It is sad that as we are gathered here today, we are forced to talk about the good works of Ambassador Ejeviome Eloho Otobo in the past tense! As much as we at Prime Business Africa admit that this is what mother nature obligates all mortals to do, Amb. Eloho’s case remains a hard pill to swallow.
It is even more difficult for me on a personal level, considering the special and professional moments I shared with him during six (6) of my 16 long years as Editor at The Guardian Nigeria, and later as Managing Director and editor/publisher. -Head of Newstide Publications Limited, publishers of Prime Business Africa (PBA), where, until his death in June 2022, Eloho was a board member.
In making these brief comments today, I would like to align myself again with the eternal truism that resonates in the words of Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of ‘England and whose works are considered a contribution. to the scientific method and being influential during the later stages of the scientific revolution: “If a man begins with certainties, he will end with doubts, but if he is content to begin with doubts, he will end with certainties,” Bacon. said
Indeed, “Prof” as I fondly called him, lived these words “Bacon” in his personal and professional life. His solution to every work challenge started with a question and at one point the ‘Prof’ would have offered solutions. As a diplomat, he was an extraordinary communicator, an avid researcher, a compelling writer, an eagle-eyed editor and an articulate speaker.
‘Prof’ was, above all, an expert in human relations. His attention to detail was legendary! Ambassador Otobo never left anything to chance; and the certain indelible marks he has left on the lives of his wife, children, colleagues and friends through quality relationship and hard work are evident in the mind-blowing testimonies of his death.
Just 24 hours ago, Thursday August 11th to be precise, the Board and Management of our company in Nigeria organized a virtual colloquium to honor this great Nigerian diplomat, and we had a lot of genuine testimonials from his friend turned in brother Ambassador Oseloka. Obaze and his other diplomatic colleagues including Ambassadors Joe Keshi and Akpata among many others who were all livid with kind words about Eloho Otobo’s life well lived for the glory of God and the good of humanity .
“Ambassador Eloho Otobo’s Dream Africa,” the theme of that “Tribute Thursday” speaks volumes for what the man in whose honor we have all gathered here in New York stood for. Indeed, he was an expert in African diplomacy, trade and policy governance.
Nigeria’s presidential spokesman, Laolu Akande, who was at one time the Guardian’s correspondent here in New York when he ran the news desk for the newspaper’s weekend (Sunday) title, also spoke enthusiastically about his experience staff with Ambassador Otobo as a diplomat in the United States. Permanent Mission of the Nations.
Honorable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, President and CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) also had tons of kind words for Otobo: “I heard so much about him and tried so hard to meet this wonderful man, but I could not meet. him personally before he died,” Abike-Dabiri said at the Prime Business Africa Colloquium for Otobo on Thursday night.
Son of the late Otobo, Oheri would confess that the PBA colloquium made him “know my father beyond being my beloved father”. Thank you Prime Business Africa.”
Again, what a pity for us as humans to say goodbye to a good man! However, for ‘Prof’, it’s nunc dimitis! At age 70, he passed away as a righteous man, having also met the Bible’s benchmark for righteous living.
Since I cannot be physically here in New York due to circumstances beyond my control, I have asked the Reverend Father Vitus Mbamalu, my blood brother and a Catholic priest also here in New York to represent me and express our condolences at the Otobo’s wife Esther, their son Oheri and their siblings.
As I said earlier, Prime Business Africa, an Africa-focused newspaper based in Nigeria, where Ambassador Eloho Otobo was until his death a member of the company and editorial board, also sends its condolences to the pastor of the parish and the Church where he worshiped God for many years of his life.
Again, let me put on record the fact that I met Amb. Otobo when he was working with The Guardian Nigeria as an editor after doing a three-part review of one of his three books on Africa, Africa in Transition, in 2017. From then on, he became more of a big brother than a friend. He was a wonderful soul…a diligent selfless professional, always supportive and willing to provide answers to complicated problems without expecting a reward.
His attention span was legendary. This explains why I had no problem inviting him to the Board of Newstide Publications Limited as a Director and the Editorial Board of Prime Business Africa, the legacy online newspaper from the Newstide stable, to be a member. As expected, Ambassador Otobo acquitted himself creditably among other board members, always going the extra mile to add real value. He is greatly missed at Prime Business Africa.
He single-handedly presented our PBA Policy Briefing Series on key governance issues and solutions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. He will be greatly missed at this point as well.
Eloho’s was certainly a heart of love and compassion for others. He had a special place in his heart for those who stand for excellence. This is why Prime Business Africa has publicly declared its support for the initiative of a group of diplomats who were their colleagues and friends to establish an annual Academic Award, the Ambassador Eloho Otobo Academic Award for Excellence , at the prestigious University of Lagos (Unilag).
We appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians and Africans to join this attempt to immortalize a man whose selfless service to the country, the continent and humanity is nothing short of remarkable by contributing to this fund and other programs well ambassador Eloho’s intentions. honor
His love for excellence as reproduced in his contributions to Prime Business Africa, the newspaper company I represent, is once again exemplary.
Therefore, on behalf of the Board and Management of Prime Business Africa, I wish Ambassador Eloho Otobo a gracious and peaceful eternal rest. And to his beautiful wife Esther, and to the wonderful children he loved so much, I say, ‘Your hero lives; don’t cry anymore”.
Well done, Ambassador Extraordinary of Africa!
Dr. Mbamalu, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Prime Business Africa delivered this speech at the Memorial of former Director and Editorial Board Member, Late Ambassador Ejeviome Eloho Otobo in New York, United States recently.