WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY
... those who knew him personally

His Childhood

He had a very profound faith in God, in the Providence of God and in particular Providence. He told me with his own lips how his father, in the bad old colonial days, got into trouble and was put in prison. The father was so resentful that he resolved that his children be educated so that they could stand beyond that kind of thing. This is how he went to a Christian school. He used often to say: "The Lord’s ways" with an exclamation mark!
-  Fidelis Nduba of Aguleri

When we were young, we used to play in the moonlight. After eating in the evenings, we would go from house to house, calling our age group to play in the moonlight. When we went to his house to call him, we would not find him at home. After searching for him everywhere, we eventually found him in the church, seated alone in one corner. You would not know that there was anyone there. We often found him crying in the church. This is what happened every day. Some of our mates would then call him out and beat him up. We were about tweleve years old then.
-  Joseph Idigo of Aguleri, b. 1903

His devotion to prayers was most striking. If you watched him praying in the church, he knelt down motionless, fixed his eyes on the tabernacle and tears gushed from his eyes. Some boys made fun of his attitude at prayer, but the more they did so the more fervently did he pray. Other boys tried in vain to imitate him. He found time to attend daily morning masses and made visits to the blessed sacrament.
-  John Ubanagu Mokwe of Aguleri, b. 1905

Though Michael was not in my class directly, but his simple, polite, and pleasant manners struck me forcibly every time he came my way. One day I observed he had no school bag to pack in his few books so I decided to give him my old raffia bag I had discarded. He was very happy. For him it was an unforgettable present for which he never ceased thanking me.
-  Robert Olisa, teacher at Holy Trinity Primary School, Onitsha

In the course of time Michael found that my own domestic servant knew very little domestic work so he volunteered to help in my domestic affairs…. He managed to divide his spare time so that he was able to serve Rev. Father A. Muller as a sacristan and mass server every morning, then Robert Orekyie’s mother in the afternoon and myself more in the evenings. He still found time to do his lessons at night.
-  Robert Olisa

To the Man of his people