Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank lost its former director, Mr. Peter Alex Ashikiwe Adione-Egom, to death at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), precisely on Sunday, March 3, 2013, almost at the age of 71 years old.
Peter Alexander Ashikiwe Adione-Egom, a.k.a Motor Park Economist, was born July 24, 1942 at Ikot Ekpene into the household of a then 'itinerant' Prisons officer, late Pa James Adione Egom, a native of Ukala-Okpunor in the present day Oshimili North local government. Peter attended St. Joseph's Catholic school and St. Theresa's College, all at Nsukka, for his primary and secondary schools education. His academic brilliance later took him on scholarship to Kings College Lagos for his higher school education (Upper 6 secondary school as it then was) and to the elitist and prestigious University of Cambridge in 1963, where he graduated in 1963 with a First Class Honours degree in Anthropology. Whilst at Cambridge, he met a Danish lady, Inger Aagaard, and they later married on April 12, 1965. The union produced a female child, Eva, on September 18, 1965 and a male child, Pierre on March 3, 1967 (a date Alex passed on).
Circumstance of the Nigeria civil war made him sojourn to Denmark in 1967 where he enrolled in a five-year post-graduate programme in Economics at the highly esteemed University of Aarhus, Denmark and later obtained a Masters degree in Economics, a qualification that fetched him teaching jobs at the same university and subsequently at the University of Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania from where he became Financial Adviser Designate to former Tanzanian president, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
When he returned to Nigeria in the early 1980s he was on the Business Desk of The Guardian newspaper and later moved to Financial Post magazine as its founding Editor. Though he was a prolific writer, a cerebral author who wrote many books, an iconic economist and an inspiring journalist of note whose weekly column (Motor Park Economist) was a collectors copy as it was very incisive, he was also a legend in the field of sports in his young days. The record he set in 100 yards sprint at the University of Cambridge, London was never broken till the world changed to metric system of measurement in sports. He carried on well to perfection in every life endeavour he engaged in. He served on the Board of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank, Enugu for four years as a Director till he voluntarily left the Board in 2010.
The late former bank director was buried at the highbrow Vaults and Gardens cemetery Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, March 22, 2013, shortly after a Requiem and Funeral Mass, celebrated by his bosom friend and chairman of UPMFB, Msgr. Prof Obiora Ike, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Musa Ya'Adua street, Victoria Island, Lagos, for the repose of his soul in God's kingdom.
In his homily, both at the Requiem Mass and at the Service of Songs held in honour of the deceased on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Kings College Lagos, Msgr. Ike described the late Adione-Egom as an unnoticed devout Catholic and gentleman who lived an authentic life and was forthright and called a spade a spade, regardless of who's concerned, stressing that what was essential in life was the quality of life lived, as Peter when he was alive had strong passion and caring for the poor and was the voice of the voiceless and the dispossessed.
In her moving tribute, Inger Aagaard, the estranged Danish wife of Adione-Egom, described her late former husband as "a charming and good-looking young man, intelligent, witty and out spoken, lively and curious about all aspects of life" when he met him first in early 1964 at Cambridge, adding that wherever Alex was, there was good spirit and energy in the air, hence he won her heart and also the hearts of her parents, grand-parents, relatives and friends when they met him later on.
She said later on when he studied Economics at the University of Aarhus, he completed his studies with a splendid result within the stipulated five years for post-graduate studies, in spite of language problems at the beginning. The funeral obsequies attracted some high society personalities, such as former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN); chairman of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank, Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike who was the homilist at the Service of Songs and Tributes and the chief celebrant at the requiem Mass; Managing Director of The Guardian; Director of EKO Hospital, Dr. Sunny Kuku; Mallam Abba Kiari; Hakeem Bello-Osagie; former Managing Director of Daily Times, Dr. Yomi Ogunbiyi; Femi Lijadu; his son, Pierre Adione-Egom; etc.
And in a related development, UPMFB also lost an enterprising 37-year old female member of staff, Ms Jenifer Ogbonna, of its Agbani branch. Jennifer who joined the service of the bank on November 2, 2010, took ill on October 31, 2012, as she was stricken by Stroke, and later died in her prime on Saturday, May 18, 2013 and was buried on June 8, 2013 at her Nomeh Unateze home town in the Nkanu East local government area of Enugu state, after a church service by her church, The Redeemed Christian Church of God. In a tribute, the bank observed that "Jennifer was very responsible, humble and very dedicated to her duties and will be fondly missed and always be remembered by everyone at UPMFB and even by our customers, particularly the ones she rendered her services to while she was with the bank".
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