From Andy Esiet, Calabar
Former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN has charged Nigerian politicians to separate public office from business as he disassociated himself from the 2023 Crore River governorship race.
Speaking to some newsmen in his home in Ikom at weekend shortly after the dedication of St. Lauretta’s Chapel of Adoration at the “Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Akparabong in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River state in honour of his late wife, Amaka who died exactly one year on November 19, 2021, Ndoma-Egba said, “as long as you are not in public service, to serve yourself,I keep telling people if you want to be Dangote, well and good go and do business. If you want to be Otedola, go and do business, but don’t come to public service hoping to be a Dangote or Otedola, because they didn’t make it by being in the public service.
Ndoma-Egba frowned at the attitude of politicians occupying public office and at the same time wanting to do business and make money like the business people stating that “the Public service is what it means, public service 24 hours a day from the heart and it is to the public. It is a sacrifice you serve until it hurts in your bones.
“It is just here that people think you can make it through public service, elsewhere you would have reached the pinnacle of whatever you are doing. Before you go to public service you would have made all the money you want to make before coming to public service”.
Reacting to speculations that he will enter the 2023 governorship race in the state, he said, if you have read my political trajectory, I didn’t start with elections. Elections came in the middle. And after elections I have also done other aspects of public service as the Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in a short while. I have been the Secretary of the 2018 All Progressive Congress (APC) National Convention. Back home here, I was called to come and make peace between Bahomonu warring factions in the state and I am sure we have not had any stories since our intervention. So public service comes in different ways and there is also a correlation between public service and service of God.
“So for me, public service is not necessarily through contesting elections. I can’t see tomorrow. I can’t see beyond this microphone and beyond here, I can’t tell what is behind it. It is only God who can tell what is behind, so for the rumours, the only place you don’t find rumours is in the grave”.
Commenting on the loss of his wife and the many other unfortunate incidents that happened to him last year and the building of the adoration chapel, the former Senate Leader said, “the only thing we have missed is the physical presence of Amaka but I feel her presence. We have believed that Amaka is in a better place (heaven). She is there because of the prayers you (the church) offer her and us. Why the Chapel of adoration, she believed in it and a school for this place. This will not be the last thing.
“ If you are a Christian, if you have a personal faith, you know, there’s nothing that has happened that hasn’t happened before. Job lost everything. I didn’t lose everything. I lost so much, but not everything. So if you are a person of faith, you will always find strength and comfort in the Scriptures when we hold on to the Scriptures. And in any case, like I said last time, when God was blessing me massively. I didn’t ask him any question so who am I to question him now… I don’t remain wallowing in self pity. My wife would have hated that, self pity”.
On the Adoration Chapel he built and donated to the church, Ndoma-Egba said it was in fulfillment of their thoughts and life shared about the church on how the church should be “supposing the church is not open and somebody is passing by and he or she wants to pray, where does he or she go? And that is where the Chapel comes in.
“The chapel offers you a facility to pray when you have the urge to go somewhere quiet to talk to God. So for me, we have just gone to the next level of worship for the church and then hopefully we will take it to the next level of having a school because Catholic churches raised the Catholic schools, so we are also hoping that we will take it to the level where we have the Amaka Ndoma-Egba Memorial Academy” as announced by the Bishop.
The Catholic Bishop of Ogoja, Dr Donatus Edet Akpan who commissioned the Adoration Chapel in memory of Amaka, commended the contribution of the Ndoma-Egbas in the service of God saying, “we should remember her especially as there is something to add to what she was doing while on earth. The presentation of this chapel in her memory is great. The Ndoma-Egbas are serving God by doing something because faith is not only by believing, so by doing what they are doing, they are living like true children of God worthy of emulation. Other Nigerians especially those who have seen what they are doing should follow suit”.