Tribute To An Anioma Icon @60, The Ned I Know – Part One
By Karifest Duchess
Soft spoken, calm, unusually simple for a man his status, blessed with extreme humility, humorous in nature and always smiling in a manner that I would say: this man has nothing to worry about, always confident, a fearless, courageous and daring strategist, Hon. Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko is phenomenal in his own unique and special way.
He is that man who smiles even when you give him reasons to keep him frowning, he would rather stay calm and smile, while planning his next move.
A man of few words except he really likes you and enjoy having you around, or he thinks you are a smart, funny and progressive mind whom he wishes to engage intellectually on an issue to know your views, or you are on a dinning table with him with his guests and everyone is chatting and he’s making them laugh, or when an issue concerns Anioma, and he needs to comment to make his stand known, you can hardly hear Prince Ned say much as he’s not given to too many words.
To many, he is a different thing. To me, he is an Anioma icon, my brother, my friend, a good man, liberal and kindhearted soul, who despite his age is still very young at heart and supports the needy, the youths, women and everyone that comes his way who requires help, he doesn’t care to know you to help you. Ned is simply an amazing personality in so many ways especially in helping the underprivileged find their bearing.
Talking about infrastructural development, Prince Ned spent over a hundred million naira at a time, his personal funds to make the road leading to his community motorable after it was badly damaged by big trucks plying the road to Abuja.
On education, sports and tourism, Hon. Prince Ned promotes education, sports and tourism to the best of his ability and he is a known advocate for a better ANIOMA as he has etched his name in the hearts of many ANIOMA people and communities, Nigerian youths and men and women he has touched their lives in no small measure and worthy of note are his landmark projects in his hometown in ANIOMA where he plans to bring the world of sports, tourism and entertainment together for the benefit of humanity.
In 2020, he made Nigeria and Nigerians very proud by hoisting the Nigerian flag in Antarctica during his Antarctica expedition and his exploration of the white desert in search of a vaccine to protect Africans against the malaria scourge towards the eradication of malaria.
In this write up, I wish to address certain issues as it concerns the personality of this Hon Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko.
The Ned I KNOW
Ned is very smart and may have more than the usual 5 senses. Ned can spot a talent easily even in a “nobody”. That means, when one is a seemingly “upcoming” talent, so to speak, Hon Prince (Dr) Ned Nwoko will identify and recognize one even at that young age.
At a very young age in 2012, Prince Ned would single me out to share my views on issues of importance to him and Anioma whenever I was privileged to interact with him and his team, especially on political matters. And as a person, I never forget your impact on me, good or bad, it will always count for you even after you may have forgotten.
So over the years, I have known this same Ned as the same person because, today, he will still single me out in a group and request that I share my views about important matters. And he would LISTEN till the end without interruption.
Ned believes so much in Anioma youths and not just us but youths generally and he would always give you that space, platform and relevance you need to be your true self to express yourself freely and encourage you to aspire higher. This is the Ned I know.
Significantly, the Ned I know is a man of principle. True. This he has exemplified severally in my dealings with him. This is a story for another day.
The Ned I know is a lover of humanity, a father to all and an “extra mile” man who likes to change the status quo in the society and the world around him to achieve his lofty desires and goals. If this is positive or negative, it is for you to decide as it has always worked out for him and those with him that it affects directly as they have attested to this positively in so many ways. To his supporters and admirers, this though is another of his strength.
Ask those who have worked in his firm in London, those who work with him today, his contacts across boards and his close pals, they will tell you more about this great dreamer and achiever, Prince Ned Nwoko, that he is indeed a blessing to humanity.
The Ned I know is a very practical man who leaves no stones unturned in showing kindness. I have met so many people in the course of my work but the Ned I know is special in his own different way. I speak from my personal rating of him, I might be wrong or right by your rating, but Ned is a good man and kindhearted person as I know him to be.
The Ned I know has a very big heart and welcomes everyone without discrimination whatsoever.
The Ned I know never hesitates to say “I am sorry” to me or others when you are dealing with him and you feel offended by his actions.
The Ned I know will always say to me “thank you for your support” even in the midst of a fight with him. This is Ned. In fact, when someone complains about him to me on an Anioma related matter in a way that I think he is wrong, I will fight with him seriously over the matter, but in the midst of the fight, he would still say “thank you for your support” and he would go further to explain himself to tell me his own side of the story. On a particular occasion, he told me that I was “too judgmental of him that I should hear his own side first” and he explained fully. This is the Ned I know. He is open and free minded.
The Ned I know is a very patient person and humility personified. Ned is humble to a fault. He would say to me “Iyanga Anioma my sister, please I want you to join me during this event” or that event and even when I don’t turn up like in most cases, he is never offended, he would smile and laugh with me like nothing happened. Not many in his shoes will invite you another time but Ned will if there is any opportunity for such.
Prince Ned never ceases an opportunity to IDENTIFY with his own people and this he does joyfully as proven severally.
Many have argued that Ned lives for the poor. YES he does. The Ned that I know to the best of my knowledge is always helping and protecting the needy and treats all I know with him well.
When asked why he’s constantly providing helping hands and solutions to problems encountered by those he meets even as he relates same way with the masses, he had this to say “No one has ever accused me of taking advantage of the masses. I live for them. They understand me as I do of them. They inspire me to find solutions to their problems. There is no envy or mistrust or competition. Just support and encouragement from both sides”. This is the Ned I know.
The Ned I know is a great planner who is constantly plotting winning strategies on his next move. He likes to hit his target and get it right, spot on. Instances abound. I will give just two:
His fight for the Paris Fund Refund and his Antarctica expedition proves Ned to be heroic . Both carefully planned and strategically executed and giving greater insights to Africans, he carefully fought for and implemented winning strategies for the benefit of humanity.
