WITH the demise of elder statesman, diplomat and politician, Ambassador Mathew Mbu, his second son, Dr James Mbu briefly relieved the life and times of his father to The Guardian at the weekend.
“His demise is a deep loss. He was somebody that was involved in all spheres of life. He was a parliamentarian, an executive member of government and he was a private entrepreneur generating lots of business ideas. More than anything else, he was a community leader and we all mourn him in Boki, where he from.
He continued: “He was more of public property than a family man. We appreciated that and allowed it to happen. We would have appreciated if he had more time for the family but he really dedicated his life to the public. ”
On his life as a family man, the younger Mbu said, “he had a full life, life that was very cultural spaced with European orientation and that is quite understandably as an Ambassador in the US, UK, UN, Germany, France and stuff like that. Of course he started his life here. He was council Chairman in Ogoja and that is something most people don’t realise. He started off working with John Holt, before he became council Chairman of Ogoja, then became a parliamentarian , and Minister so many times. Just before the war he was the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Eastern region, obviously, he was the Foreign Minister for Biafra.
He was well accomplished and we as a family we admire him a lot”.
Late chief Mbu had over 40 years ago prepared his grave. James Mbu explained the motivation behind this daring act: “Honestly he did prepare his grave for the simple reason that our people tend to fight for the remains of a deceased. The community from which the father of the deceased probably came from will insist on taking the body and he had realised that with his lifestyle, his death might certainly provoke a lot of community activities which may not be peaceful.
“He prepared his grave and honestly to tell people that he has a resting place. Actually he was not the only one with a grave, the children also have graves. I have my grave. For the people of Nigeria, for the people of the community, for all of us, he lived an exemplary life, which should be emulated.”