By Chris Ewokor and Rufai Oseni (Former staff of JFM 95.1)
“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. Death cannot kill what never dies.” – William Penn
When we heard of your death, the first reaction was to mourn but you always stated that we should all remember the good memories and thank God for life. So we will not mourn you Sir but we will thank God for your life.
We thank God for the gift of ideas he gave you, the vision to open the Radio market in Delta State. Since you started JFM Radio, five (5) other Radio Stations have started operation – you were the pioneer!
By your bold vision and innovation all you have done is to give permission to others to dream.
The most important thing about life, is how our lives inspire others. Your life has been an inspiration! Decades before the advent of cashless payments and cashless economy that now raise over 200 million dollars, you incubated the idea of a cashless economy and set up Cash-Link Company in the 80s! You were always ahead of your time. Like Nostradamus you were the man that saw tomorrow and created it today.
Many people were unable to catch your vision. It is amazing that up till your dying days you kept on dreaming of the solutions to the world’s problems for the next 50years.You dreamt of other forms of social media. You also dreamt of a website, that will teach every business owners about business. But the cold hands of death has taken you away.
As a human being you were kind and worked hard for peace. You had loads of ideas and felt that radio is a great platform of not just entertainment and playing music but also of education, information and most importantly engaging in campaign for the good of the society. Hence your radio station JFM 95.1, (The Classic Station) was used to preach peace in the Niger Delta.
We will take a moment to shed light on some of the issues and how you, as an individual, helped to articulate the intricate, controversial and interrelated multi-dimensional issues that bedeviled the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general, and how the peace was achieved.
In 1999, with Nigeria’s return to democracy the political space was opened. Earlier in 1998, Niger Delta youths (on invitation) had joined other youths across Nigeria to participate in the million-man March for Abacha’s planned transformation in Abuja. On getting to Abuja, they saw how “their oil money” was used in the building and transforming of a new capital. They returned home and started agitation for the development of the oil-bearing communities. This led to the youth restiveness in the Niger Delta. Alongside the Niger Delta conflict, there were communal clashes. Who can forget so quickly the Warri Crisis? But the big issue was the marginalization and underdevelopment of the host communities, and the degradation and destruction of their ecosystem. Of course, these issues gave birth to the “Resource Control” agitations. The Federal and state governments had quite a handful issues to address in the region. But it seemed at the time that there weren’t many people who really understood how to go about attaining peace and sustainable development in the Niger Delta. That was where you stepped in! You felt that there was a need to give a voice to all parties (the communities, the multinational oil companies and the government) to explore opportunities for understanding, peace and development. It was your deliberate efforts that created a platform for any person or group in the Niger Delta to come and speak out their grievances and subsequently all related and connected individuals and or groups are equally invited to state their own side of the issues, and pronto the hitherto voiceless people had a voice to air their pains and issues were resolved amicably. Despite that a lot of people later used the Niger Delta crisis for personal gains, You saw the campaign for peace as a mission and didn’t care about lack of support from anyone. That is one of your many attributes. You were selfless and believed in the development of your community and society, than personal gains. We are sure you will have a lot to say about the state of the Niger Delta today. For all of us your staff who you have touched by your greatness, our greatest tribute to you will not just be about words but to carry on and execute the ideas you blessed us with. We know for certain that you are not dead. To live in the hearts of those who love you is never to die! You continue to live in our hearts.
Our great and kindhearted boss, we will not mourn you! We will have a drink of your favorite drink ‘Coca-Cola, brandy and groundnut’ and we will seat on your computer like you will always do and think of more ideas to change the world. MD Sir, you are not dead! You have just taken a rest after a long day called life.
Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for the training, the opportunities and the hope you gave us. Thank you for your ideas.
Think on Prince George Ugen!
We love you!