Tuesday, 3 November 2020


Chief Eugene Ojokwu, CEO, E. Ekeson Bros Ltd

Anayo Nwosu

I have been attending funeral ceremonies in the Eastern Nigeria but none has been as significant to me as the funeral ceremony of the wife of Chief Eugene Ojukwu, the Chairman/CEO of E. Ekesons Bros Limited, a major player in Nigeria’s road transport and logistics sector.


Ekeson, as he is fondly called (as Nnewi people assume and answer the names of their companies) displayed his wealth not in the cost of the casket housing the late wife, the choice wines or cuisines, entertainment of guests or the architectural masterpiece of his house or the decoration of his compound where the entire funeral rites took place but he showed class in the quality of men and women that traveled from far and near at short notice damning COVID-19 fear and the palpable insecurity in Nigeria to his village located at Akabọ̀ezem in Uruagu Nnewi.


I was shell-shocked when a retired chief registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Mr. Chris Unigwe came to ask me what I wanted to eat. I saw known medical doctors, IT entrepreneurs, importers and exporters waiting on guests at the reception tent. A senior staff in CBN served me drink while Ụzọ, the president of Akabọezem Town Union insisted that I was served the right quantity of Ụkwa by an appetizing lady that was all smiles. I only ate her Ụkwa.


Stunned by the zeal and the humility of the creme de la creme of the successful youths of Akabọezem Uruagu Nnewi to make available their time, manual labour and quintessential customer service spoke volumes of the kind of man the bereaved is. They must owe Ekeson something or must have been following the man’s selfless example.


I will resist the temptation of crediting the organization I saw today at Akabọezem to their heredity traditional ruler, Chief Benjamin Chukwuka aka Obidioramma who was also handy to serve with a glass of red wine in one hand and his beautiful wife on the other, the wife he would not allow a stranger embrace; but I will attribute what I saw to Ekeson and his family.


Ekeson was certainly reaping from the crop he planted in the past. He is a man that delights in helping promising young people to prosper. His reputation of charity is not only known to his immediate community but beyond.


Ekeson might be a wealthy man by all measurements but his real wealth was on display today when those who are very comfortable by all means traveled from far and near just to work for him even though the man can conveniently procure those services. In fact, he did get waiters who could be seen everywhere but his highly successful kinsmen held sway. They served, they waited on visiting sympathizers and they deposited memorable experience in those they served, most of who are below them in social and economic ladders.


What I saw today at Ekeson's village of Akabọezem in Nnewi is an eye-opener. It is an expensive display of wealth, the kind of wealth many rich people don’t have.



Ikenga Ezenwegbu

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