By Sunny Igboanugo
Last month or so, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, was on Politics Today, the popular current affairs programme on Channels Television. There, his host, had asked him a direct question about his choice between Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi, of the Labour Party (LP), both contesting for presidency in 2023. It could have been an attempt to corner or bait him, in some way, for maximum effect, as journalists are trained to do.
But beating the former Governor of Anambra State, two-time Senator and now Minister in the game of politics is akin to carrying coal to New Castle, or selling snow to the Eskimos. Trust the old political horse, to see through the obvious trap. Adept and well pruned, he cleverly did the needful – jump and pass – as the local people would say.
“I have my PVC, I have only one vote. On election day, I’ll go and cast it for a candidate of my choice.”
Now, Ngige, is a serving Minister on the platform of the ruling APC. But he is from Anambra State. Not only that he’s one of the most prominent Igbo men alive today. Given that the generation before him, which tried and failed, is fast receding and thinning out, he shares in the burden of producing an Igbo man as President of Nigeria. So, between party loyalty and that onerous duty, lies the imperative of emotional intelligence. How far critics faulted him for being reticence, during that outing, would therefore be hinged on how such individual appreciated his peculiar circumstances, or politics in general.
Don’t forget the story of Obi and Ngige, which is supposed to make them the bitterest political enemies there is. Indeed they are, actually. They don’t see eye to eye, politically speaking. But there is a limit when it comes to the larger picture. That’s what the Minister, seems to underscore and for which history would record him at the appropriate time, for recognising the dictum – all politics are local.
Even Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, Emeka Ihedioha, former Governor of Imo, seem to be at home with this reality also. Regrettably, Chukwuma Soludo, the current Governor of Anambra State doesn’t. His outing on Channels Television on Thursday, October 10, 2022, exactly a month after Ngige underscore that much. It was the direct opposite of Ngige. Such tactlessness, naivety and total lack of emotional intelligence! For a man who is supposed to be the current father of Anambra State and the bastion upon which the Obi campaign ought to rest on! Terrible.
Hear him on the programme, few hours after presenting a N258.97bn 2023 budget proposal to the Anambra State House of Assembly in Awka, Soludo told his host on the programme: “I think there was something I read about somebody speculating about whatever investment. With what I’ve seen today, the value of those investments is worth next to nothing. So, let’s leave that aside.”
See the background. Obi arrived office in 2006 with a clear economic template. He decided to keep a fraction of the yearly state revenue as savings as part of its template for long-term economic programme. This was to be followed with investments in businesses with potentials for yielding high dividends that would add to the financial pool.
His thinking was actually tailored at recreating the magical economic feats of countries like China and other Asian Tigers – a strong financial husbandry – a pool of funds the state would rely on in future as a bulwark for massive investments and expansion of the industrial base to the extent that it wouldn’t have to rely anymore on the federal allocations that comes at the end of the month, but transform Anambra into a model of a distinct, self-sustaining entity of an economic hub, not only in Nigeria, but even Africa.
In other words, the investments and savings were never meant for his own government, but his successors, giving that he had just eight years, maximum to be in office. By the time he was exiting office, he had a huge reservoir of N75billion, captured in local and foreign currencies at various banks.
Outside other investments totalling N27billion, in such entities as Nigerian Independent Power Project (NIPP), of N9billion and Orient Petroleum of N4billion, among others, he made a huge input into the SabMiller company, a local offshoot of the International Breweries Limited, totalling $12.5million as one of the landmark achievements in this regard.
Now, this is what Soludo, completely rubbished. In fact, the controversy, had started when months ago, the governor had to come out openly to debunk a story credited to Obi that the SabMiller investment, had grown to $100million. It has not been confirmed that the former governor actually made the claim. Nonetheless, the vehemence with which Soludo, who practically came out smoking, went about the rebuttal, raised not a few eyebrows about his intentions.
It is against this background that the Thursday outing is being situated. What was the governor up and about with those snide comments and scornful body language for? What purpose were those sneering, contemptuous and disdainful dismissal of Obi’s efforts meant to achieve?
