The former Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Companies in Nigeria and Advisor, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Mr. Udom Inoyo has described how his late father, Mr. Uko Inoyo who was a Permanent Secretary in the then Service of Cross River state government, positively influenced his life through the power of personal example.

He recounted this during the monthly Congress of the NUJ where he was invited as a guest speaker for July.

In his paper titled, “your pen, your future, Mr. Inoyo noted that the trust and confidence that two previous military governors of Akwa Ibom state, then Colonels Tunde Ogbeha and his successor, Godwin Abbe, had in him were a result of the character traits he got from his father.

He explained that he was proud of his father, a public servant in the service of the Cross River State Government who passed away 10 years ago because of how he lived his life and what he implanted in him which shaped his consciousness and attitude.

He said “My father lived a life of hard work, contentment, integrity, and the fear of God. He walked the talk on several fronts. As a committed Christian and an Elder in Qua Iboe Church of Nigeria, he knew that the most effective way to evangelize was through the power of personal example.”

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Describing the character of his father with a few illustrations that transpired while he was alive, Mr. Inoyo enumerated that: “as the pioneer Company Secretary/Chief Accountant of the Cross River State Housing Corporation, Calabar, and later the Acting Head of Corporation, he had only a plot of land. No property was warehoused in the name of his wife and seven children. Even later, when he would facilitate the establishment of today’s Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo, he had no plot of land allocated to him.”

“As one entrusted by the late Brigadier-General Udokaha Jacob Esuene, Governor of the then South-Eastern State, to set up the State Treasury shortly after the Nigeria civil war, he made sure that no money was missing. He was so prudent that on one of his several trips to Port Harcourt to collect the state’s allocation from the Central Bank of Nigeria, there were insufficient funds to settle the hotel bills of the security escorts. Rather than resort to the unauthorized use of government money in his possession, he made a personal pledge to settle the indebtedness on his next trip.”

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Continuing, he averred that “I will never forget offering my father N300.00 in 1988, and he refused to accept it, querying the source. He had retired from service, and though I was an Administrative Officer on grade level 9, he thought the amount was too much for me to pull out of my savings. To date, I still visualize my hands stretched out and listening to his interrogations. He was always interested in the source of everything in our possession and even my friends who would visit, especially in cars that seemed off the economic mark, did not escape such scrutiny. It did not matter if those cars belonged to their parents. I had a good laugh when Isong Isang visited with his Volkswagen car, and I cheerfully announced that he was a pharmacist and playing professional football with Calabar Rovers.”

Juxtapositioning the lifestyle of his father and what obtains today Mr. Inoyo opined that “I know that today, some of us would consider his actions unwise, and he may even be abused for blocking the chances of others. But I thank God he lived that way. When he died, there was unanimity about the epitaph on his tombstone: Chief (Dr.) Uko Inoyo, A man of Faith and Servant of God. He stood for what was right, even if it meant standing alone.”

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The former oil worker noted that the traits enunciated about his father were what represents his pedigree and that he is not ashamed of them, praying that at the end of his sojourn on earth, he would be lucky to have the same eulogies that were told of his father, said on him.