By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
It’s not a period to roll out the drums because the bell has tolled for one of us, Elder Sunday Ukaegbu, and, according to John Donne, has tolled for us- his remaining siblings.
All the same, I return all glory to the Almighty for sparing my life.
It has been a life full of struggle and adventures, especially the struggle for a better society- which we have fought mostly with intectualism.
The struggle has seen us traversing the nooks and crannies of the country: from Bauchi to Jos, Kaduna, Benin, Katsina, Kwara, Jigawa, Enugu, Owerri, Onitsha, Lagos,Nsukka, just to mention but a few.
It’s been a life saddled with ups and downs, especially the loss of loved ones, among whom are my mother, Rhoda Wineglass Ukaegbu, wife, Mgbechika Nnem Okechukwu.
On the other hand, God has given beautiful gifts of live, especially the gift of Comrade Chima Ben Okechukwu, even when I least expected. This is a strong indication that the Almighty is a God of impossibilities.
I owe a lot of gratitude to personalities who helped shape my outlook to life.
To my fallen Comrades:Chima Ubani, Uche Wisdom Durueke, Bamidele Aturu(BF), Beko Ransome Kuti, Patrick Naagbaton, Chuks Ehirim, among others, I can’t wish less: continue to journey well in your transition to eternity.
To my in-laws, especially my sister-in-law, Chileobi Ikeagwu, God will continue to guide.
Aluta greetings to Comrades Zulu Ofolue(Zuluoski), Emeka Umeagbalasi(Odogwu), Osmond Ugwu(Osmond the great), Alloy Attah, Ibuchukwu Ezike( Look you, look power), Justus Ijeoma( my able consultant), Pascal Oziri, Anderson Ezeibe, Karl Uchegbu, Ken Henshaw, Chilos Godsent, Okechukwu Nwanguma ( the civilian IGP), Abiodun Aremu, Che Ibegwura, Dr.
Abayomi Ferrari,the list is inexhaustible.
A big shout out to my strong associates in the pen profession: Godwin Adindu, Dapo, Onyekachi Eze, Magnus Eze, Steve Uzoechi, Ebere Uzoukwa, Azuka Onwuka, Athan Agbakwuru, Uba Aham, Isaac Umunna, Ikenna Ellis, Uche Olehi, Ngozi Blessed Onwukwe,Danladi Nmodu, Tity Amosun, Austin Oganah, Prince Clinton Uba,I’m constrained by space to continue the list.
Another big shout out to the editors and publishers of Globalvillageextra, BusinesspostNigeria,Nigeriaworld.com,Pointbkanknews, Herald.ng,Newafricanpress,FOCApublishers, Daybreaknews,may your ink continue to flow abundantly.
To Barr. Onyebuchi Ememanka,the Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor, and Chief John Okiyi Kalu, your light will continue to shine.
To my family at Abia State Orientation Agency, never you relent in your good work of reorientating the Abia masses.
To the oppressed Nigerian masses, let’s press on one day victory is ours.
On this note, let’s not lose grip of the few lines below by Juan Aris in”The God I Don’t Believe In”:” I am free when my voice contributes to shaping the course of history.
I am free when I continue to proclaim my right to freedom even from behind prison bars.
I am free when I go on saying “No!” to oppression even with a gun at my head.
I am free whenever I defend with conviction and with risk to myself the freedom of others.
I am free when they strike in the face for defending the truth that freedom is God and that He condemns anyone who rides roughshod over abuses the freedom of even one single person.
I am free when I feel ashamed at the enslavement of my neighbour.
I am free when only the truth can make me change direction.
I am free when nobody and nothing tries tries to take the place of my conscience, which is the Creator’s final word on me.
I am free when although gagged, I still rejoice in the freedom of my brothers as I would in my own.
I am free as long as I do not resign myself to not being free”.
Aluta in continua! Victora Aceta!