Now, you don’t need to look further for the answer. It lies in one element – politics. How? Well, this was the selfsame Soludo, who in September 2021, acknowledged the sterling performance of Obi in the state. During the governorship debate prior to his election, when the issue of the former governor’s achievements came up, the same Soludo, rather than dismiss, actually hugged them with pride, only that he argued that the feats were achieved as governor of the All Progressives Congress (APGA).
He couldn’t bring himself to cricise Obi then, knowing the consequences, but rather retorted – yes, those achievements were made because he was implementing APGA programmes. What has changed between then and now that the mention of Obi’s name, would conduce such obvious disdain?
As he had always argued, if he were any other Nigerian governor, he would have pocketed the money he lodged in those investments and savings and heavens wouldn’t fall. After all, Nigerians were witnesses to how Willie Obiano, his immediate successor sweated it out in the confines of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the exact day he handed over and tried to sneak out of Nigeria.
Has anyone heard about the case again? With the frenzy created initially, anyone would have thought that Obiano would be in and out of the courts trying to extricate himself from the allegations of monumental pillaging of the commonwealth of Anambra, he was accused of. Obi never suffered such indignity, either as governor or any other public office he has held, including as Chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
So, where did he go wrong? That he decided to invest money and not steal it or that he saved for posterity and not steal same? Intriguingly, Soludo, a supposed world-class economist, who ought to be at home with figures, should have told his audience, what the investments were worth, even if just one kobo. But did he?
By implication, he appears to be telling the world that Chief Obafemi Awolowo is to be blamed for the collapse of the O’odua Investment Group (OIG), and the companies under it that saw the rapid growth of Western Region at his time, including the effortless prosecution of free education or that Saduana of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello, should similarly be blamed for the collapse of the Kaduna Textile established by then Northern Nigerian Development Company (NNDC) or that Michael Okpara should be assailed for the the parlous situation of Golden Guinea Brewery, Nigercem or Hotel Presidential Enugu.
Anyway, the governor should be told by those close to him that hiding under one finger is impossible. He should quit being clever by half, because no one can eat a crab in secret. The walls have ears and what is hidden in the dark is usually exposed by light. Many know where he’s coming and that road has been trod in the past.
We hear that he has been promised that he would be the next President if only he could scuttle Obi’s chances. It was said that immediately he showed early signs of supporting Obi, including offering him the Anambra Government House to launch his campaign, the hounds moved in to sow the evil seed of ambition in his heart. Don’t you know you’re the one we’re preparing for the job? That was it. Like Macbeth, whose vaulting ambition led astray, our governor has not relented in providing his own bit to the massive plot to stop Obi, ever since.
How sad that in his obvious blindness, he couldn’t hear that the same promise is being made to his compatriots next door by the same people. Sadder still is that he couldn’t even recollect the fate of others before him. But ambition is a deadly phenomenon sometimes.
Our governor, my governor, must however not forget that though envy and jealousy made the brothers of Joseph throw him into a well and later sold him as slave, God gave him authority with which he saved Israel. That Soludo, doesn’t see the hand of God in Obi’s present journey, even with his education, is what beats me. But, passing six no be passing sense!
Igboanugo, a Publisher of Whirlwindnews, wrote from Lagos
Soyinka, Obi, Tinubu: When repayment of mafia debt is inescapable
By Sunny Igboanugo
Amerigo Bonasera was a longtime friend to Vito Corleone, otherwise known as Don Corleone the alter ego of The Godfather – that Mario Puzo epic novel depicting the mafia influence of the American society. However, unlike many who had pitted their tents with the godfather, in the Italian neighbourhood, he would rather avoid him and his syndicate, because he felt the consequential backlash could rub off on his well-laid business and reputation as a law-abiding, straight American citizen. On many occasions, the godfather courted his loyalty, but he rebuffed it, feeling safe inside the protective cocoon of the American system.
But that same system failed him when his prized daughter was attacked and assaulted by his boyfriend and his friend. Maria Bonasera was not only his only daughter, but the only child and despite his fears, was the goddaughter of Carmela Corleone, the wife of Don Corleone. Kelvin Moonan, her new American boyfriend had tried to rape her after she rebuffed his sexual advances, but after succeeding in fending him off, the young man, aided by his friend, Jerry Wegner, beat her so badly and damaged her beautiful face.
