Eze Gideon Omodu, paramount ruler of Mgbuolua, Rundele, Rivers State, earned Grade I at Okrika Grammar School, Rivers State in 1956. He was President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention World Wide (1993-1996), and Founder/ Managing Director of Jubilee Insurance (1983-1996). He was the first General Manager of Rivbank Insurance Company Limited (1976- 1980), and first Rivers man to be probed twice by the Melford Okilo administration and came out clean on both occasions. Eze Omodu was also the first Rivers man to have professional qualification of Insurance Association of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London in 1971, and later became a chartered Insurer in 1996. In this exclusive interview with the publisher of Notable Outcome, Iheanyi Ezinwo, in Port Harcourt, the elder statesman, who will be 84 on Monday, March 11, 2019, recalls what life has taught him. His thoughts and reflections are worth reading.
First thing…Have Faith in God
The first thing that life has taught me is to have faith in God, especially the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should love your neighbor as yourself. If you love your neighbor as you love yourself you will not hurt him or do anything that will bring him down. The first four commandments in the Bible is about your duty to God; the next six is your duty towards your fellow human being.
Nothing to worry about …We are remembered for our contributions
Over the years life has taught me that there is nothing to worry about in this life because one day you will go and what is important is the legacy you leave behind. What will people remember you for when you die? Is it for good or for bad? Today we are remembering Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, not because of how much they had but the contributions they made to have Nigeria a better place to live in. From what happens all over the world, what remains after you go is the name you left behind, not your riches or silver and gold. Look at the presidents of the United States of America: You remember them today because of their contributions to mankind, not because of their wealth.
You will die if you want to get rich quick
Younger ones should know that there is dignity in labour. They should not think of getting rich quick which has pushed most of them to the vices of life like armed robbery, kidnapping, corruption. You work hard for your living; you get the reward in future. But if you want to get rich quick you will die quick. Young ones should go to school; they should be educated. An educated man is a man who can take decisions on his own – that will suit him and suit his fellow human beings. If you are educated, you will know how to face the challenges of life. Education gives a man alternative ways of survival, and enables him to be self reliant. Education will expose you to life as you read about how other people succeeded. You will know how to improve your life and life of people around you.
Have faith in yourself
Another important lesson that I learnt is that you should have faith in yourself, because if you have faith in yourself, you will be able to know how to relate with other people. Life today depends on self: what you are and what people think of you and the way you relate with people. Accumulation of wealth is transient. For those who are playing politics, if you play your politics badly it will bring you down. If you play it well, it will lift you up to a height you think you have arrived. A politician should be good to all manner of men. What you do with your position will determine what you will be after leaving the position.
Marriage is sustained by tolerance
What sustains marriage is tolerance; some people say it is love. Love has a limitation but you must make sure that you are faithful to your partner. You have to be truthful and respect your partner. You must have confidence in each other and not betray the trust your partner has in you. The first thing I tell young couples is to love themselves. If you love your wife you will not do anything that will hurt her or vice versa. The major thing is tolerance; you have to tolerate each other in order to keep the marriage, and the duty is more on the woman. The reason why the burden is more on the woman is because, if the marriage breaks down it is easier for the man to get another wife than for the woman to get another husband, even though the man’s love – the first love with the first wife might not be the same with the second love, especially when the wife has got children for you.
So you cannot leave your wife if you have children with her because one day your children will ask you, where is our mother and you will have difficulty answering that question. If you are the wife and you leave your husband and you have children for your husband, one day the children will ask you where is our father and you will find it difficult to explain if you are alone because if a man remarries, the new wife will never be the same as the first wife. The children will certainly grow up and if they know that you have mistreated their mother, you will be in trouble as a man.
Don’t be swayed in times of challenges
To conquer the challenges of life you have to be yourself; don’t be swayed by what is happening in life and lose your yourself respect. Whatever happens in life you have to maintain yourself dignity. Those who have succeeded in life are those who ensured that what they stand for is the best, not only for themselves but for humanity. You cannot be a man swayed by emotions and sentiments. Get yourself focused and always tow the path of truth, and as the Bible says, the truth shall set you free.