The Egena Attah of Igalaland, Engr. Joseph Oyenani Makoju, mni, OON, CON, has clocked 70 – Seven decades of life here on planet earth.
I consider it a rare privilege to have met you through your daughter, Eneze Osarieme Makoju-Akaba, unarguably one of the most exposed police officers in Nigeria today.
Meanwhile, I had some knowledge of you before my contact with Eneze but her further revelations about you and my little probings revealed what an enigma you are.
Nigeria is in dire need of men like you who are selfless, patriotic and nationalistic. For years, you were the nation’s Honorary Adviser on Power pro bono publico; a rare feat in our clime where virtually everybody sees such appointments as ‘come chop’!
You are in touch with the greats across the world but exudes a level of humility and humanity almost strange to comprehend.
Of all your family activities I have attended, you were always present even at your grandkid’s birthdays, and yet you are the special adviser to the richest man in Africa! Guys on lesser pecking order don’t even find time for such things. You inspire!
Once was I on a trip to Okene for a colleague’s wedding and we got an invite for lunch in your home in Okene. I don’t need to tell you that the conviviality of that lunch makes it the most memorable lunch I have had for as long as I can remember.
You had time to chat with us and made us feel so much at home even though you had other VIP guests to attend to. I thank God men like you are still around as constant reminders of the rich heritage we have as a nation, our outstanding past that schooled your ilks in public schools, worked hard in our public institutions and left footprints of hard work, dedication and strong family life.
With your type, we can’t help but ask our new leaders where they discovered and appropriated the arrogance that has become the signature of public service, governance, interpersonal relationships, indeed of virtually everything.
It is in this wise that I pray that the good Lord will keep you more as a memorabilia of a rich heritage, maybe our new czars will learn a lesson or two from you and a few others like you who have inspired so much hope in a land yearning for role models.
The House of Sir Ken(THoSK) will ring a bell in your honour and echo happy birthday to you on your special day. 70 sure sits well on you and the septuagenarian clan must be agog with celebration for having such a quality member in you. Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day, Sir.
*Sir Ken Nwosu, KSC, a Chief Superintendent of Police writes from Abuja