IDEKE: The Return to Nile House

Okey Ezea will return to Nsukka High School, Nsukka, on April 6, but not as the schoolboy who passed out with double distinction (aggregate 6) 44 years ago. He will be the special guest at an event to celebrate him as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Once more, the NHS field will host the creme de la creme of Enugu North senatorial district and beyond. Politicians, academics, professional groups, religious leaders, traditional rulers, business tycoons, schoolchildren, dance troupes, market women and friends of the senator from all corners of the globe are expected to grace the occasion: Thanksgiving and Grand Reception in honour of the summum et optimum.

The young lad Okey joined his schoolmates at Nsukka High School in 1975. Soon after, he established a difference in brilliance and bravery. Little wonder many students flocked round him for a chip of his intellectual endowment. For those who don’t know how WASC results were graded in 1980, “aggregate 6” means the candidate scored A1 in at least six different subjects out of eight or nine.

Ideke, as the senator is widely known in Igbo Nsukka, will be paying a nostalgic visit to his alma mater this Saturday, April 6. He will be flanked by the old boys, political associates and friends through the steps to his former dormitory, Nile House, where he had always retired to after each prep. It was under the same Nile roof that he burnt the midnight oil which produced the excellent result.

Up to this day, Senator Ezea remembers the words of the NHS principal when he came for his result: “Your result has earned this school a notch in relevance and recognition. There are more in you beyond this that time will unveil. Congratulations!” Time has affirmed the words of the sage. Now he’s almost done with his PhD in Law at the University of Lagos.

Senator Ezea had floated chains of businesses including the source of his sobriquet, Ideke Shipping Ltd. Unseen then by the ordinary eye and unperceived by the blocked nostrils of the uninspired was his unbendable spirit in defence of ndi Nsukka. He started at NHS and continued at UNN as a senator in the Student Union Government. Even at the time (1984/85), he took the university authorities to task as he protected Nsukka interests.

All roads lead to St. Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral, Nsukka, for the thanksgiving Mass on Saturday. About 15 months earlier, he had sat back at the podium to field questions from the public after the scintillating presentation of his mission in politics, during the 2023 electioneering.

After the Mass, a reception follows at Nsukka High School field, the field that hosted many inter-house sports competitions during his time.

Be there for the dogged fighter for the Nsukka cause. Be there for him who staked much to give vent to our voice.

Walk with an ally, Senator Okechukwu Nzeogwu Ezea, as he marches, once more, around the NHS premises including Nile House. He will read his magnus opus (welcome address) to ndi b’anyi at NHS.

By Comrade Sam Okwa

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