Prof. Steve Azaiki: Celebrating A Beautiful Heart

Prof. Steve Azaiki: Celebrating A Beautiful Heart

By, Barr. Timothy Ogbotobo – Abuja

On this special day of your birth, we want to celebrate you for the unique personality we have seen in you and for the many remarkable milestones you have recorded over the years.

You are a man with a beautiful heart. You have a sense of worth and respect towards everyone with whom you relate. Your compassion for the needy is amazing: you easily connect with them, put yourself in their shoes and do whatever is in your power to address their concerns. To seek the good of others is an integral part of your makeup as a person. Your persistent desire to see value addition and improvement in every person around you has resulted in the promotion of education as a major plank of your service to the public. And many persons have benefited from your effort in this regard.

The scholarship programme you helped to initiate while serving as Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government benefitted more than 1000 persons. After your tenure as SSG, you have continued to facilitate foreign education for Nigerians, especially in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. A few years ago your goodwill opened the door for some Bayelsa State students to gain admission into Lincoln University in the United States. In addition, you have built schools, and also personally financed the education of several students.

You have personally modeled what you preach: you have two Master’s Degrees, two Doctor of Philosophy degrees and a Doctor of Science degree. With your academic pursuit and excellence, you have demonstrated the possibilities that abound not only in academics but also in life as a whole. You have inspired many to embark on their own pursuits with a view to attaining greater heights.

In furtherance of your desire to improve human capital in our society, you took the rare step of funding, building and equipping the Azaiki Public Library, a world-class learning facility that provides the public with access to more than 30 million books and journals. This library, with its beautiful architectural design and sophisticated learning facilities, has been described as one of the very best libraries in the Nigeria and as a gift to our country. Also, in order to help preserve our cultural heritage, you set up two museums – the Museum of African Arts and the Niger Delta Museum – both of which contain invaluable collections of art pieces.

The scope of your service to humanity is wide ranging: you have serves as head of the National Think Tank, a body dedicated to diagnosing and proffering solutions to the challenges of our nation; you have served as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Niger Delta University; you are currently a member of the House of Representatives; and, carrying your legislative business into the international arena, you hold the prestigious position of Vice President of the global Network of Parliamentarians on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

You are a rare kind of leader. You devote yourself to what you consider to be in the best interest of the people. You don’t mind making sacrifices – however big – to bring about a beneficial outcome for the society. Your life is a blessing to many. And your service to humanity has been recognized in many quarters, both within and outside Nigeria. Last October, at the London Political Summit, you were honoured with the Outstanding Community Service Award. This is only one out of many awards.

There is so much you have accomplished; there is so much to celebrate in your life. But there is much more ahead of you. And as you look forward to what lies ahead, may the good Lord, who has kept you and given you grace to live such an impactful life, give you even more grace.

Happy birthday, Honourable (Prof.) Steve Azaiki

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