Dairo Goes Home in a Blaze of Glory



Dairo Goes Home in a Blaze of Glory

The remains of Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon popularly known as Dairo were laid to rest in a blaze of glory on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

The funeral service was conducted by the SDA Church, Abayi District where he worshipped and participated immensely in various church activities till his death.

The colourful burial took place at his Umugwo, Umunwankwo country home, Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community in Obingwa local government area of Abia State.

After the arrival of his corpse from Uhie Customary Court where a brief court session was held in his honour, the burial commenced with opening hymn followed by opening prayer and special song by SDA Church, Abayi District Choir.

There was a special parade by the Adventist Youth Ministry, SDA Church, Abayi District, which was their way of paying last respect to their leader.

Thereafter, a deluge of tributes poured in from all corners including his family, village, friends, Adventist Men Organization (AMO), SDA Church Abayi District and others describing him as a rare gem.

According to the deceased’s only child, Miss Victoria Okechukwu, his niece, Miss Oluomachi Gideon and his younger brother, Ifeanyichukwu Gideon, the death of Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon has created a very big vacuum in their family.

They described him as a humble, respectful, honest, generous, peaceful, hardworking and God-fearing man who was adored by all and sundry.

In his tribute, Amb. Alilionwu C. J. Esq., the President, Association of Customary Court Judges/Members, Abia State Chapter on behalf of the association expressed sadness on the untimely death of their member, Elder Okechukwu Gideon.

He described him as a humble, quiet, brilliant, honest, hardworking and God-fearing man who was well-loved by all those who knew him.

He condoled his wife, Mrs. Chidinma C. Gideon, his siblings, the SDA Church and the good people of Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community on the demise of Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon, which he described as a monumental loss to all.

He told them not to mourn like those without hope and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest till they meet to part no more.

In his homily titled, “Life is a Vapour” taken from James 4:13-15, Pastor Bassey Udoh, the President, Eastern Nigeria Union Conference extolled the shining virtues of late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon adding that he died in the Lord.

He described death as a necessary end for all mortals and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest as well as to comfort the entire family.

At the end of his homily, a song by Abayi District Choir followed including prayer for the family, condolence offering, announcements and closing hymn.

Speaking of behalf of the family, Pastor Ugochukwu Gideon, the deceased eldest brother appreciated immensely the presence and support of the SDA Church, family, friends and others towards the successful burial of their illustrious son, Elder Okechukwu Gideon and wished them safe journey back to their various destinations.

Thereafter, interment followed at his father’s compound and tears flowed profusely as his corpse was lowered to the grave.

The burial was well-attended and climaxed with an unforgettable reception.


Comrade Victor Nwosu (left), His Worship Dr. Diamond Olewengwa (centre) and His Worship K. U. Ahiwe (right)


Members of Ahiaba High School Old Boys Association (1991-1996 Set)


Some of those present were HRH Eze Nnamdi Ahuwa Njoku, the Anya Oha 111 of Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community, His Worship Dr. Diamond Olewengwa, His Worship K. U. Ahiwe, His Worship, Chibuike Ebisike, Comrade Victor U. Nwosu, Dr. Chinagozi Adindu, Dr. Nwangwa Innocent, Chigozie Emenogu, Mazi Stanley Nwahiwe, Elder Chief Chibuike Allison, the traditional prime minister of Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community, Elder Nwabueze Mgbeahuru Ogbonna, Chiemela Moses (Chimos), Elder Christopher Onyebuchi Ahuekwe, Hon. Uchechukwu Nwandiuko, staff of Uhie Customary Court, students of the Nigeria Law School, Port Harcourt Campus, Old Boys of Comprehensive Secondary School Mgboko Itungwa, (CSSMI), Class of 1992-1998, Ahiaba High School Old Boys Association (1991-1996 Set), relations, friends, in-laws, top government officials, lawyers, captains of industry and other dignitaries from far and near.

Born in 1975 to the family of late Chief Gideon Njoku and Mrs. Victoria Gideon Njoku of Umugwo kindred, Umunwankwo village, Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community, late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon was a twin and the fifth child of the family.

His father nicknamed him ‘Dairo’ because of his (father’s) love for the late famous Nigerian musician, I. K. Dairo.

Late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon attended Central School, Ogwe for his primary education, Ahiaba High School and later Comprehensive Senior Secondary School, Mgboko Itungwa where he completed his secondary education.

He later gained admission at Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU) where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LL.B) in 2020.

Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon was a footballer and an easy-going person. His humility, cheerfulness, candour, generosity and godliness endeared him to all and sundry.

He was also hardworking and ventured into so many businesses namely petroleum marketing, soap distribution, dredging, stock-broking and so on before his appointment as a panel member at Uhie Customary Court.

This year, he enrolled as a student at the Nigeria Law School, Port Harcourt Campus while still working at Uhie Customary Court.

Sadly, the cold hands of death snuffed out his life on April 23, 2024 when he slumped while waiting to partake in the mandatory Law School Dinner.

