It was honour plus tears galore yesterday, Wednesday, August 11, 2022 for the topline business e-newspaper, Prime Business Africa (PBA) who organised a colloquium to honour their very own, Late Ambassador Eloho Otobo.
Late ambassador Otobo before he was gone too soon, was a member of the Board of Directors of Newstide Publications, publishers of Prime Business Africa and member of the Editorial Board of the salutary online newspaper.
Though late now, the PBA director carted home post-humus encomiums and a deluge of citations for his pan-africanism excellence, role modeling, and relentless support for the growth of the Africa continent as all the high networth individuals present took turns, recounting how the late ambassador touched their lives and that of mankind.
His friend-turned brother and fellow ambassador, Amb. Oseloka Obaze in his remark preambled: “It is rather surreal to gather and to talk of and pay tribute to a very dear friend, brother and colleague, when we should have gathered to honour him for his work and service to our humanity.”
Ambassador Obaze who is the the Managing director and chief executive officer, Selonnes Consult in Awka, Anambra State, at some point, punctuated his speech thus: “A life well-lived and explored that ended too soon.”
For Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman and CEO, NiDCOM: “Though I never met Ambassador Otobo, but I heard and read a lot about his good deeds especially his attitude to work as well as his pan-African spirit.”
Mourning Otobo, Dabiri-Erewa then extended her condolences to the wife of the deceased who was also present at the PBA webminar, promising the family she would always come to the rescue all the time.
The NiDCOM chairman then concluded her allotted 4-minute speech by calling on the Nigerian government to stop at nothing until the family gets the answer of how exactly Otobo met his untimely death.
Other personalities and personages at the PBA colloquium who also gave their heart-felt notes included Laolu Akande, spokesperson to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Ambassador Joe Keshi, Pat Utomi, Obi Emekekwue among other HNIs.
On his part, the publisher of Prime Business Africa, Dr. Marcel Mbamalu demonstrated that he met late Otobo before he actually met him as he had reviewed one of the deceased’s many cerebral books, “Africa in Transition,” even without knowing him in person. Launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in August 2017 –the then Guardian Nigeria’s news editor, had described the book as “a bird’s-eye view, incisive and richly illuminating dissection of Africa’s epochal moments.”
Dr. Mbamalu affirmed, Otobo was so pleased that he made efforts and they both got to meet and nursed a robust relationship ever after the book review.
The PBA publisher added: “When I told him I had left the Guardian and would want to go into entrepreneurship since I was over 50 years already. He encouraged me greatly. That was how the PBA management also brought him on board.”
Apparently, Otobo hearkened to the PBA call to serve because of the word, “Africa,” in Prime Business Africa. He loved everything AFRICA!
Indeed! Otobo remained a perennial optimist about the continent’s development prospects, pushing African leaders consistently to prioritise good education, sound institutions, and the effective use of technology. He had always argued that Europe’s economic development had taken centuries to achieve, and that Africa must emulate the dynamic example of “Asian Tigers” such as Japan, China, and Singapore.
As if brought back to participate in the webminar, a short video of the late cerebral powerhouse, which was played during a short break, had him articulating practical solutions for Nigerian universities to be able to generate their own revenue almost effortlessly. Timely!