FAREWELL EZI-ONYENDU, SIR EMMANUEL OSITADINMA OJUKWU (EZIOKWUBUNDU)
On the 4th day of February, 2021, the most charismatic leader, the Nigerian Community in China ever had, breathed his last!
When an exceptional friend to us passes on, it could be difficult to continue living. Things that were special to you may begin to seem meaningless when you don’t have that exceptional friend to share it with. All of the things that you did together are reminders of the loss that you have suffered. Eziokwubundu as I fondly call him was such a ‘beautiful’ friend!
Beyond his unmatchable leadership qualities, he was humane and compassionate. I recall with nostalgia and tears when in 2003, one of his boys stole his $19,500 claiming to have lost the money in a commercial bus; the people around wanted to beat the hell out of him, having discovered he was telling lies, but Mr. Ojukwu stopped them insisting that the boy shouldn’t be beaten because of money. Rather he should be allowed to be judged by his conscience. I was impressively amazed knowing that I was not worth more than $500 as at that time and knew the value of the stolen money. But that was Ossy. His sense of forgiveness, tolerance, stoicism and accommodativeness was second to none.
The excellent way he piloted the affairs of the Nigerian community pays tribute to his unique personality. Prior to his enthronement as the president of the Nigeria community in China, cultism and gangsterism were the social normal, but Onyeisi weighed in and permanently curbed the social ill to the point that the Chinese provincial governments in provinces with high population of Nigerians recognized the positive change and applauded him for the great job.
The excellent leadership waves of the great Eziokwubundu must not be stereotyped to only his giant strides in the leadership of Nigerian community in China, but it transcends to other social groups he was identified with. Eziokwubundu was the secret behind the success of the enviable Ikenga Ndigbo Gburu Gburu. Before his coming as the president of the revered Ikenga, the organization was in a comatose state gasping for breath. The club was confronted with severe leadership crisis. As soon as Onyeisi came on board, he reconciled the conflicting factions, restructured the organization and ensured that transparency and accountability prevailed in his leadership, hence, the success story of the Organization today.
While alive, he was revered by both the Chinese authority and Nigerians in China. Onyeisi was such a selfless leader who would ignore his personal challenges in pursuit of public good. It is not to sound hyperbolic to say that even on the sick bed, Onyeisi was still using his last strength to attend to the problems of Nigerians in China.
Onyeisi was a brother and a true friend. And it is not arguable to say that his demise has created a gap that no one can fill in Nigeria community in China. It is without sentiment that I make bold to say that Onyeisi was pure in the heart. Therefore, I am consoled by the heavenly promise in the book of Mathew Chapter 5 vs 8; ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God!’
Adieu Ezigbo Onyendu, Sir Emmanuel Ositadinma Ojukwu. You will forever remain in my heart! I am certain that God himself took you home. Ga ije gi nke oma, emesia anyi gafu
Dust to dust, soul to Maker, so it is and so it has always been!!!
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