It was a glorious day for retired Director of Corporate Communications of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okorafor, as dignitaries from all walks of life, top media professionals, family and friends joined him on Sunday at a ceremony to mark his 60th birthday and retirement from public service.
The dignitaries took turns to talk about the outstanding qualities that stood Okorafor out of many, pointing out specifically that he was a decent and God-fearing man, who had distinguished himself in his career.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Air Commodore B.O.C Ifeobu, described the former CBN spokesman as a product of hard work and commitment to duty.
“We are celebrating the product of hard work and commitment to duty. Isaac Okorafor doesn’t shy away from giving his commitment to God’s work,” he said.
Ifeobu also told guests, who had come from far and near to celebrate Okorafor, not to think all they were seeing had been achieved on a platter of gold.
He said, “At times like this, people think success was achieved on a platter of gold. For him, I can tell you it was not an easy road. He is a self made man. Success is sweeter when you are self made than when you inherit wealth from your parents.
“Hard work, commitment to duty, and, above all, reliance on God, will actually take you beyond your expectation. Okorafor is a living witness. He is reitiring but is not going out of limelight.”
Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu, however, said after retirement, Okorafor might be dragged to contribute his quota in Nigeria’s politics.
Kalu, who is the Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, said, “There is nothing to say than to celebrate him. It is always good to work and retire peacefully. It is also very good to have been favoured by God.
“We have so many things linking us together. I was his Governor (Abia State) for eight years and we also go to the same Catholic Church.
“I am the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, while he retired as a spokesman of the Central Bank of Nigeria. I want to congratulate him, his dear wife and children because it is not an easy job to join a place and retire peacefully.”
“We might drag him out to go into politics; we need people like him to run the affairs of Nigeria. I want to thank God for him,” he said.
Also speaking, the President, Association of Communications and Marketing Professionals in Banks, Charles Aigbe, described Okorafor as a visionary leader whom others look up to.
“Isaac is one of the most senior members of ACAMB. We look up to him because of his visionary leadership and his ability to mobilise people. At some point, we had to resuscitate ACAMB and we looked up to him to provide the leadership that we required, and he did,” he noted.
“We encourage him and remind him that he promised us that he was going to write a book on strategic marketing communications. We wish him the very best,” he added.
The celebrant thanked all those who came from across Nigeria to celebrate with him, saying he owed everything to God and the good people he had met on his journey of life.
“I had wanted to present a book, my autobiography, today but the last weeks were so hectic at work. I will do that properly next year,” he told The Point.