By Paulinus Nsirim
Today, the body of late Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, Senior Special Assistant on Electronic Media to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, will be laid to rest. There is no doubt that his kinsmen at Umuanya Ogbodikwu, in Umuahia South LGA of Abia State will be full of grief that such an illustrious son was cut down in his prime.
As tears will flow from family, friends, well wishers and professional colleagues, the life and times of a man who bestrode the media like a colossus will be a talking point. Mr. Nwakaudu, whose sad demise occured on Sunday, May 17, 2020, at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) after a brief illness had an amiable personality that was magnified with his toothy smile.
As a thorough bred professional, he covered his beat with the dexterity that stood him out among his peers. His ink flowed with relentless ease as he churned out Press Releases and Features to propagate the policies and programmes of the Rivers State Government.
He never missed out on any news item that had to do with the State or our Principal. The timeliness with which he communicated was quite enchanting. The Abia State-born prolific journalist, who has a degree in Mass Communication from the Benue State University, Makurdi, began reporting in a Makurdi-based tabloid called the Pavilion, before joining The Guardian Newspapers as the Benue State Correspondent.
He joined the Media team of the Rivers State Governor, who was then Minister of State for Education and moved to Port Harcourt with the Governor to coordinate the Media team during the 2015 elections and was officially designated as the Senior Special Assistant, Electronic Media to the Governor after the Election victory. The late Nwakaudu was a committed and dedicated professional who contributed immensely to the implementation of The NEW Rivers Vision.
He was a strong defender of the Rivers State Government, a robust writer and an uncompromising media strategist, who interpreted and presented the visions and initiatives of the administration of Governor Wike, with comprehensive poignancy and unequivocal clarity.
He was the definitive name and voice of the Rivers State Government House Media and his passing at the time it occurred, came when his services were greatly needed not just by the Government of Rivers State but the entire journalism profession.
Simeon Nwakaudu was a good man. He was a loyal family man, a dependable ally to his friends and colleagues and a devout Christian who enjoyed immeasurable love, respect and admiration from everyone all over the country. He will be sorely missed for his professionalism both to the Rivers State Government and the Journalism Community.
As an individual, I lost not just a friend and colleague but a brother. He showed me so much love and support as we carried out public communication for our State. We had a close nit relationship that created the right synergy that produced a resilient Media Team. He was ready to go the extra mile as he made sacrifices that made me see him more as a brother than a colleague.
There was never a time I gave him an assignment no matter how late or shortness of time that he complained. He was in my assessment a rare breed that I presently feel that part of my professional pillars in the State Media Team is gone. Nwakaudu’s death is indeed a monumental loss to the Government of Rivers State, family, friends and colleagues.
I will surely miss my “Ogbuagu.” Fare thee well, Simeon until we meet on the resurrection morning. May your gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.
Nsirim is Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State