Tuesday, September 15, 2020

IK OKOH: VICTORY IN DEATH



By Anthony Awunor

If the news going around is anything to go by, it means one can indeed have victory, even in death. A grassroot community online platform known as Ubulu Ezemu is said to have listed our amiable brother, late Ikechukwu Joseph Okoh as one of its nominees in its posthumous award category in a ceremony that will be held in Ubulu-Uku December this year.

IK Okoh died on the 7th June, 2020 and was buried peacefully on July 30th at his family compound in Abuedo quarters, Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. His burial was like a Brazilian carnival and almost all the youths of Ubulu-Uku, neigbouring towns, Port Harcourt and other places attended the burial, to bid the ma n adjudged to be one of the best philanthropist that ever lived, good bye.

The remembrance by way of award is coming swiftly in just few months after IK Okoh was interred to mother earth.

Going by this accolade put together by the grassroot platform, it goes a long way to negating what Shakespeare had written many centuries ago.

Simply put and to quote the English writer, he wrote "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones".

If late Okoh clinches the award finally, it means that Ubulu Ezemu is trying to showcase IK Okoh's good deeds in good light instead of burying it deep in his bones.

It is therefore, obvious, that if the award falls through, Ubulu Ezemu must have succeeded in proving Shakespeare wrong in some ways. Remembering men's good deeds is no doubt, a very remarkable testimony. It becomes even more important when the recipient is quietly resting in the grave all alone.
Until his transition, IK Okoh was the President of Ubulu Uku Development Union (UDU), Port Harcourt branch. He was one of the eminent sons of Ubulu Uku who will be remembered for their good works. At 60 years old when he died, Okoh had affected lives positively, making men and women to earn good living while a lot more built massive houses through him.

He was a rare gem.

By peacefully passing away in his hometown, not a victim of hired assassins; not claimed by any accident; no scandal of any sort and not killed by gun trotting armed robbers, IK Okoh lived a fulfilled life and has achieved his greatest victory in death.

I met him twice when he was still alive. The first was in Port Harcourt, when I visited the garden city many years ago. While we were going to see him, I was worried because it was late at night. My thinking was that he would not attend to us. However, meeting him that very day was very easy as there was no red-tap or any other protocols to see him. He was nice and his disposition portrayed that of a great leader.

The second time, was on September 2, 2018 when Ubulu Uku youths laid foundation for N50 million building project for a Divisional Police Station in the town. There and then, I learnt he was also part of the success achieved by Ubulu Uku Youth Development Council (UYDC) headed by Comrade Augustine Enyi.

His story of giving help to people is endless. Every Ubulu indigene, particularly in Port Harcourt has one good story to tell about him. It was like a good "virus" that infected all and sundry.

My drift is that it is good to live well, no matter what it costs. Ubulu Ezemu's step to remember IK Okoh in death is commendable and worthy of emulation.

By so doing, many mortals living will begin to have a rethink, bearing in mind that sometimes, men's good deeds could be cast on stone and not only buried in their bones.

___Anthony Awunor, a multiple award-winning journalist is from Ubulu-Uku.

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