Tribute to Tom Ilube, a Rare Gem

by SOC Okenwa

The article entitled “Nigeria: Forgery and Perjury Incorporated” authored by yours sincerely after its publication drew the attention of one Tom Ilube, the worthy son of Engineer Nathaniel Ilube, former boss of Bendel Broadcasting Service, BBS, Benin City. Based in England Mr Ilube sought to clarify certain information or “inaccuracies” as regards his father and what was written about him concerning his stewardship. He sent rejoinders to the NVS (another website) Admin and copied me complaining of defamation and even subtly threatening instituting libel case against the author and the publishers.

Tom Ilube, in defense of his father’s integrity and credibility, went very far to prove his points painstakingly acknowledging the fact that early 90’s some elements in the then BBS now EBS and the defunct Bendel state government connived to smear Engineer Ilube’s social standing and character. They succeeded in airing the allegation that Eng. Ilube obtained his Engineering degree in his imagination since the title could not be academically justified. Though the initial claim by the traducers were given a wide prime-time publicity the findings of an internal probe instituted by the accused ex-DG which exonerated him of the unsubstantiated malicious allegation were not given equal level of publicity. Those interested in the case were kept in the dark!

Perusing Tom’s first rebuttal gave me an insight of the kind of person he is. He presented his case very well concluding that he knew it was not my intention to defame his retired father. We have been in correspondence ever since and I hereby salute his largeness of heart and deep understanding and respect. He never sought to antagonize anyone and no one antagonized him in return. We have been fair to each other.

In Nigeria of today, much like in the 80’s and 90’s, the notoriety of ‘PHD’ (Pull Him Down) syndrome cannot be denied by anyone. Some people go to any length to undo their superiors. The situation in some ministries, parastatals and corporate bodies concerning positions and ranks sometimes degenerate into dogs eating dogs for survival and self aggrandizement. Some junior officers even eliminate their seniors to pave way for their promotion!

An alumnus of both Edo College and University of Benin both in Benin City Edo State Tom Ilube exhibits traits of civility and deep respect for family values. This piece is motivated by a genuine desire to appreciate greatness which has found some symbolism in Tom Ilube. It represents my modest way of patriotically and compatriotically giving honour to whom it is due without any prodding.

Mr Ilube’s company Garlik based in England has been selected as a World Economic Forum 2008 Technology Pioneer among other companies in Europe, Asia, Scandinavia and dominantly America. What makes this feat unique is that Ilube is the only African and his company the only African-owned company so chosen. Among the selected one finds established tech companies in the West, Israel, Sweden and Russia.

The prestigious World Economic Forum Annual Meeting holding in Davos Switzerland from the 23rd to the 27th January this year has as its principal theme: “The Power of Collaborative Innovation” and events will be co-chaired by such eminent personalities as Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, James Dimon and Wang Jianzhou, Chief Executive of China Mobile Communications Corporations among others.

The four-day “by invitation only” meeting of political, business and social world leaders, ranging from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton, from Mbeki to Mandela will address some of the world’s economic, political and social challenges.

Mr Ilube has been given the task of presenting at a panel session on cyber-security and its global implications. Mr Ilube’s Garlik Company passed the critera which says: “To be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must be involved in the development of life-changing technology innovation and have potential for long-term impact on business and society. In addition, it must demonstrate visionary leadership, show the signs of being a long-standing market leader – and its technology must be proven”.

Though Mr Tom Ilube is of Nigerian origin his company is based in the UK. But that does not remove celebrating him and his achievement as one of us. Recognising him and his company among “39 visionary companies” that will participate in Davos is no mean feat. Please watch him speak about the Davos event.

In a nation where we boast of smartness and intelligence mostly when it comes to defrauding our own people and foreigners, doing right things in the opposite and playing wickedness to our fellow beings Mr Ilube stands out as a shining example. In a land where spineless leaders come to further underdevelop the people economically and socially Mr Ilube’s achievement will boost the green-white-green flag and Nigeria‘s international image.

For one to be distinguished in a complex world where brains compete for honours, wealth and recognition one has to employ ingenuity, determination and brevity. Mr Tom Ilube struck me by our private correspondence as a perfect gentleman out to make a positive mark, positive impact in a world dominated by the Whites and their interests.

By his achievement and global recognition as one of the greatest players (pencilled down for participation in the Davos global event) I think he is a rare Nigerian gem. This is thus a deserved tribute to him.

Fellow Nigerians, please join me therefore in lauding and applauding Tom Ilube, an illustrious compatriot who have achieved greatness by joining the big distinguished club of the technologically great and powerful. To this bespectacled slim genius I say: Hip hip hip hurray!

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1 comment

francisco okwesa April 4, 2008 - 10:49 am

wonderful to see nigerians making strides especially in the new world cutting edge business.imagine if the country was conducive for such talent at home what nigeria will be like,instead of the criminally minded 419 sort.kudos to tom and his like


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