27 September 2016
By Elaine Murphy
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday 24th September in St Mary’s Church, Carrigaline for the esteemed consultant physician Dr Sir Eliezer Ezeka Okafor (1932-2016) who died recently in Nigeria.
The Cork connection is that Dr Okafor’s daughter, Dr Chioma Njoku is a parishioner in Carrigaline Union where her husband Rowland, is the People’s Churchwarden, and where all five of their children – Tobe, Nora, David, Michael and Victoria – have been confirmed over the last five years.
A Graduate of London University (1958) and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (1963) and also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh University and the Medical College of Physicians, Nigeria, Dr Okafor established two hospitals during his lifetime, one in Nempi and the other in Onitsha. He was responsible for establishing the Kwashiorkor Sick-Bay in 1968 which saved many lives during the Nigerian/Biafran Civil War. In 1976 he was the first elected Chairman to Orlu Local Government Council and championed the course of education in Nempi through NDU, which awarded scholarships to help primary school pupils continue their education in the 1970s. Among his many awards and titles are Knight of St Christopher, 1989; National Patron AYF Nigeria, 2001, and President General Joint Council of Knights Church of Nigeria, 2006.
The parishioners, family and friends who gathered in sympathy with Chioma and her family heard of an extraordinary man who had lived an exemplary life giving freely of his talents and wisdom in his community.
Following the Service there was a celebration in the Canon McCrea Hall with refreshments and dancing.
The family of the late Dr Sir Eliezer Ezeka Okafor, including his daughter, Dr Chioma Njoku, father at Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigaline for the Memorial Service.