Saturday 25th March, 2017
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Exit of our matriarch, Dame Mercy Alagoa

Exit of our matriarch, Dame Mercy Alagoa

In our plain of existence in the surface of the earth, there is always a time for everything. Since we are all mortals, there is a time to be born and a time to depart to the great beyond. We will not be far from the asser­tion of Williams Shakespeare that the world is a stage where we all come to play our part and depart and that death is like a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
What would you be remem­bered for? The beauty of death is that it begins the story of life and beauty of life is the celebration of our times and odyssey and death itself is inevitable.
Mercy Gboribusuote Alagoa was born in Nembe 89 years ago on 11thMay, 1927. Her pater­nal ancestry goes back to Mingi in Nembe. Similarly, her mater­nal root also traces back to roy­alty both in Nembe and in Shidi family of Twon Brass. Her par­ents were teachers; her father served as Headmaster of a school in British Cameroun in Buguma, Oyo and in Degema. She grew up in a family of four boys and one girl, a family of Christian value, culture and devotion to educa­tion and a spirit of unyielding toughness in the face of challeng­es. She contributed immensely to the development of churches like the Cathedral church of St Luke’s and the University of Port Har­court ’’Our Saviour Chapel’’.
Little wonder her background helped in shaping her career. She worked as a teacher and a jour­nalist before joining the United African Company (UAC), then the biggest commercial outfit in Nigeria in 1951. She rose to be­come the first Nigerian that be­came Senior Manager and Buy­er, a position that made her travel extensively round the world to purchase children’s fashion ware for all Kingsway Stores in Nige­ria. She worked in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Ibadan of­fices.
On retirement from UAC in 1973, she was appointed by the pioneer administration of old Rivers state to set up its Sup­ply Company, PABOD Supplies Company. She was equally in­strumental to the establishment of the Standard Cottage Hospital in every local government area of old Rivers. She served on the board of state and federal govern­ment parastatals and companies such as Port Harcourt Flourmill as Chairman, Honourable Com­missioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for Bauchi state repre­senting Rivers state from 1996 to 1998.
She also had her hands on var­ious pies such as the integrated agro-business and Bakery along Kaduna street in Port Harcourt.
Madam as she was fondly called in the family will be sore­ly missed. This writer commis­erates with her husband, Emer­itus Professor, Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa (Chief Kala Joe of Nem­be kingdom) and his family for this irreparable loss but take sol­ace praying God to lessen the emotional burden it might have caused . She no doubt, lived a ful­filled life worthy of emulation.
During her 89 years sojourn on earth, she had four children and became mother, grandmoth­er and great grandmother. I must not fail to confess that people from all walks of life thronged Nembe city to accord her last re­spect.
At the King Koko Square in Nembe where her casket was laid on display, the Boys Brigade of Nigeria band rendered sol­emn rendition and conducted a parade that finally discharged her from the organization.
Also not left out were the Knights of the Niger Delta Dio­cese who were present to honour her with a T-Sword formation as the pale bearers marched under it to her residence for interment.
In a tribute by Anthony Beye Alagoa, he stated that late Dame Mercy Alagoa, popularly and fondly called ‘Madam’ was the matriarch of the Kale Joe dynas­ty describing her as sweet moth­er, loving, irreplaceable and for­ever, remain adorable.
Rest in Peace, Madam Mercy G Alagoa; Adieu.
Alagoa, a public affairs ana­lyst wrote from Abuja

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