Completely gutted, Bonasera, a successful owner of Funeral Parlour, did the right thing, or what he thought the right thing in America. He went to court to seek justice for his daughter. But instead of putting the rapists away, at the most for their clearly heinous crime, after finding them guilty, the judge did the unthinkable – he handed them – suspended sentence. So, the two young men walked out free from the same court leering and practically mocking him – no thanks to the powerful influence of their parents, who pulled the strings from behind.
Suspended sentence?! Bonasere had exclaimed before the godfather in whose presence he ran to seek the real justice. After chiding him for rebuffing his earlier offer of protection in preference for trust in the American system, Don Corleone accepted his request to give him justice. However, he would not accede to Bonasera’s extreme demands. He had wanted the godfather to kill the two young men. But he declined. Bonesera’s daughter was still alive. Let her attackers suffer the same way she suffered, was his own option.
Pressed further to the option of murder, offering to pay for it, he again reprimanded his kinsman for trying to lure him to commit murder, particularly on the wedding day of his daughter. “Bonasera, Bonasera, what have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, this scum who ruined your daughter would have been suffering this very day. And if by some chance, an honest man like yourself made enemies, they would be my enemies. And then, they would fear you,” he had emphasised?
Having agreed to help him in his own way in return for his “friendship” he had given the job to his executor to conclude. At the end of the day, the two young men were so beaten with so much damage to their faces that their parents could not recognise them. So, that was how Bonasera, who had earlier pledged his everlasting loyalty by kissing the shoes of the godfather, got justice. Nothing could have given him more excitement and satisfaction than the disfigured faces of the two boys, splashed in the newspapers the next day.
But did Bonasera not pay eventually? Of course he did. But he did in a different way, different from monetary payment. Don Corleone, had visited him at the funeral parlour, three years after. His irascible son, Sonny had been heavily disfigured by the bullets of the competitors and enemies of his mafia organisation. He wanted his Italian brother and friend to fix him to look normal and fit for presentation for an open-casket funeral. Bonasera, who was the best in the land, ought not to have touched such a job, coming from Vito Corleone, a criminal to be avoided. But he was in debt, so high a debt. Backing out was out of the question. Either by way of gratitude and conscience or by knowing the grave consequences of saying no to the godfather, he was in debt.
How apt this story to the new reality in Nigeria of today. For years, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had played the same role of Vito Corleone, though at a different level – politics. Countless Nigerians who were hurt one way or the other, found succour in him and through him.
When Muhammadu Buhari, before the end of his disastrous outing as President between 2015 and 2023, tried, or so it seemed, to shirk this obligation of playing ball after Tinubu single-handed made him President, either due to patriotism, knowing that Tinubu would probably be a worse calamity or out of mischief to hand over to another Northerner, knowing his proclivity for nepotism, he was stopped in his track. Tinubu simply reminded him where he was coming from.
He was not only quickly reminded of his debt – remember Tinubu’s Abeokuta declaration and his infamous Emilokan speech – but the enforcers moved in. They were the ones who completed the first stage of the project at the All Progressives Congress (APC) convention in Abuja, beginning with the Northern governors, who took the initiative to rally around him. Now, you might be wondering why the North with their touted unquenchable taste for power could become so amenable. Well, mafia debts are paid to the full.
Asari Dokubo, currently has a standing army ready to go to war against naysayers on his behalf. His reason: Tinubu was his patron when as the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), he was arrested and detained by the Federal Government. Tinubu fully provided for his family including a home in Victoria Garden City (VGC), one of the most glamorous areas of Lagos. Debt!
If, perhaps, you are wondering what debt Yakoub Mahmood, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who virtually threw caution out of the window by practically killing the 2023 presidential election owed, listen to Chibuike Amaechi. The former Governor of Rivers State and former Minister of Transportation, provided the answer when he told the world how his appointment came via the Tinubu camp.
So, why then would anyone be surprised about our own dear Prof. Wole Soyinka? He provided the answer to his current wacky undertaking long today before now. To every ear, he had told the story of how Tinubu and his family provided for him when he was down and out on return from exile imposed on him by former Nigerian despot, the late General Sani Abacha who went after the necks of leaders of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), of which he was one during his iron-fist reign.