Late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon was a devoted member of SDA Church, Abayi District and an active member of the Adventist Youth Ministry (AYM).

He also served the church in various capacities as a Youth Leader (2010-2012), Sabbath School Superintendent (2010-2012), Leader, Adventist Men Organization (2018-2019), Head Elder (2022-2023) and Deputy Director for Ambassador Club (2023).

Aged 49, late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon is survived by his wife, Mrs. Chidinma C. Gideon and daughter, Victory Gideon, his mother, Lolo Victoria Gideon, many siblings namely Pastor Ugochukwu Gideon, Elder Christian Gideon, Ifeanyichukwu Gideon, Mrs. Mercy Elijah Nwaokocha and Mrs. Peace Nwanyieze Okorie including many relations, in-laws and friends.

In a chat with newsmen, the following personalities bared their minds on the life and times of Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon (a.k.a Dairo) with an emotion-laden voice. Excerpts.

His Worship, Dr. Diamond Olewengwa (Chairman, Association of Judges of Customary Court of Nigeria, AJUCON, Abia State Chapter)

We came for the burial of a member of Uhie Customary Court, His Honour, Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon (a.k.a. Dairo).

His death is so painful to me. He was a young man I loved so much. I encouraged him to read law, to get into the Bench as a lay member and also to go to Law School because after reading law and having an LL.B without a Bachelor of Law makes nonsense of the learning. When you have a Bachelor of Law, it means that you are a comprehensive lawyer. So he went to Law School but unfortunately he slumped during the Law Dinner and died. I am pained because of his untimely death but we cannot question God. Instead, the Almighty God tells us that in all things we should give Him glory, thanks and praises. I commiserate with the entire family of late Okechukwu Gideon and encourage them to take take solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled and exemplary life.

I pray the Almighty God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, especially his young wife, Mrs. Chidinma C. Gideon and only child, Miss Victoria Okechukwu.


Dr. Chinagozi Adindu (Immediate past Executive Secretary, Abia State Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the incumbent Executive Director of Global Health Services)

The death of Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon hit me like a thunderbolt. He was a friend and we belonged to the same church. Honestly, he died at a time we needed him most. He was a very brilliant and vibrant youth leader. He was a Master Guide and the first Elder of the SDA Church, Abayi District. It is very unfortunate that we lost him to sickness and death. We are really very sad and pray that he would sleep in the Lord till we meet again on the Resurrection morning. He was humble, articulate, jovial and a very good team player. He knew how to carry everybody along. His humility was second to none. We would miss him sorely.


Dr. Nwangwa Innocent
(MD, Odiche Hospital and Maternity, Mgboko/Member, Ahiaba High School Old Boys Association, 1991-1996 Set)

We came to commiserate with the sister of the deceased who is a member of our association, Ahiaba High School Old Boys Association (1991-1996 Set) on the sudden demise of her brother, late Elder Master Guide, Okechukwu Gideon. In fact, I could not believe my eyes. when I saw his poster somewhere and I wept profusely. We have indeed lost a rare gem. His death is so painful to all of us. He died at the prime of his life. I said I must attend his burial personally despite my busy schedule. He was a footballer and a very jovial person.


Chief Jude Nwosu (KSM)

The late Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon was my friend and a member of our club, ‘Otutu Enyi Oma Committee of Friends’. His death is so painful to me. He was more than a brother to me. He used to come and buy textile materials from me. He was a very good man, highly dependable, articulate and down-to-earth. Any time he came to the club, he would clean every place not minding his status. His death is a big blow to all of us. My prayer is for God to comfort his family and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.


HRH Eze Nnamdi Ahuwa Njoku (centre) flanked by Mazi Stanley Nwahiwe (right),  Elder Chief  Chibuike Allison (left)


HRH Eze Nnamdi Ahuwa Njoku (Anya Oha 111 of Ikeala Ahiaba autonomous community, Obingwa LGA, Abia State)

Today is a very sad day for us. We buried one of our illustrious sons, Elder Master Guide Okechukwu Gideon (a.k.a Dairo). He died at a very young age. I saw him as a tree that would have sheltered so many people in our community. He was a footballer. Each time he was in the field of play their goal keeper used to be on leave because he would not allow the ball to get to him. I loved him so much. He was humble, respectful, intelligent and very hard working. Dairo did not depend on anybody. He trained himself in the university and helped so many people. He was a devoted SDA member and he served God faithfully throughout his lifetime. No wonder, he was made the first Elder of SDA Church, Abayi District where he worshipped. And here in our village, we remember him for many things. Any time we are playing football tournament, he would buy jersey for the players. Also, we do not have a lawyer in the entire community and God just raised him as one but death came and snuffed out his life. We do not know why he died now. I wanted to ask God question but I did not because I know that God would pay us back in another way. So, I think his death would bring light in our village. Even his little daughter is going to be a lawyer and her name would be heard beyond the nation. That is my prayer.