Last Friday, April 8, 2022, staff of NCC gathered at the imposing auditorium of the Commission’s Head Office Annex at Mbora District, Abuja, to honour Durojaiye Anthony Okodu also known as “Baba Naira”, as he bowed out of NCC having reached the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and after 28 years of meritorious service.
Okodu is an unusually calm, friendly, stylish and very considerate staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). A man without negative airs, yet he carries himself with avuncular grace. His physical persona is marked by an exceptional gait that matches his physique. A man of naturally tall framing devoid of excess fat that makes him able to move swiftly and magisterially. Importantly, Okodu’s humility and affable disposition easily endear him to everyone.
Okudu began his career at the Commission in July 1994, as a cashier on transfer from the erstwhile Ministry of Communications, where he was headhunted by a former director of the Commission, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam. From then on, he had risen through the ranks, before eventually retiring as a Principal Manager, Projects, at NCC.
At the well-attended valedictory session, staff, friends, and well-wishers of Okudu, paid glowing tributes in torrents to the man who can aptly be described as a man of the people. Many were nostalgic and poignant while others were joyous, optimistic and tellingly introspective that Okodu would thrive in the next phase of his life.
In her remark, the NCC’s Director, Projects, Iyabode Solanke, who is Okodu’s last supervisor before his retirement, and who was Okodu’s head of Department while they both worked at the Commission’s Department of Financial Services, extolled the retiree for his dedication, as well as his dressing code and excellent work ethics, which she said are worthy of emulation. Sholanke was represented by a Deputy Director in the department, Philip Eretan, who also attended the valedictory session in his own capacity as a friend of Okodu.
In the same vein, NCC’s Director, Zonal Operations, Amina Shehu, in her goodwill message, stated that in every interaction she had with Okodu, she had observed his stellar qualities, such as empathy, kindness, and gentleness. She added that he was also consistent in everything he did.
For Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, who also attended the valedictory party, anyone would be easily impressed by Okodu’s level of dedication to duty, which has become a mark of Okodu’s outings and career at the Commission. Adinde said that Okodu was not merely ever-present whenever he was needed most, he also, every so often, displays emotional intelligence, and never lost his temper no matter the level of provocation. “I am also impressed by Okodu’s social networking skills which had enabled him to remain connected with every staff,” Adinde emphasised.
The Director of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, at the Commission, Ephraim Nwokonneya, profoundly recalled the attributes exhibited by Okodu that are so quite distinctive when he had the opportunity of working with Okodu in the Financial Services Department of the Commission.