He himself narrated how Remi Tinubu, the supportive wife of the former Governor of Lagos State, now President, provided him with pots and pans and other household utensils to start life anew. He also told the world how Tinubu it was that got him a letter of recommendation with which he then approached the government of Taiwan for the rice contract that supplied his daily bread. Nobody knows whether that source and the stream of income thereof has closed yet. Kongi did not tell us.
So, what would you not do for someone who fed you when you were hungry and probably saved you from the frustration of starvation and even death? Today, South Africa, despite all the threats from Europe and the US, has remained the major ally of Russia in Africa for the simple reason that the country was its bastion of struggle and hope to extricate itself from the vice grip of white man’s rule during the struggle for apartheid.
Obi: Still going about doing good
By Sunny Igboanugo
It is not unusual to hear some people in obvious overdrive of satiation, heckling and mocking – Peter Obi will never be President of Nigeria in his lifetime. Of course, it is coming from divergent quarters – the purveyors and patrons of the current state capture that are currently tightening their vice grip on Nigeria, their various supporters blinded by primordial sentiments – mostly pecuniary and ethnic.
Take Reno Omokri for example. Hours after the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT), which affirmed the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as winner of the 2023 presidential election, he went all and about with this same mantra. Of course, only a few of the spectators of his current monologue and lone dance in the street like an inebriated village drunkard, would fail to understand where he is coming from.
Many, who are now quite conversant with his ways, would easily decipher that his constant solo attacks on Obi, is his own pitch to break into the camp of President Tinubu for what he could get, after successfully doing so with Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and Tinubu’s opponent.
Just as he had tried the same trick with Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu’s predecessor and met a brickwall, owing substantially to the aloofness of the former President to stimuli around him no matter how virulent, he might be thinking that a more amenable Tinubu, would be different and would be the next meal ticket, now he seems to have realised that Atiku might not be offering very much, as could be seen in his less than passing interest in that camp.
So, the issue is not about the likes of Reno, his likes who are pitching for a job. It is also not about those already at the table where he wants to break into, currently devouring the sumptuous meal that the Nigerian commonwealth offers. It is rather about the outsiders who, though, are not in the two categories are imbued with either partisan or ethnic interests, even as they are as hard hit as the rest of the suffering mass with the realities of the crises of today’s Nigeria.
They are the ones to be pitied. If only they knew the truth. If only they knew that Obi has since moved on to where he came from – the higher plane of serving humanity. If only they knew that for Obi, the battle is quite different – different from the quest of power for its sake – rather than power to do good. If only they knew that for Obi, it is not about the acquisition of wealth, obscene, garish, insatiable wealth, mostly stolen from the common purse, but that earned from the sweat of the brow and using same to pull the society up by its booths strap. Then, they would know to whom they would direct their spikes.
Yes, Peter Gregory Obi, has moved on. He had always told those, who cared to listen that the 2023 presidency, where he was the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), was not really for or about him but for Nigerians – that he had actually come to help. His idea was that since he had used his personal resources to try and better the lives of those around him, the presidency would offer him the greater opportunity of a wider spectrum – to use the enormous resources available in Nigeria to create a country that would be brimming hot with goodies. That had always been the intention.
Indeed, as he exhorted his followers, a few days ago not to give up, he would also not drop the gauntlet in achieving that aim. But in the event that the forces of darkness, with help from within and without, succeed in their evil plot to capture the country, he would simply return to basis – going about doing good with the little at his disposal.
That was exactly what he proved last week when he presented a cheque for N10 million at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Department of Midwifery and Public Health Nursing of the Millennium College of Nursing Sciences of the Awka Anglican Communion, Anambra State, a project he promised he would be part of till fruition, after donating N40 million to Faith Specialist Hospital, where the College is domiciled, all aimed at enhancing the Diocese’s overall initiatives in strengthening its healthcare facilities.
Hear him: “My motivation for this gesture stems from my belief that healthcare is one of the critical developmental needs of any society. I encourage support of institutions like the Church in their ongoing efforts to develop these vital areas. I want you to understand that these facilities do not solely benefit the bishop and his priests but rather the entire populace of the state. I therefore pledge my commitment to the project. I’ll also leverage my connections to secure funding from my friends for this purpose.”
