Members of the State Parliament at the valedictory session were all in black outfits signaling sorrow and grief over the passage of their Colleague who died after a brief illness.
Both the Clerk, Deputies and all the Staff of the IMHA were not left out in the black-on-black attire.
As a tradition in the Legislature permits that the body of any dead serving or past Member must be brought on the floor of the House for last respect, the same was applicable in Egwim’s case as the Lawmakers paid their last respect to the fallen parliamentarian, after a motion to admit the remains inside the Chamber was moved and adequately seconded by the members for the valedictory session.
Before the bereaved family Members, former Lawmakers, and full glare of sympathizers, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Emeka Nduka opened the floor to enable Members pay tribute to the deceased.
Non of the Members of the present House spoke in the contrary as all eulogized the life and time of Late Arthur Egwim.
According to them, Egwim was one of the best Lawmakers Imo State ever had, who served his Constituents selflessly and wholeheartedly.
They disclosed that due to his tenacity to the mandate of his people, he was reelected for a second tenure after his first outing (2015-2019), and now (2019-2023) as a second-timer and ranking Lawmaker.
In further eulogies to the dead, the Legislators recalled how he used to be present at the Assembly premises even when the House was on recess, all born out of his dedication to duty, until death.
After their respective tributes, the Lawmakers, led by the Speaker, the Deputy and in order rose and file around the casket laying in state inside the Legislative Chamber.
In a more reflective mood and as a means of marking the end of Egwim’s tenure even though he died in active service, his seat tag in the Chamber was dismantled and handed over to one of his sons.
Former Members present at the valedictory session were Honorables; Ike C. Ibeh, Nkenna Nzeruo, Uche Oguwuike, Egu Obinna, Lugard Osuji, Emma Orie, Ugonna Ozuruigbo OZB, Donatus Ozoemena, Ikechukwu Amuka, among others.
Meanwhile, the former Governorship Candidate of the Action Alliance in the 2019 Imo election, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu has mourned the departure of Egwim.
In an interview with Assembly Correspondents after the valedictory session, yesterday, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu wept that death had taken away a humble and loyal man.
He revealed that as a former member of the AA Party then, Egwim didn’t disappoint his Constituents and all who relied on him for transparency, accountability and accessibility.
Nwosu charged the living irrespective of position or status always to remember that one day all will answer before God’s judgment throne of all activities while on earth.
Ugwumba Uche Nwosu prayed for the peaceful repose of his friend, in-law and ally, the Late Arthur Egwim, while asking God to give the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.
According to the obsequies, as announced by the deceased family, the body of the late Arthur Egwim will be committed to mother earth today, Friday, May 19, 2023, in his hometown, Isiokpo in Ideato North LGA of the State.