Tribute to my friend Moses Okpo - A True Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ
We met Mr Moses Okpo for the first time at the Anglican Church of Resurrection in 2013. From then on we struck a relationship in which we came to realize his dedication to the work of Christ as the only other work of interest to him. Moses Okpo gave his life, time and money to Christ. He was a sacrificial giver to the wo
rk of Christ - a pillar in the service of the Lord. We where amazed at the singular contribution he made towards building a Church in his community. This to us is an outstanding legacy. A noble feat indeed.
We had looked forward to see him again especially for all his support to us when I was in hospital last year. It was therefore a totally unexpected shock to us to learn of his passing away. We still have not come to terms with this reality. To Ifeoma and the children we pray that the good Lord will give them the Grace to bear the loss. For we are convinced that he rests in the bosom of the Lord.
Rest In Peace my dear Brother in Christ Jesus.
Chuma and Ugonnaya EZEDINMA
African Development Bank Group
Centurion, South Africa
To my brother, my friend, and my boss
Sylva Okolieaboh; M.Sc. (London), FCA
Director, Treasury Single Account,
Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation
In late 2003, a cocktail of unrelated events saw me at the Treasury House Headquarters on posting.
I was a wet in ear the civil servant, having been recruited three years earlier as part of the Millennium Accountants
programme of 2000. Prior to this moment, the headquarters was generally an unfamiliar territory to me. It was a place where I dropped by, at distant intervals to check on friends and colleagues; usually at the car park before I took my leave.
On this eventful day, I was at the Treasury House for something less social and more sobering. A verbal directive has just been issued posting me from the National Commission for Refugees to the then Consolidated Accounts Division of the Treasury Service Department at the Headquarters.
For a young officer unfamiliar with the ways of the Service and the workings of the Headquarters; for someone like me coming from corporate Lagos, the atmosphere at Treasury Headquarters and CAD at the time was a bit unsettling.
During my many visits to the Headquarters preceding my eventual posting, I had passed through the first floor of Block B where CAD was located. The apparent disorderliness and sense of abandonment around that floor and its occupants created anxiety for me. I was informed by those familiar with the terrain that CAD was a dumping ground for the unfavoured and the unconnected. Heaven alone knew why I was singled out to suffer the indignity of CAD. “I was not going to take it”; I assured myself. Whatever it takes to reverse this posting, I was ready for it.
It was in this state of utter despair and disillusionment, in one of my shuttles to the Treasury House, that I ran into an impeccably dressed young man of average height on the first floor corridor, just by the staircase leading out of CAD. I recollect the well-tailored and perfectly fitting black suit, white shirt and tie; quite uncharacteristic of the colourful sartorial preferences of civil servants of that era.
He approached me with an unusual sense of familiarity and what I interpreted as genuine empathy. He told me that he learnt I was posted to CAD and wondered why I was unfortunate enough to be posted there. He was close to then Director, Treasury Services Department and was going to intervene on my behalf; he assured me. The good Samaritan who met me by the corridor and offered me hope in my state of hopelessness was Mr. Moses C. Okpo. He did intervene as promised and updated me as things progressed.
On this fateful morning, I met Mr. Okpo at the Treasury House for scheduled update on the status of my re-posting. The person I met this time was in stark contrast to the boisterous, ever-happy and smiling young man I have known for the past few days.
He looked at me with brotherly pity, concern, and visible resignation. “The Director was not disposed to reposting me”; he relayed to me with a palpable sense of regret and disappointment. It was obvious to me that we had hit a brick wall. It was time to give up and face it, whatever it was. I have always known when to let go; and that was the moment. The cost of any further attempt to change the posting after that point would be disproportionate to the benefit of achieving it. I thanked him; and took up what marked the first major challenge of my career.
Settling down in an unfamiliar Treasury House of 2003 was not a particularly easy and pleasant one for someone coming from the more predictable, orderly and neat corporate Lagos. The culture of the Civil Service was a source of perplexity to me (it still is; to a lesser degree) and I needed the assuring presence of those conversant with it to settle down. Mr. Okpo was top among those that filled that gap.