Alexander Ibezim, Anglican Bishop of Awka and the Archbishop of Niger Province, while commending the former Governor of Anambra State, for consistently demonstrating his commitment to the welfare of the masses, cited his past accomplishments in the state, such as the return of schools to churches and massive financial support to the schools as well as substantial financial support for healthcare, as exemplary actions that other leaders should emulate when genuinely dedicated to serving the people.
“You’re a builder of both individuals and institutions. Your investments in education and healthcare dramatically transformed the landscape of these vital sectors within the state,” the obviously elated cleric, added.
Stella Chinwe Okunna, who was not only Obi’s Chief of Staff as governor, but his ears and eyes in many of his undertakings, thereafter was neither less enthusiastic nor short of words in praising her former boss, while praising the church as well for its dedication to initiatives that improve society, recalling how his vision during his tenure as governor, aligned with global developmental goals.
“Under his leadership, the healthcare sector was completely revitalised. Before his tenure, Anambra had no accredited health institutions, but during his time, the state gained many, including two accredited hospitals. Through Obi’s partnership with the Church, institutions like Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi, Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside, Onitsha, St. Charles Borromeo Hospital, Onitsha and St. Joseph Hospital, Adazi-Nnukwu now have accredited Schools of Nursing, School of Midwifery, and Schools of Health Technology,” she said.
Recalling his significant support for the establishment of the School of Nursing at the Diocesan Hospital of Amichi Anglican Diocese, and efforts to the elevation of Iyi-Enu Hospital to a University Teaching Hospital, she added: “It was Obi’s government that initiated the construction of Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital from the scratch, equipped it, and secured accreditation.
“His administration also built 10 new maternity and child care facilities in remote areas of the state, and purchased close to 100 ambulances for selected Anambra hospitals. Rehabilitation of 15 General Hospitals in the 3 Senatorial Zones of the state, building of over 120 Primary Health Centres across various communities in the state. His achievements were so outstanding that he won first prize in the Bill and Melinda Gates prize for Polio immunization.”
Presently, Obi has moved to the Supreme Court to try and retrieve the mandate Nigerians gave him on February 25, after the September 6 PEPT verdict. It is going to be another attempt in the struggle to save the polity and gift the people the New Nigeria, he has always promised. No doubt, the forces with evil agenda would continue trying to stop him.
But, win or lose, ranting of Omokri and his gang or no, be it known that he has since moved on. Unlike his contemporaries, whose paths are clogged with the numerous barriers of dirty wealth or its vulgar display, he has since won the battle long ago by shedding the weight in more accumulation and the gnawing hunger for more and more and settled for giving and more giving. That’s why, he’s going about doing good!
Igboanugo, is the publisher of WhirlwindNews
She ended well! *Echoes of testimonies, as Theresa Omolara Obu returns home in a blaze of glory
“Theresa Omolara Obu ended well. Her life ended in prayer. At the hour of her death, she received that which all Christian men and women desire, which is, pray for me now and at the hour of our death,” were the eternal words with which Father Ehi Omoragbon of St. Francis Catholic Church, Idimu, Lagos, opened his sermons on Friday September 1.
It was indeed a testimony as well as exhortation for the sea of heads of men and women, who came from far and wide, from all over Nigeria and beyond to bid farewell to the matriarch of the Mark Obu family of Umukwata Kingdom in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, who passed on, in Lagos, on August 9, 2023 at the age of 72.
The kaleidoscope of colours inside the massive church, which was almost filled to capacity, despite being a work day, and the almost airtight situation outside the expansive compound betrayed the telltale signs of a big event that could only be captured in superlatives, which corroborated the verdict of the priest that the tentacle of the matriarch not only spread far enough but her life touched many across the globe quite positively.
How did Father Omoragbon establish his conclusion that Ma Obu ended well and is currently resting in the bosom of the heavenly hosts? Of course, he did by simply recounting how she spread love, devoted her life and times towards humanity through her work in the church as a devoted Christian and other altruistic activities through a long career as medical personnel in the channel of saving lives. With these and other acts of kindness as a businesswoman and pro-social being, she was able to uplift the less-endowed in the society, healing many wounds physically and spiritually till her last hours.
