At 109, he was the eldest in the state when he died on September 12th, 2018. His burial could not but be a state affair, not necessarily in terms of the government getting involved but in the sense of Isokoland coming to itself. It is an understatement to say that kings, chiefs and traditional rulers of different kingdoms and principalities in Isokoland defined the burial. And with eight own children, 25 grand children and a great grandchild, the children well spread from academia to international finance, bureaucracy and business, there was everything to make the burial something that many would not forget for many years to come. The network of stakeholders, from children to grandchildren, members of the extended family, the cultural establishment, academia, the bureaucracy and the business world was simply vast.
November 24th, 2018 has come and gone but those who attended Pa Ekpolomo’s burial must still be marvelling at Nigeria’s diversity and its paradox: as diverse as the country, so also as similar as the many different cultural entities in terms of basic world outlook values, the traditional cuisines, dances, tact and the place of the elderly. Nigeria’s problem is not cultural pluralism but lack of a national elite with the political skills to fulfil its mission by moulding diversity into a completely New Nation.
There was that tinge to it all. It is that even at 109, ‘Fineboy’ remained part of his name. No one told Intervention what that stood for or why it was retained in the burial brochure and everywhere else. In the absence of an authoritative explanation, the temptation has been to think that it must be a nickname reflecting his handsomeness at youth.