“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken a way; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job. 1 v 21.
As I am writing this tribute, I am hearing her voice as she spoke during my last conversation with her, calling me Dave, chere kwanu – wait now.
In Esther, I saw a woman that craved for peace and happiness of other people. That’s how “Allied Matters” came into fore. A slogan used to relax calm anxious and angry nerves down during Situation Room meetings.
Esther lived a purpose driven life. Throughout my encounter with her, she committed herself in ensuring that vulnerable groups, in particular persons with disabilities are included in the narrative for a better Nigeria.
As a friend of the media, in particular TV Stations, anytime they invite her for TV appearances during General or off circle election observations, she will always request the producer to mainstream disability issues, in fact she will request them to invite me to speak.
Esther was a royal. She happened to be one of the few knowledgeable ladies within the civic space, I have met, that are humble, calm, respectful, not puffed off, nor arrogant, not wanting to pull you down or humiliate you in private or public by reason of wealth, knowledge, or social status.
She was always available to assist no matter how small. She hardly exhibit imakwa ndi anyi wu – do you know me? attitude. That’s why she stood tall among her peers.
Esther was not a fake person. The last encounter I had with her was last December after the National Assembly Public Hearing on Electoral Act alterations. I had a health challenge at Transcorp Hilton Hotel the night we arrived. The next morning, I sent a message to a couple of members about my situation. It was only Esther that replied to me with “Chukwu nonyere gi” – God be with you. That experience was deep to me till this day.
Throughout her stay at the Situation room, Esther watched my back with firmness. As Esther is no more, I will be missing her comrade’s back up.
Esther reaffirmed my belief in doing good to all manner of people as much as I can; and to stand firm and strong in things I believed in.
While it is hard to say goodbye, I pray God to grant the families and loved ones, in particular members of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room the fortitude to accept what we cannot change.
It is well.
David Obinna Anyaele
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)