The cleric narrated how indeed, her last days on earth were epitomised by the fountain of love that radiated around her, and how the affection which she emitted throughout her life, were returned in quantum measures by those she cared for, particularly her immediate family, who were never far from her.
This was crowned when she received the last sacraments that led her to a peaceful transition from life on earth to eternal rest – the sacrament of Extreme Unction – anointing of the sick – the desire of every Catholic and a privilege they get at their last hours.
Hear the priest: “At the hour of her passing in this life, our dear sister was not alone. The beloved husband stood with her, the church was at her side, the priests and the believers were there. And because the priests and the believers were at the side of this Christian woman, Jesus was there, because three had gathered in his name.
“And in his presence, our friend, Theresa renewed her baptismal profession and because she believed in the forgiveness of sins, she was called and she heard. She went softly to death and resurrection of Christ. May almighty God free you from all the punishments in this life and the life of the son. And after that, our dear sister was asked to be led by God into the kingdom of peace. She was admitted and she received the body of Christ. And for this beloved wife, at the hour of her death, everything was done in faith, in freedom and in love.
“Of love, this daughter of love, received and gave love, in good times, she was loved, she was loved in sickness. Her condition did not in any way make her any less loveable. The situation didn’t make her unwanted. Without counting costs, everything was done that this beloved daughter of God would live. The beloved husband and the children, who wanted to keep her were free and felt free to let her go and let the will of God be done in her life.
“Because of that freedom, we Christian men and women and church, we were free to bless her, saying, May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you and protect you, may He go before you to guide and stand behind you to give you strength. May He look upon you to keep you and bless you. Then that night, God said to this beloved daughter of us, come to me, you who have laboured and God gave this faithful servant rest from her dutiful labour – the labour of being a devoted wife, for whom being a wife was not a burden, the labour of raising children for which it was not a burden, but joy, the labour of helping God to give healing to the sick for which for her it was not a burden, but a deep source of consolation.
“With joy, she lived among women and men as a beloved daughter of God and through her somebody came to know the kindness of God. This beloved daughter with whom we gather this morning to worship for the last time on this side of life, trusted and worshipped God. Open-handedly, she gave with graciousness, she received forgiveness and she gave as well. And when the cross came, she picked up the cross and carried it with the strength of Christ. And I can stand here and testify that her living was not in vain.
“Now my brothers and sisters, in life, there are things that are vain and there are things that are meaningful. Today, let us set our eyes on things that last forever. For soon, very soon, the glories of this life will pass away and all will remain is what we did for Christ. Soon, very soon, the glory of life will pass away and only what we did for Christ will last.
“When the end comes for us as it came for our sister, she was ready. When the end comes for us, let it be said as it is said of our beloved sister, she tried and did her best to love. Let it be said, church that we tried and did the best we could to feed the hungry. And when the end comes, let it be said as it is said of our beloved daughter, let it be said of us too that we tried and did our best to love and serve humanity. When the end comes, and it will come, at an hour we do not know, church, let it be said, as it is said of our sister that we tried to do our best possible duty as we ought to.
“Our beloved sister, wife, friend, mother, grandmother, we know she was not perfect, but who is? None of us! She served and served and served again and again and again. Our friend, mother, sister a child of God was faithful. She did not deny in any way the father. She did not deny in any way even in the face of difficulty, the fidelity and the faithfulness of the Son. And at the end, I testify too that she trusted in the mercy and the forgiveness of the Holy Spirit.
“She did not deny the father, she did not deny the son, she did not deny the Holy Spirit. She was faithful and faithful all the way to the very end. So, now, let us hear what God said to the faithful servant: ‘“Welcome home. Enter into the joy of the Father.’”
Father Omoragbon, was actually not alone. His was indeed a further echo of the floodgate of testimonies that opened up from all quarters right from the outset of the news of her passing till she was finally interred, as many, whose lives she touched right from her childhood through her days as a professional nurse and as a businesswoman and leader in the church stepped forward to give account of her good life.