We would assemble at his office in the next block and over animated banter and sumptuous home-made lunch by his wife, the anxiety and uncertainty of my posting to CAD ebbed. His office was both a meeting point and melting pot. There, you would meet staff of different Departments and grade levels. There also, you were assured of meeting people of different places and social persuasions. His office was the ultimate networking hub.
Mr. Okpo led us to the Public Accounts Committees (PAC) of both the Senate and House of Representatives. I have not stopped marvelling at how easily he navigated his way through the maze of intrigues and technicalities that characterized that important theatre of public accountability. The charm, the depth, the smile, the compassion, the eloquence. Not once during the time he led us to PAC did we encounter any moment of embarrassment and needless controversy. He united one Office with another and through him, both the Committee and the agencies appearing before them found a unifying ground. He was the confluence at which the disparate and contending interests of the
FAREWELL TO A BELOVED BROTHER
Moo, as I fondly called you, words fail me in expressing how deeply pained my family and I feel about your untimely demise. My heart still aches in sadness and secret tear still flows.
Moo and I had a very cordial relationship and this dated far back to our secondary school days in Aba, Abia State.
I recall attending the inter-house sports organized by your schoo
l, to cheer you up while participating in the sporting activities. Even when you relocated to the Northern State (Bauchi State) in pursuit of a higher education, you still made time to keep in touch with Daa Ekee.
I still have memories of how some of our relatives and I organized a sent forth party for you, after completing an official course in Lagos State.
In various ways, you have been of incredible support to my family and I, in very challenging times. You have indeed touched so many lives and you will be dearly missed.
Your passing from this world was rather too soon and difficult to comprehend. However, your endearing personality would serve as a legacy for your family.
As Christians, we take solace knowing that your creator has called you to rest from all your earthly struggles and hope that we would be reunited on that glorious resurrection morning.
Until then, keep resting in God’s bosom.
Mrs. M. N. Okwuonu (Nee Daa Ekee) and family.
BRO MOSES OKPO
You fought a brave battle and ultimately won in Christ Jesus. Your humility and commitment was highly inspirational and blessing to us all.
We the Ushers believed, you have been Ushered by the host of Angels.
We Love you beyond words and missed you beyond measures.
Rest in the bosom of the Lord!
Glory Dome, The Lord’s Garden
Dunamis Int’l Gospel Centre, H
TRIBUTE TO A BEST FRIEND
‘ Holy M.o.o.s.e.s ! Power . s ! Hafu One And, Kpo ihu e go ! ‘ as we fondly called each other,
I could hear your laughter. Who can fill your space in my life as my bosom friend and confidant?
To me, You left us too soon.
Like a bright candle gently and quietly blown off
by the wind, you took your last breath and went the way of all flesh.
You were the best and true friend I had in this world, having related intimately with you for a period of forty – 40 plus years.
We shared every thing in common; the good, the bad and everything until your painful exit.
We were School, Professional, Course mates, Social and bed fellows to mention, a few.
I wish I was writing a tribute to your celebration of seventy – 70, eighty – 80 and more years we both dreamt of, but man can only propose.
You were an embodiment of peace, love, humor and sacrifice for mankind. Man of the people, Kind and Large–hearted, Problem–solver, Solution–provider, Devout Christian, Sanctuary– builder and a selfless man,
You did not segregate between your family members, friends and others or between your tribe and others who came to you for assistance.
You touched the lives of all and sundry to the extent that both the young and old will always miss and remember you.
Happily, at the family front, you did not forget the popular axiom, ‘ Charity begins at home’
Having made a career in the education sector, you ensured that Engineers, Accountants, Lawyer and Administrators were made out of your children.
You did your bit perfectly well. You left a good name. Our Heavenly Father decrees that in all things we should give Him thanks. The difference between the living and the dead is TIME. Who am I to question the Almighty?
Okay my friend and brother, Adieu, ‘ Holy M.o.o.s.e.s ‘ !
GU Ihe, Jos.