Two weeks to his sudden demise, we held a family meeting in his residence at Metsarun Street, Okumagba Avenue, Warri. His fatherly contributions were vita and useful. He showed no signs of ill-health.
In the order of hierarchy, Chief Abura Matthew Masheni Darah was the third in command in the Emoghwe family lineage, next to my father, Mr. Eveso Stephen Biagboron Darah and Prof Godini Gabriel Biagboron Darah.
In 1986, a fairy story of big umbrellas as halls for the burial ceremony of his father, Pa Masheni Darah swept through the communities of Otutuama, Esaba, Ophorigbala and Ighwrogun. It was very strange and the first of its kind. We were used to the traditional palm fronds’ halls. We trekked from Otutuama to Esaba to catch a glimpse of the spectacle.
Abura was the first Esaba man to build a block house both in Warri and Esaba. We have had tales before then that any man who dares to erect a block house will die instantly. He must have been a super man to attempt that risky adventure. Others soon followed his footsteps when he remained healthy many years after. He built one in Otutuama, his mother’s birthplace too. His plans to pioneer a storey building never materialised.
We also heard stories that his barbing saloon shop ‘DarahMatt’ was the best in Warri as Peg hotel was the only known hotel then.
As his untimely death at the age of 67 sent shivers in the spines of his loved ones, we are consoled by his eventful and successful life. Though, he was not the church type, but in his later days, he joined the God Grace Ministry.
May his soul rest in peace! Amen.