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Tribute to My Darling Daughter, by Amb. Okey Emuchay MFR

My dearest Nne

You were born in the early hours of 8th of August 1991 in London. I had to leave you, Lizzy and Sisy in the hospital to perform an official duty of seeing off HE Rt. Hon. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (Owelle of Onitsha), at Gatwick Airport. I had the specially assigned role to handle the Owelle’s visit to London.

It was at the lounge at North Suite that I informed the Owelle that you have just been delivered at a hospital in Golders Green.

The Owelle on learning of my good news expressed great surprise that I did not delegate another officer to undertake the assignment of seeing him off, and left me a gift for you and Lizzy.

At your baptism, HE General Ike Nwachukwu the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, and his wife aunty Gwen flew from Lagos specifically to be at the ceremony. Professor Chuka Nwokolo and Mrs Nwabueze Jaja Wachukwu Nwokolo were your god parents. Acho, Ndu, Dean and a host of others were at the event. These were your first few months on earth.

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I was in Lagos with you when news reached me that I had been posted to Vienna, Austria in early 1998.   Amb. E E Onobu who is a mentor had facilitated my posting to London in 1988 was again instrumental in  my posting to Vienna. Vienna provided the best medical and educational opportunities the world could offer you at the time.

Excitement would be an understatement when I broke the news to you. You were filled with joy and could not contain the excitement of moving to Vienna.

You, Chichi and I left for Vienna in March 1998. From Vienna you attended boarding school in Birmingham, England and from there you joined Chichi and Nnenna in Baltimore, Maryland. And then to Michigan from where you returned to Vienna in 2001.

At the end of my posting in 2002, you stayed on in Vienna with my colleague and dear sister Amb Jane Odeka and her daughter, to enable you continue with your school.

By this time your spoken Deutsche (German) was far better than mine. You had made a lot of friends within the diplomatic community and beyond. Mrs Ubani and several others were usually in competition for you to spend the weekend with them.

You had a gift from God with your smile, large heart, easy disposition in attracting people to yourself.

You returned to Port Harcourt as a sure-footed young girl. You and aunty Bes were virtually with me all through my tenure in Johannesburg, South Africa when I was Consul General of Nigeria from 2009 to 2014.

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‘Madam Nne’ as I always called you, captured an essence that words now fail me to articulate fully. We had a special chemistry between us. When I received that call at 4am on Saturday 26th September 2020 from aunty Bes that you had a fall, my imagination could not have raced to a point where aunty Bes will call me again 30 minutes later to report that your body had gone cold as a doctor was still being expected. I made several calls to a number of doctors in Port Harcourt to see if urgent help could be rushed your way. It was not to be and that fall was indeed a fatal one.

My darling madam Nne you have gone to rest where pain or agony would not be your portion.

God gave you to Lizzy and I. And to aunty Bes who took full responsibility to care very much for you. He has asked that you return to Him. You have joined uncle Acho and uncle Azu.

It is indeed well. Farewell the pretty one.

Isalachi. Longwa. Usaa.

Amb. Okey Emuchay MFR