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Chief Barrister  Uwakwe Azikiwe’s Birthday: The Making of a Modern Legend
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Chief Barrister Uwakwe Azikiwe’s Birthday: The Making of a Modern Legend 

CHIEF BARRISTER UWAKWE AZIKIWE’S BIRTHDAY: THE MAKING OF A MODERN LEGEND

By Prince Ejeh Josh, Esq.

In the immortal words of the renowned American novelist, Chuk Palahniuk, “The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it, because it is only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles, wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on.” In the last couple of years, perhaps the past six years that I’ve come in contact with Hon. Chief Barrister Uwakwe Azikiwe, the son of Nigeria’s first President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, I’ve always been convinced of the legendary status hanging delicately like the umbilical cord around his neck. This can be fathomed through his uncanny display of character of moral fortitude, uprightness and insistence on integrity, due process and transparency at all times.

Barrister Uwakwe believes in living a simple but impactful life. From all indications, his humble lifestyle does appear the young elitist doesn’t see himself, or rather, could have preferred not to accept the fact that his actions have always given him away as a contemporary legend. We’ve got overflowing testimonies from members of the public on the impact of Uwakwe on their lives. Today, his inspiratory life has given youth credible confidence to aspire greatness and to look up to him.

Few months ago, I made a post of appreciation. I had marched back from the Nigerian Law School after the strenuous two years of legal training. The journey was supposed to be a year walk. Thanks to Covid-19, it ended two years. Anxiety. Anger. Frustration. Intellectual fatigue occasioned by the Nigerian Law School’s suspense of putting students in the dark, leaving them to conjecture imaginary date of resumption and non-resumption, or voyaging a fruitless journey of deciphering the thought of the legal institution. Our clairvoyance, after all, ended up the opposite direction to the institution’s directive. In February, we were marched back to our campuses. Time-table was adjusted. In less than two months, we went into the labour room. The fear of failure became the beginning of wisdom. Sadly, more than a thousand failed. It was an ugly outing.

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Throughout that period, I was never alone. Some people were reaching out to me. It was, indeed, a sort of courage that I could do better despite the stress. It was a week exams. We checked out. The results were published. It was awful. However, some of us made it with outstanding colourful outing. We headed Abuja in preparation for the call to the bar ceremony. Finally, we “put on our wigs”. We were addressed as Barristers and Solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. We escaped from the status of untrained and unlearned to specially trained and learned virtuoso. It was a dream come true. In all this, the journey sailed because I had some people standing high as my pillars: financial, social, spiritual and moral.

One of the persons I had specially recognized during my thanksgiving is Chief Barrister Uwakwe Azikiwe, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on Special Duties, renowned administrator and successful entrepreneur. After the post I made, I received some messages on my personal email with people expressing excitement that our path crossed. Many said they had longed for an opportunity to meet him, and perhaps, have some progressive interactions. For them, that window will be legendary.

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I had assured those striving to meet him of Barrister Uwakwe’s simplicity, and humane approach to life. Notwithstanding his high standing in life and the Olympian height people ordinarily expected him to operate, the tactical and strategic intellectual lawyer would not allow that to define his relations with members of the public. When he first came to office, all we saw was a tall, colourful, succulent and towering figure. We saw an Aristocratic-Platocrat. He’s the replica of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and since the named had assumed the uncommon status of a mystical being, it became a privilege seeing the fruit of the former nationalist and Nigeria unifier. Soon, Uwakwe showed us his true colours. He caught us unaware and altered our perception. Quite interesting indeed.

It was the colour of love. The colour of philanthropy. The colour of integrity of character and scholarship, and the colour of simplicity. We saw a man gently doing ordinary tasks in extra- ordinary way, and we could not but love him. Making a legend out of him is simple, and we have no doubt about it. Uwakwe has always shown responsiveness to the cause of humanity. He speaks for the voiceless and defends the defenseless. What more could have been more legendary than that!

Today, as the philanthropist celebrates yet another year, we’re afforded the opportunity to identify with him and say; thank you for reaching out and for standing gallantry for justice in a society of elitist conspiracy. We say, thank you for standing out and for your continued self sacrifices for the love of humanity.

What do we wish such a legendary posture? An amazing happy birthday to the great mind. May God’s love perpetually be upon him and upon his family. Happy Birthday, Boss. Congratulations and best wishes.

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