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Tribute To My Brother

I wish this was not a tribute in death. I wish this was a tribute I was writing at Innocent’s 100th birthday.
Where does one really start from to celebrate a friend and brother? How do I celebrate a passionate and patriotic Nigerian, a defender of the vulnerable, yet a pragmatic nationalist?
Where do I begin from to talk about someone who would never turn his back on a friend or even foe in need?
I first met Innocent at the offices of Media Rights Agenda where I had gone for an assignment. He was with Josephine. At that time CLEEN shared a premises with MRA. So began first a professional relationship which blossomed into a friendship and later brotherhood.
When I was appointed ag MD of the Niger Delta Development Commission, I ran to Innocent at Ford foundation asking for support for the Niger Delta. Innocent made it happen and the commission was able to sign a partnership agreement with Ford Foundation that would have brought immense benefit to the region.
In more recent times Innocent has been focused on actively engaging to ensure that our nation Nigeria does not continue on a downward spiral, prodding us to move from civil activism to more central political roles.
Innocent is a defender of the rights of all. His work at CLEEN focused on an often neglected and even hated group but it spoke volumes of his heart and attitude. Innocent will not quench a shouldering flame but will fan the embers and add more logs to make it into a flame. He wasn’t one to give up on any one or any situation. Calm, deliberate, cerebral and committed. I mourn you my friend. Patriot, nationalist and a good man. May your beautiful soul rest in peace and may light perpetual shine on you.