Prince Ned Nwoko is a news maker. People think he is too open. When asked the reason he’s always in the news, “ I don’t crave publicity. News follow me and I don’t need to stop them. It is their business” he enthused. Well that’s his life and how he wants it lived.
The Ned I know loves to be seen and not heard. He appreciates the media and enjoys all its attention in full glamour. So you make him “seen” when you sell negative stories about him and make him “heard” when you sell positive stories about him, either ways, Ned is always a media delight. How he achieves this is his to tell us. Smiles.
I have always reiterated that Ned knows what he does at every point in time. Yes he knows.
The Ned I know is one that never jokes with his love and support for the youths, not just Anioma youths but youths across various continents of the world.
Once you have a genuine cause, Prince Ned will support you. I KNOW many of these youths he has sponsored their education and empowered financially. Today they are all doing well.
Prince Ned makes mistakes sometimes just like you and I often do, so he is not a super perfect human that many expects him to be but he’s human just like you and I. Yes he falls short of expectations sometimes like we all do and sometimes his actions can be offensive to certain people who expect so much from him especially if he has to protect his interests, but most people in his shoes as humans would do the same. Who doesn’t plan to succeed in life?
So I usually advise people to stop expecting perfection from him even though the Ned I know does not demand loyalty where one cannot give it neither does he have unrealistic expectations of people. Just do the little or much you can as it suits you, Ned is fine.
To many, I never see anything wrong in Ned NWOKO but unknown to many, I disagree with Prince Ned sometimes and fight with him seriously when necessary such that an arrogant person would not take my calls after those fights because the fights are as a result of expectations and demands from his community not that Prince Ned and I have personal issues that would warrant such fights but Prince Ned will always deal with me like nothing happened the next moment we are chatting.
How he manages to control his emotions during these times is what I really don’t know. I respect him so much for this. He is too good in managing his emotions well. This is Ned.
The Ned I know forgives in a large way. Not so many people I know would tolerate most things that Prince Ned tolerates in people generally.
The Ned that I know is ACCESSIBLE to all and he is one man I know that you do not need an invitation to go to his house to see him for anything especially if you need his assistance. I have seen Ned ask some young boys and girls visiting his IDUMUJE UGBOKO palatial mansion for the first time and without his invitation what they wanted from him and he would dole out cash to them to set up a business venture having completed their training. That’s the Ned that I know.
The Ned I know is often time taken undue advantage of due to his magnanimity and would still not complain.
He would still deal with you as if nothing happened even when he knows that you are cheating him.
The Ned I know, invites those visiting him to dine with him on his Royal Dinning Table when food is served irrespective of what you have come for. Sometimes his youngest employees dine on the same table with him on his invitation and he teases everyone of them and makes them laugh and feel at ease as they eat together with him. I was not told, I have witnessed this on some occasions since I have known him and he still has not changed even long after the elections.
The Ned I know has no godfather in politics so you cannot influence him negatively as a leader. Ned has a mind of his own. Yet he listens to everyone at the same time but does exactly what he thinks is right. That thing he thinks is right might be the suggestion of his gate man. Yes, that is the Ned I know. For him, everyone has a vital point to relate and a voice to be heard and he would listen but take action that he feels is in the best interest of the people.
The Ned I know doesn’t care about what you think of him. Sometimes he would say to me, just leave them to think whatever they like. Probably I have just asked him a question about what is trending about him on social media to inquire if it is true or not like it’s being spread out there but his response would be, “Iyanga Anioma, you are thinking too much, why are you bothered? That’s their business. Just leave them to keep doing their business”.
I do not need to tell you what you already know about him that Prince Ned is a great philanthropist. Yearly, he spends hundreds of millions of his money on the people towards helping them live a purposeful life.
The Ned I know is ever loving, ever caring, super kind and full of love for humanity.
The Ned I know is the one I write about and I love to talk about how he’s bringing huge development to his people whatever anyone else thinks, don’t forget people see things in us and about us so differently and would sometimes misunderstand us, mistreat us or even accept negative news peddled against us just to drown us but we know who we truly are and what others think of us might be entirely different from who we truly are especially if they have not met us in person nor experienced our lifestyle, so their thoughts about us remains jaundiced. This is the case with Ned for those who do not know him.
Like I told someone recently who is constantly asking questions about Ned, he should do his investigations well and should not believe everything negative he hears about Ned especially on social media because the Ned that I know is not a bad person as people peddle false stories about him. He is misunderstood the greater time.
“I find common and middle grounds for equal coexistence and stridently oppose dishonesty and oppression”. This is the Ned I Know.
So before you condemn Ned another time if you have no personal reasons to do so, remember that this is the Ned I know even though I am entitled to my own personal opinions which you are at liberty to accept or reject, either ways, it doesn’t change the Ned I know but the day the Ned I know changes from being who he is today; a good man who is kind to all and a worthy son of Anioma, I shall also write about it the same way as to describe the Ned he would become, that’s if he changes in a negative way. But I don’t think that the Ned I know would ever stop being the Ned I know: A kind, pure hearted and humble Anioma ICON who we cherish.
For now, the Ned I know is the Ned I see and will always see except proven otherwise with facts.
With Love Always,
Karifest Duchess Onyekaah Esq.
Publisher/Editor-In-Chief KARIFEST INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE and Host of The KARIFEST SHOW.
Onyekaah is an Advocate, Entrepreneur, Writer, Social Media Influencer and Humanitarian whose passion for a better Africa inspired her advocacy for positive change and her fight against injustice fuels her drive to fight oppression daily.
Onyekaah is a voice against oppression, injustice and human rights abuses.
Her blog www.karifestblog.com boasts of a variety of her writings from contemporary to social economic, cultural and political issues to mention a few.
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