Pa Obu, the patriarch himself, in his tribute, had traced the beginning from their first meeting in December 1967 during a science, sent-forth party of Fatima College, Ikire in the present Osun State and how the friendship that ensued led to the tying of the nuptial knot, eight years later.
“We got introduced to each other and became friends. I cannot forget the memory of our friendship for eight years before we got married on 4th October, 1975… We sojourned together for 56 years, first as friends for eight years and marriage for 48 years,” he recounted.
The intensity, level and quality of love that existed were such that twice, she nearly blocked the patriarch, a first class engineer, astute businessman, philanthropist and community leader from taking well-deserved traditional titles, having kicked against the idea, on the ground, according to him, that it could lead him into taking other wives, who would come in-between them and mess up what they shared.
Yet, to underscore the reciprocity of the mutual affection, the titles were taken without other women showing up. Thus, it was a win-win situation, especially when that of The Knight of St. Mulumba Nigeria, a Christian equivalent came in 1997.
He continued: “She was a very lovely friend and wife. She was very honest and pious. She could be quiet and cool, but she had a very strong character, such that when she took a decision on issues, she stood by it. She could be very stubborn, but she meant good on such issues and that my inputs are always needed to take a decision. We had our disagreements on many issues, but we found ways to resolve them.”
On the homefront, particularly about the children, he added: “My wife did not like travelling. Most mothers would have taken the advantage of having children abroad to leave behind their husbands, but my wife was an exception. She preferred to talk on hours on phone daily to all of them one after the other than travel. She loved her children and grandchildren that she could sacrifice all her savings to please them. She was very faithful, honest and respectful. Even in her sickness she was still struggling to play the role of a wife and mother always asking after the welfare of everyone. She will surely be missed by all the children especially our sons who were with her all the time during her illness. We are sure you are with our Lords Jesus Christ and praying for us. Rest in peace, till we meet to part no more.”
What an emotional way of ending an epic elegy for a soulmate with whom one had shared 56 years of life, climbing the steep, slippery road, falling and pulling each other up in the trudging journey? How else could one capture such enthralling experience?
The testimonies of the children were no less revealing. From Osai Justina Ojigho, Omakolo Christiana Omotayo Ugowe, Ifeoma Gbenedio, Nwaka Obu, the daughters, to Chukwuma Tolupe Obu and Emeka Obu, the sons, through the grandchildren to the in-laws, family members, school mates, fellow workers, business partners, friends and well-wishers, who paid tributes in torrents of homage, it was clear that the words of Father Ehi Omoragbon, were in no way misplaced.
Centuries ago, the Romans wrote on their walls – vox populi vox Dei! If indeed the voice of the people is the voice of God, it then means that Theresa Omolara Obu, now has the best of the two worlds – a very positive, eventful and remarkable life on earth and now a blissful rest in heaven. What a way to END WELL!
September 30, 2023 9:43 pm
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BREAKING: Mother of all strikes! D-Day, October 3! *Stockpile food, essentials – NLC, TUC
BREAKING: Supreme Court on fire! Judges’ offices razed days after Atiku, Obi’s appeal!
Soyinka, Obi, Tinubu: When repayment of mafia debt is inescapable
In the military, INEC boss and his team would be executed – Bode George *Why put Tinubu’s boy in charge of IT?
News6 days ago
BREAKING: Supreme Court on fire! Judges’ offices razed days after Atiku, Obi’s appeal!
Columns2 weeks ago
Soyinka, Obi, Tinubu: When repayment of mafia debt is inescapable
News3 weeks ago
BREAKING: Fresh twist in Tinubu’s Chicago varsity saga *Admission gained through GCE, not US college
Crime3 weeks ago
BREAKING: FUOYE female student, murdered! *Body buried behind faculty *Students ordered home, as school shuts down
Crime3 weeks ago
FUOYE female student’s murder: We need justice, students cry out *Suspect cover-up *Demand safety on campus
News4 days ago
Withdraw US case against Tinubu, Nigeria facing global shame, APC tells Atiku
News3 weeks ago
BREAKING: PEPT judgement, endorsement of electoral robbery – LP *We won’t relent
News1 week ago
Mark set to replace Ayu as PDP National Chairman, as Atiku camp readies for Wike battle