Quinquagenarian: Ernest Ohanugo – Servant and Savant

by Opeyemi Ajala, FCA
Ernest Chukwuadinula Ohanugo

You can achieve anything you put your mind to, the world is here to conquer… DORIS OHANUGO

The month of November graciously stands out as a month of remembrance. The first day is generously dedicated to all departed saints and martyrs as the All Saints’ Day, whilst the second day is the All Souls’ Day devoted as a day of prayer and remembrance to honour their departure, the focus of this piece is the third day in November, the day that coincided with the birthday of my friend, brother, egbon and priest (in that order) Ernest Chukwuadinula Ohanugo who became a Quinquagenarian on Thursday 3rd November 2022. The celebrator is exemplary indeed and in deeds

A relationship that started in 1984 when the family moved into the neighborhood as awon Nwanne simply because majority of kids attended Schools in the premises of ULA (renamed after the Guadalajara based Jalisco stadium in Mexico – the quarter final  venue of the unexpected defeat of Brazil by France at the 1986 World Cup) while it was only the kid sister Nwanne that obeyed that unwritten norm as the 3 brothers pitched their tents for knowledge with the adjacent St John’s Primary School, hence in the neighborhood, Nwanne was the most popular of the siblings.

As kids, we regularly meet to play football and mock competitions and it is intrusive that he was an unbiased arbiter as an unbadged referee when called upon as the need arises, it is pertinent to note that this premium on integrity is something that clearly stood him out from the crowd till this day. Suddenly from Ikeja Grammar School we never saw him again except once in a while which is now clear was during school breaks as he had proceeded in the summer of 1985 to FGC Ugwolawo then in Benue State later carved out as part of today’s Kogi State. Unknowingly, I followed his footsteps in October 1986 as I got admitted to the same school and the joy of seeing my street boy in a far-flung place was matchless!

My egbon’s permanent and recurring decimal is integrity. His brilliance is very evidence and little wonder he was a Federal Scholar; this marks his faithful savant – servant lifestyle that has been his lot these 50 years. In the first general election for an association or club in the school, I still remembered how he secured a moonslide victory (apologies to the late Umaru Dikko) to emerge the President of the highly esteemed Press Club in our alma mater in 1990, a position he combined with his stewardship as the Deputy House Captain of Uredo House. In astute testament to his uprightness he was elected as the pioneer Financial Secretary of the Federal Government College Ugwolawo Old Students Association (FGCUOSA) Lagos Chapter where he served the constitutionally allowed two terms before becoming the Treasurer for another two terms.

His zeal for selfless but productive service is matchless, he is a savant and in the last quarter of a century, he has played his significant part in the ICT sector where he is a colossus from his humble beginning as a Trainer in Lexington Computers Limited through Hewlett Packard to his current role with telecommunications heavyweights – Ericsson as the Manager HUB West covering 10 countries after previously heading the operations in the West Africa sub region and later Barbados and 9 other Caribbean countries as the Operations Assurance Head amongst other notable roles, yet in the midst of these, the mantle fell on him as the Chairman of Ericsson Cooperative Society for 4 years where he is currently the Board of Trustee (BOT) Chairperson. This is another feather to his integrity feather! In order not to be left out, his course mates affirmed him as this President for the Lagos Business School (LBS) SMP 41 class.

No man is infallible but I cannot recall him telling lies as he is blunt to tell you how it is or he feels, I could recall when he was getting wedded to his the fiancé – the motherly Doris (now wife), being one of the groomsmen, he gladly notified me about the date being February 14th 2004 and my sharp response was that how could he have fixed the date to coincide with the AFCON final date (as if he had the sole power to fix such date! His mo gba gbe ni (Oh, I forgot) response brought me back to earth.

As it is impossible to take a dive into the popular Ofu river (the popular river from which Ofu Local Government’s name was derived) and not be wet, likewise it is impossible to encounter Ernest (as kids he was Chuks) without being dazed and amazed by the sheer size of his philanthropic heart, he is always willing and ready to go the extra mile for the comfort of others and I need not bore you with details but it is only our good Lord who sees what is done in secret that can reward you as promised in Matthew 6:6, and our God has been faithful to keep.

