I knew him well as far back as the late 80’s when Orji Kalu, Shawcross Obioha (of Shawcross Motors V/I Lagos) and myself used to “roll” together. We always had a good time in company with Nkiru (Willie Anumudu’s wife) in their palatial residence at Ikoyi. It was always fun to be in their midst.
Some times we converged on his commodious office in Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos to discuss politics and the way forward for our ‘people’.
When we formed the Igbo United Congress (IUC) – of which I was the secretary – in 1995/96 to promote Orji Kalu’s governorship project, he was prominently a keen and generous supporter. Other members of the group included Ikedi Ohakim (later became governor of Imo State), and Kingsley Ononuju (now Commissioner in Imo State).
Willie Anumudu was quiet, articulate, humble, creative and kind to a fault despite he was a graduate of the prestigious Universityof Nigeria, Nsukka.
His philanthropic activities were usually carried out unnoticed, quietly and altruistically.
The beneficiaries cut across tribes, religions and political affiliations.
His tentacles in business stretched to as far as Japan, the United States, Canada, and Germany – where he trudged along like a colossus in the auto world.
Immediately the news of his sudden transmutation into celestial glory hit me like a thunderbolt from the blues, my mind raced to his brother-in-law, Obi Adimora who is my buddy. His sister, enthusiastic and quintessential Nkiru, is married to Willie. That Nkiru was (and is still) in London at the time the tragedy occurred has aggravated my grief.
What about his bosom friend, Orji Kalu, who is 60 years today and still locked away in detention?
How would all these persons receive the heart-wrenching news?
I sincerely feel for them.
Only God knows the end from the beginning.
One lesson of Willie’s exit is that it is always good to have the right mental attitude and lead an exemplary life. He demonstrated these unique qualities at every turn during his 68 years sojourn on earth.
No wonder the whole of Nigeria, especially the Ikeduru/Mbaitoli Kingdom, despite the COVID-19 lockdown, has been thrown into indescribable mourning. And will mourn for months, if not years, to come.
Sleep on, our dear friend, till we meet to part no more.
Ozonkpu Dr. Victor Ike Oye,
National Chairman, APGA
APGA New Media 2020