The appointment of Senator Margery Okadigbo as Chairman of the newlyincorporated Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited by President Muhammadu Buhari presents a unique opportunity for one to closely examine the content and character of this woman with stoic disposition within the context of the challenges she has faced in the Nigerian Project and the successes she has recorded upholding the legacies of her husband seen and regarded by many as one of Nigeria’s most controversial and cerebral politicians who served Nigeria with every strength he could muster till the last breath. Mrs. Okadigbo’s appointment came after Mr. President had suspended the inauguration of the old board for reasons which were not made public.
I make haste to state here that Mrs. Okadigbo’s appointment is not just another patronage dispensed to another Nigerian politician for political considerations. It is a well-thought out reward for merit, tenacity of purpose, discipline, good conduct and commitment to the national interest.
Since September 2003 when her husband, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo passed on, Mrs. Okadigbo has held on tenaciously to those values and philosophies that defined her husband as a great Nigerian patriot, political strategist and thinker who died in the course of national service.
What many do not know is that Mrs. Okadigbo is a lawyer of over 66 years standing and a businesswoman with vast interests in Real Estate, Merchandising and Human Resource Management.
She has silently continued to record several achievements in law practice, business and politics in furtherance of her husband’s wishes and vision for the Nigerian nation. Unlike several other women who have gone to town after being widowed,
Mrs. Okadigbo has stayed away from scandals and kept her eyes on the ball in pursuit of popular causes that benefit all Nigerians irrespective of their religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Like her husband, she successfully ran for the Senate and sat on her husband’s seat as the Senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District. While in the Senate, Mrs Okadigbo made commendable contributions that helped in enriching legislation and improving governance generally.
At the social level, she has remained a motivator, role model and a beacon of hope to many Nigerian women who are facing challenges in their homes and careers.
Senator Margery lives a disciplined and austere life with no interest at all in ostentatious possessions and opulence.
To also ensure that her husband’s legacies are sustained for all generations of Nigerians, Mrs. Okadigbo established the Chuba Okadigbo Foundation which consistently offers scholarships to many, picks hospital bills of indigent patients, assists widows with credit facilities and secures employment for university graduates and other classes of people. She pursues these causes with modesty and without any intent to make political capital out of them.
In Ogbunike community, Oyi Local Government Area, Anambra State where Dr. Okadigbo hailed from, Mrs. Okadigbo is regarded as the mother of the poor, widows, orphans and socially-alienated. In fact, she is the present-day Mother Theresa in that area.
There is no doubt that Dr. Okadigbo will be proud of this woman who has brought honour to his name and sustained his legacies wherever he is. As she assumes duty at the NNPC as Board Chairman, there is no doubt she will bring her experience, discipline, business acumen and vast international and local contacts to bear on her new assignment