Like the biblical King David entrusted with the care of the flock as a boy shepherd who later became a king over God’s flock, the celebrator started as a superintendent over chicken without souls (frozen food – courtesy of Mitchel Farms) in Mummy’s shop and now entrusted with the souls of God’s people as the Pastor in Charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Mustard Seed Parish in Badore. A devoted family man that is not unaware that he that who does not provide for his home is worse than an infidel, has been faithful in his inherited role as the Diokpala of the Michael Iwebunor Ohanugo Dynasty.

As Pastor Ernest Chukwuadinula Ohanugo celebrates his Golden Jubilee in his emi lokan moment as he joins the Quinquagenarian queue, this is wishing him a more successful second half. I know the story and i am proud of the glory, it is a period to look back and thank God, while looking ahead and trusting God. God bless you and your descendants sir.

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Lawrence Omotayo November 16, 2022 - 2:15 pm

Congrats to my able, energetic bold and honest Pastor. You always deserve the best in life. As you match further into the years ahead, lines shall keep falling unto you in pleasant places and your latter shall be more glorious than your former. Keep soaring like an Eagle, Sir

Dcn. Taiwo Folarin November 10, 2022 - 5:49 am

As I read through this piece of write up about a Savant rather than a Servant, I totally agree that this astute, wonderful, humble and faithful man of God Pastor Ernest Ohanugo is a special man of our time. Digesting through the words, my heart cannot stop nodding and praying for him that the mighty hand of God will continue to keep him afloat in abundance of wisdom, knowledge and great success in every area of his endeavour spiritually and physically in Jesus precious and powerful name. Happy birthday sir.

Praise Allagoa November 10, 2022 - 4:52 am

How so aptly captured! I only have memories of cool, nice, clean, kind and people centerdness as a secondary school mate. On finding ourselves as a class, I have only experienced a father who only wants to generate love within a family and ensure to give it all it takes to achieve.

God bless you Chuks and multiply your type for our world. Life worth thanking God for. Reminds me of writing in the Bible: In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:16 NLT

Tunde Akinfaloye November 10, 2022 - 3:17 am

Certainly true that you know the stories.what a beautiful piece. The Oshodi warlords at it.We thank God that we have beautiful stories to tell today from our tasking past. Congratulations Chuks and thanks Opeyemi

MOSUNMOLA ADEGBOYEGA November 10, 2022 - 12:28 am

Great Piece !
Happy Birthday dear brother and welcome to the 5th Floor. Welcome to Greater Grace, Good and Abundant Health, More and Deeper walk with God.
Many happy returns

Doris Ohanugo November 9, 2022 - 11:43 pm

Congratulations lovey. You are indeed God’s gift to mankind 🎊🎉💜❤️💕

Grace Ojo-Awodi Opaluwa November 9, 2022 - 3:19 pm

Well scripted piece on a very pleasant and humble friend, Chuksy, whom I knew over 37 years ago. May this 5th level of your life usher you into higher fame and greater wealth in divine health! Happy birthday Ernest!

Gbemi November 9, 2022 - 2:43 pm

Opeyemi you nailed it!!! CEO, Chuksy always always there for us all. Is only God that will reward your Labour of love

Emmanuel November 9, 2022 - 11:32 am

No matter how busy he might be, he has never kept God waiting!
He is my great mentor, a good leader and father.

Bukola Agunbiade November 9, 2022 - 10:38 am

Thank you Opeyemi. This is truly Ernest.

Billy Iluyemi November 9, 2022 - 8:15 am

Opeyemi Ajala, nice one

Ikinbor Michael November 9, 2022 - 11:41 pm

Pastor Ernest is a great family pastor, who has transformed a house fellowship center into a notable RCCG parish with an ongoing galleria church building project .
We celebrate you sir . Still looking thirties more grace


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