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Farewell to a good man

By Donu Kogbara
LAST weekend, Engineer Gabriel Egbunefu quietly went to meet his Maker after a brief illness. I was totally shocked when I this bad news was conveyed to me because he had looked so healthy and untroubled when I last saw him.

I knew Egbunefu well because he had been my colleague and chairman for over three years. We were both, thanks to our Governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, members of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) Board; and he headed the Board’s finance committee to which I belong.

It is customary to sentimentally heap praise on those who have died, even when they don’t actually deserve praise. But I can honestly say that I am not merely respecting cultural conventions when I tell you that Egbunefu was a good man.

He took his professional responsibilities very seriously indeed and was God-fearing, stoical, unmaterialistic and kind. If I lost my temper with someone, he would tell me off. If he was exposed to physical discomfort, he rarely complained. If any of the people around him behaved extravagantly, he expressed disapproval. If a problem arose, he would lead us in prayer.

Engineer Egbunefu will be sorely missed by me, every other Board Member, our Board Chairman (Chief Ferdinand Alabraba), our CEO (Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam) and GPHCDA staff. May the family he adored find the strength to bear this unexpected and terrible loss. May his gentle, modest soul rest in peace.

Should the Black race be condemned?

LAST Friday, I quoted PW Botha, the white ex-President ofSouth Africaand unapologetic champion of the racist apartheid doctrine, who regarded black people as undisciplined, short-sighted, self-destructive and so on.

The Nigerians who drew my attention to Botha’s comments felt that they contained large grains of truth. And, sadly, I agree with those who feel that we are our own worst enemies and unlikely to fulfill our potential in the near future.

The reaction from Vanguard readers was mixed. Professor Bolaji Akinyemi (B.A, M.A, M.A.L.D, D.Phil (Oxon), CFR), the distinguished former Minister of Foreign Affairs, displayed a formidable grasp of historical realities when he said:

Dear Donu, let us not lose any sleep over the views of P.W. Botha. Those views were born out of ignorance. Were Blacks involved in the Spartan war, the Crimean war, the various civil wars in various European countries, the first great European+American war (mislabelled First World War), the second great European+American war (mislabelled Second World War), the Spanish civil war, the horrendous war in Serbia/Bosnia and the on-going civil war in Syria?

…We Africans have our own wars. But no race is innocent. The tragedy of racist regimes is that it is government of illiterates for illiterates.

 From: Davidson Otite

If you look at what has happened inNigeriasince 1999, you will agree with Botha’s statements. However, looking at power in the hands of black men inGhanafor instance, his statements become insulting lies.

 +2348023794203 O OLORI

Botha’s statements are, sadly, 100 percent correct. Else how comeSouth Africawithout oil is the most developed economy inAfrica?

+2347032971054 Jahkwelin

Dear DK, when one views the assertions of P.W Botha objectively, they would seem to be correct…Is it not said that Africa is the capital of natural resources and headquarters of poverty?…There is something wrong with the black man as far as leadership is concerned. And it is time to start correcting it if the likes of Botha are to be proved wrong.


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