Fr George Adimike
No matter the depth of ethical depravity and moral bankruptcy in society, there is always a remnant of men illustrious in virtue, prodigious in maturity and noble in character. Such men and women embody excellence in substance and style. Their staying the course of goodness yields tremendous dividends in mentorship and role modelling. Essaying on such persons proves an amazing fascination for the inspiration it awakens. Moreover, writing of that nature serves as a report card on one who has discovered that the meaning of life is to find one’s gift. And once found, such a gift is given out in fulfilling the purpose of life. In 72 years, Sir Ikem Patrick Osanakpo has been leading a virtue-rich Christian and entrepreneurial life being spent for a free and just society. Each chapter of this 72-year biography is a stunning narrative of a father, leader, mensch, mentor, gentleman, entrepreneur and elder brother. Simply, Engr Osanakpo is one of the few truly good men left; he is a man of integrity and an entrepreneur. In a word, he is a Christian. Ikem is a mensch.
As a person with body and biography, he makes no pretences about perfection; instead, he progressively engages in cooperating with God, whose grace far exceeds our limitations. Rooted in Christ, Sir Osanakpo invests in constructing the future of our society with hope, leading by the power of personal example. To counteract the negative impact of the numerous charlatans deficient in virtues, he synergises with others in harnessing positive energies and investing the same in constructing a great society. His exemplary life is so powerful that it inspires many. He combines legendary discipline in financial management, moral probity, selfless service to the community and Christian generosity in a seamless, simple and unassuming manner.
An encounter with him sufficiently convinces that Sir Osanakpo lives from the conviction that the world belongs to those who entrust themselves to God. Thus, in engagement with the world, he keeps his focus beyond the frontiers of gain or pain, progress or challenge to appreciate their supernatural connection. Indeed, his life is a 72-year long narrative containing many imperatives for a successful and meaningful Christian existence in the Nigerian context. His early education in Nigeria and the United States of America, his family and religious life, and his business engagement spell a constant search for the God of our lives. He leaves no turn unstoned in making his life a powerful spell that changes lives. He leaves no stone unturned in working for the true good of the human person. Quite significantly, his 72 years on earth testifies to the dynamic power of the Gospel to inform and transform lives. Accordingly, his life has become a great role model and example.
In recognising that man is a project in progress, the construction and reconstruction of the human infrastructure is engaging the time, attention and spiritual and human resources of Sir Ikem Patrick Osanakpo. His life these seventy-two years bear eloquent testimony to the centrality of the human person in his existential enterprise. The good of man always drives his volunteering to serve in different capacities whether in the Church in Onitsha, Aba or his home, Ndoni in Rivers State or community programs. His dedication to these projects suggests that he invests his entire life in them. Ever disciplined and dedicated, responsive and responsible, humble and hardworking, accountable and available, Ikem is a go-to man anytime one has a good idea.
A Worthy Knight of St Mulumba and Papal Knight of St Gregory in the Catholic Church, Sir Ikem is blessed with a great family. Married to Nonyem, Engr Osanakpo is ever grateful to God for the precious treasure he has in his wife, who has been an excellent partner in progress. Her contribution in sustaining Ikem’s greatness cannot be overemphasised. God blessed their marriage with five lovely children. A man of integrity, he grew to become a super entrepreneur specialising in job creation. With the cooperation of his wife, Sir Ikem has succeeded in building a model family of the Osanakpos. The Osanakpo family (Sir Ikem Osanakpo, Dr Chike Osanakpo, SAN and Sir Enebeli Osanakpo) has become a model family where love, peace and progress reign advancing the family’s legacy. To maintain that requires several personal virtues and which he possesses in enviable quantity.
Through Mount Olive School, Ikem and Enebeli contribute immensely in promoting a culture of decency, decorum and excellence in society. Through Kates Industries, together with siblings, Mr Osanakpo creates wealth, jobs and value. Through model family life, he inspires many generations of families in the beauty of the marriage vocation. Everything that happens in his life is turned into an opportunity to deepen his love and knowledge of God and give himself for the good of humanity. As Engr Ikem Patrick Osanakpo turns 72, may I join thousands of family, friends and well-wishers to pray for many more happy, healthy, and fruitful years ahead.
Engr Ikem Patrick Osanakpo clocks 72 on Monday, 30th August. Happy birthday Sir.
Fr George Adimike