High Chief Higgins Peters buries Younger sister, Julian amidst tears, Tributes in Crosw River


The CEO of Opal Group and notable stakeholder of Cross River State project, High Chief Higgins Peters (the Emoma and Akpa Owo of Yala land) has buried his younger sister, late Mrs Juliana Akpowu Ezekiel (Nee Peters) amidst tears, prayers and tributes.

Late Mrs Juliana who passed away on January 3 , 2024 after battle with brain cancer was buried on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Oba-Okpoma, Yala Local Government Area of the state.

Born on September 22, 1966, the late Mrs Juliana lived a remarkable life of devotion and selfless service to God and humanity through the children’s ministry wherein she served for the last 38 years of her life in different capacities as teacher, minister, coordinator and counselor until her demise.

At the funeral service held at the ancestral home in Oba-Okpoma, Yala LGA, Cross River State Governor, Sen Prince Bassey Otu and his deputy, Rt Hon. Peter Odey, who were represented by Ntufam Dr. Peter Ojie (former Senior Special Adviser on Political Affairs to former Governor Ben Ayade), while commiserating with High Chief Higgins Peters and other members of the family, said that her entrepreneurial spirit, motherly role and commitment to community development would be missed.

Noting that her memory will undoubtedly be cherished, and her impact on the lives she touched will forever remains source of inspiration and that the deceased as a devout Christian, her moral conduct was such that other Christians are proud of and extended their heartfelt condolences to High Chief Higgins Peters and the entire family as well the people of Yala. And urged the family to comforted that Mrs. Juliana is resting in the bosom of Abraham.

High Chief Higgins Peters in his tribute titled An Ode to Julian said, “Juliana you knew the battle was intense , your soldier were strong, our courage and resolve to win was firm. You fought alone, we fought collectively as a family, we fought in silence, we fought in prayers and we fought in science. We assembled the best arsenals in medical science in our country, we confronted death and made it look weak but the call form your home.coming came from an authority we could not confront.”

He said, my younger sister died very young. It is on this note that we make the burial a very solemn one. 

Speaking during the funeral service, Pastor Matthew Sani Ochejoh described the late Mrs Juliana as a wonderful woman, who loved and served God unreservedly and that she lived a life of impact and touched everyone whose path crosses with her positively.

The funeral attracted dignitaries and political leaders from within and outside the State. Notable attendees included Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Deputy Speaker Hon. Sylvester Agabi Jnr, Senator Eteng Jones Williams, representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Emmanuel Ironbar, H.E Amb. Sony Abang, Chief Chris Agara, Chief EJ Williams, Ntufam Dr Peter Ojie, Hon Odey Brian Minority Leader Cross River State House of Assembly and member representing Yala 1 State Constituency, Hon Victor Abang House of Representatives member representing Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency, Senator Stephen Odey, former Senator representing Cross River Northern Senatorial District, Commissioner for Education, Dr Mrs. Beatrice Igwe, Commissioner for Housing, Mrs Agnes Atsu Commissioner for Sports Development, Dr Hippolatus Lukpata, and Mr. Patrick Egbede commissioner for wealth Creation and Employment 

Others are Hon. Dr. Thomas Aruku member of Cross River State House of Assembly representing Ogoja State Constituency, Hon Cyril Omini, Signor Omang Idiege Ada Bekwarra 2, Nice. AVM Clement Ogbeche, AIG John Abang, AIG Paul Odama, Chief Martin Ojeka.

 High Chief Thomas Udam, former VC of UNICAL Prof. Zana Akpagu, Rt. Hon. Ogana Lukpata as well as former and current members of the State Executive Council, National/State Assembly Members and other former and present government appointee and others too numerous to mention

The funeral buried political difference across the state as all politicians across political lines sent in their condolences including Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe senator representing Cross River North, Hon. Godwin Offiono House of Representatives member representing Ogoja Yala Federal Constituency, and Hon Peter Akpanke representing Obanliku Bekwarra Obudu Federal Constituency.

Also in attendance were Traditional and Religious leaders and various high-ranking government officials and friends from business community.

The funeral was marked by solemnity, heartfelt tributes, and testimonies celebrating a life well lived for God.