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Tribute to Sir Chief TOM AMIOKU

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Chief Tom Amioku

By Odua Clement T. Ofuani

MON, JUN 15 2020-theG&BJournal- I first knew him in 1999 when I was Special Assistant to the Honourable Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning and he was Honourable Commissioner for Special Duties. His colleagues referred to him regularly as gentleman Amioku. I found that sobriquet rather intriguing. I could not tell if he earned it because he was usually dressed in complete suit with sparkling white shirt or if it was due to his softspoken nature.

Well, it is said that it is not the hood that makes the monk. Even when he began to dress less in western outfit, he did not stop being the embodiment of gentlemanliness. When I later became his cabinet colleague, he treated me with the same respectful consideration as he had done when I was in a lowlier position. The consistency was that your position in life was not the consideration on how Chief Tom Amioku treated you.

Years later, I became the pioneer Director General of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency and Chief Amioku was inaugurated as the pioneer Chairman. We did not always agree on every issue but I was humbled when Chief Amioku walked into my office on one occasion and informed me that he had been wrong on a subject matter that we had disagreed on. I was deeply touched by his humility in admitting his error. Which man did God create that cannot err? But, a thoroughbred gentleman is not ashamed to admit an error. It is one of the foundations of societal harmony.

It is little wonder that the disharmony, acrimony and conflicts that characterize boards of parastatals in our clime were absent in the Capital Territory Board. I remain eternally grateful to Chief Amioku’s mature leadership of the Board. I am confident that history will be kind to him for his many positive contributions to the development of Delta State in various capacities.

It was therefore with great pain that I received the sad news of the demise of this perfect gentleman. We pray that Almighty God will grant the soul of Gentleman Amioku eternal rest in His bosom and fortitude to his family to bear this irreparable loss.

Odua Clement T. Ofuani writes from Abuja, Nigeria

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