FEATURE ARTICLE

Michael NnebeFriday, January 26, 2018
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IN TRIBUTE TO ALEX EKWUEME -PATRIOT, FATHER, BENEFACTOR AND BOSS

lex Ekwueme epitomized integrity at its highest level in personal and public life. He inspired people to maintain a high level of humility, be selfless in service, accommodating in all circumstances, content in what you are given and to always believe in God.

The above and more would be my keepsake as I grieve the transition of my boss, father, brother and friend. My 10 years of close association with him changed my life. I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve as the founding Director General of Alex Ekwueme Foundation.

Alex Ekwueme represents the best of what humanity can offer in Nigeria. He inspired dedication to duty and profound loyalty from all persons around him. He was a stickler for time, a fashion icon, and a perfectionist par excellence with a great sense of humour.

When I look back at the energy and zeal with which he carried on with life after his 80th birthday, I had the impression that we would celebrate his 100th birthday with pomp and pageantry. Now as we grieve the demise of Ideoko, I am now left wondering about all his unfinished projects.

As sad as I feel that no one would ever call me "Ume Nsofor" (a name he calls me in reference to a funny story we shared) I am confident that his legacy will not only live on in the monuments, buildings, streets and parks named after him but that his legacies will include the feeling of love that his name alone inspires, the respect and admiration that he garnered and the unity of Nigeria that he sacrificed everything for.

Ideoko will never die because heroes never die. His memories will forever be present in my life because he inspired the man that I have become today.

I have fond memories of watching Wimbledon, Carols and Recitals at St Marylebone, post Sunday lunch Martini's and the kegs of "Nkwu Ocha" he would bring for me when I resided in London.

Thank you for all the Iove you showed me, my wife "Beatie" as you call her and our children, but most importantly thank you for trusting me and believing in me. It means the whole world to me.

I will cherish your evergreen memories every day of my life till I meet you again. It is not good bye because Ideoko lives on.

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