By Chief Uche Nworah, Ph.D
As I sat on my relaxation chair observing my quiet ‘me’ moment, and reflecting on the day’s activities on the evening of Wednesday, 25th October, 2023, I casually picked up my telephone and checked my WhatsApp messages. Next, I checked my Facebook page (@Dr. Uche Nworah). As I switched back to other threads on Facebook, my attention was drawn to a picture of my friend and professional colleague Jika Attoh posted on the Facebook wall of a senior colleague, Ikeddy Isiguzo. “Oh, it’s Jika’s birthday”, I said to myself as I tried to compose in my mind a birthday message to post. My heart went numb and almost leapt out after I read the accompanying message Ikeddy posted; “Good night Jika Attoh. My brother and friend, senior colleague, and repository of knowledge. May the Almighty rest him”, Ikeddy wrote.
Jika Attoh was a good man, a professional communicator, broadcaster and fine gentleman. We had the most regards for each other. I in particular held him in the highest esteem. In 2014, after Chief Willie Obiano, former Governor of Anambra state gave me the opportunity and hired me to serve Ndi Anambra as the MD/CEO of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), following a nationwide competitive recruitment process, Jika Attoh was the man I ran to to help train some of our staff.
He was the MD of Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) at the time and tales of his exploits in the organisation were making the rounds in our industry. After we had concluded our brand repositioning strategy session with members of senior management and staff, an activity funded by a development partner, training was identified as one of the critical initiatives ABS should embark on.
During this time, Governor Obiano had introduced the mantra of ‘Doing More With Less’, and we knew that getting funds from the government to embark on staff training was going to be a huge challenge. I approached Jika Attoh and we worked out a plan for his core team members to train our staff in batches. Some of the trainings were done at ESBS Enugu while some were done at our Awka offices. ESBS and Jika Attoh provided these trainings pro bono. Their initial foundational support helped us in our repositioning efforts at ABS.
Over the years we kept in touch and always shared good banter each time we met at events. The last time we saw each other was sometime in 2021 at Nnamdi Azikiwe University during the Town & Gown event organized by the department of Mass Communication. That was the day this picture was taken. We both sat on the high table and when it was my turn to speak, I shared with the audience the good deeds of Jika Attoh, using that to emphasize the importance of selflessness and professionalism. I told the students and other guests that our candle lights won’t dim when we light other people’s candles, rather, lights from both candles will burn brighter. Rest in peace my brother Jika Attoh.
Chief Uche Nworah, Ph.D, was Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) from 2014 to 2022.