By Suoyo Ekubo
According to John Lennon “Count your age by friends, not years.”
Birthdays are special days worth celebrating the strides one has covered in life. It was an incredible and a remarkable three days epic 60th birthday celebration of Hon. Kingsley Wali popularly called Kman, ‘The Godfather’ and a host of other endearing aliases.
His 60th milestone celebration was a momentous occasion that brought together top Politicians in Nigerian including the top 3 governorship candidates in Rivers State, Business moguls, captains of industries and great men and women of Port Harcourt.
Kingsley Wali is a quintessential Port Harcourt man. He is the Chairman of Unity House Foundation. He is also an APC Chieftain in Rivers State. Kman is a man that is many things to many people, an amazing person, a committed friend and brother.
The trailing ceremony which started on Friday 5 to Sunday 7 of August, ended with a thanksgiving service at the Church of Pentecost (Anglican communion) Rumualogu Port Harcourt and thereafter, a reception party followed at his Port Harcourt residence.
In his speech, the celebrant, Hon. Kingsley Wali said “I was telling somebody yesterday, she was like I’m supposed to be part of this program one way or the other. She now said she wanted to know a bit about me, and I said there’s nothing special about me that you need to know, that my life is like a book.”
Wali further said, “I’m not a regular person who takes records about my life, but one thing I know is that God has been exceptionally graceful when it comes to things that concerned me.
“I have experienced all emotions, I have lost the most beautiful people in my life, my only sister, my father, my mother, I have lost a child and of course you people know that not too long ago I lost my friend. So what is it that I want to hear again about life? I can only say thank you father.”
“I’m 60 today, not because I’m a wonderful person, it’s the grace of God. I’ve gone terrible feats that some people who are not here today didn’t even go anywhere near but they are not here today not because they decided not to come, But because they are not with us any longer. So you should help me thank God for his mercy.”
The former Governor of Rivers state, Sir Celestine Omehia in his goodwill message to the celebrant, said “it is the work of God in your life and haven reach 60, remember that God have been everything in your life and he will continue to be everything for you. you are not just a friend to me, you are my brother therefore I know you very well.”
On his part, the Former Minister of transportation Chibuike Amaechi said “I want to tell my friend, brother Kingsley Wali one secret I’ve never told you before but I’ve told some friends including my children. You are an inspiration to my success in life and I’ll tell you why.”
“I don’t know whether it was frank Ogor’s wedding, but there was a wedding we were members of the committee of friends and we agreed as friends to contribute money for the bachelor’s eve. I couldn’t contribute because I didn’t have money, but as a young man in his 20s I came to the bachelor’s eve. You refused me to enter, you walked me home and I went home.
“On my way home, I told God I will break the curse of poverty in my family so that when next I become a member of any bachelor’s eve committee I will pay my dues. Kingsley thank you and thank God. Since then I have been paying any commitment that I am called to pay and I’m grateful to God and I’m grateful to you.
“I didn’t fight war to break it, I prayed, because in all things in my life, all things, I didn’t say some, all glory goes to God. After praying, I get one quality I don’t share with many people, Determination; so that’s what you taught me and I thank you.
“Also that your stubbornness, that thing you think is bad, is one of the things that makes you the man you are. It’s one of the things that separates you from others. The last thing that separates you from others which we share together is character. Character is not common on the street, very few of us have character and you have it, please don’t give it up, don’t! I don’t give up my own.
“I wish you were in my campaign, we visited 33 states, in the 33 states, all I heard from everybody was you are an honest man, you are a man of character and you don’t lie. The same as you, because I Know you. You are as blunt as you want to tell the truth and I love you for it. I always tell people, the day God will come, I want him to judge me aright because I want to go to heaven and I’m sure you will make heaven if you keep that character,” he said.
Collectively, some of his friends also described Hon. Kingsley Wali as someone that is largely misunderstood but resolute, a great leader and a very dependable ally.
On his part, Okey Wali SAN, the elder brother to the celebrant described him as an amazing person as he welcomed Kman to the sixth floor.
The occasion was graced by the governor of Rivers state His Excellency Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike CON and his entourage, His Excellency Rt Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, the former Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers state, His Excellency Sir Celestine Omehia, the former governor of Rivers state, Hon. Timi Alaibe, the former Managing Director NDDC, Mr. Mohammed Bello Koko the substantive Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Adokiye Tombomieye, the Group Executive Director Upstream NNPC, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the governorship flag bearer of Accord Rivers State, Sen. Magnus Abe, the SDP flag bearer Rivers State, Pastor Tonye Cole, the APC governorship flag bearer Rivers State and his dear Wife Dr. Sylvia Cole. Chief Emeka Beke, Rivers State APC Chairman, Hon. Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, OCJ Okocha SAN, Okey Wali SAN.
Other dignitaries who attended the occasion are HRH, Sir Henry Micah Biterefie II, the Amadabo of Ono-Bio 1 of Sambo-Ama Twon Brass Kingdom Bayelsa State, Eze Kingsley Ogundu, OYO V111, Eze Azumini, Isiokpo Rivers State, Dr Doris Cowan, Hilda Dokubo, Sir Obinna Anaba, Chief Sody Peterside, Chris Allagoa, Datom kio Lawson, Ivy Davies Etokakpan, Ifeoma Chrys-Bernadette Ifejika, Tambere Ibisiki, members of the Unity House Foundation and other very prominent personalities.