By Jude Atupulazi, Onyinyechi Ekoyo and Faith Ogudu
After years of diligent service as a member of staff of the Anambra State Broadcasting Service, ABS, Mr Gab Okpaleze has retired. His retirement coincided with his 60th birthday celebration, both of whjich were celebrated in the company of colleagues and friends at the premises of the state owned radio station, October 26. He retired as the Director of News and Current Affairs.
It was mixed reactions from colleagues and friends as they bid Okpaleze goodbye from active service; with emotions of sadness at his leaving and happiness that he spent years of meritorious service.
Judy-Jeff Nwabueze, Acting Director of News and Current affairs, who spoke at the event, said Okpalaeze would be missed because of his diligence and dedication to the job, including teaching others.
‘He mentored us well and we will miss him,’ Nwabueze said.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ABS, Chief Chido Obidiegwu, in his comment, said the event of the retirement of Okpalaeze had made him emotional.
‘This is not a very wonderful moment for me. I’m very emotional now, and a day like this should be for reflections. What will people say when your own day comes?
‘I knew Gab before becoming MD and you can define him as a quintessential gentleman. I can comfortably say that he is a definition of trustworthiness, professionalism, honesty and many more.
‘His exit will create a big gap here. He is the only person who has ever been acting MD twice in the history of ABS, yet he never had the opportunity of being a substantive MD.
‘If it was in my power to make him MD, I would have done it, so that now that he has retired, I would now come, but it was not in my power. Even though he never became substantive MD, you will never see him without a smile. For some people, it would have weighed them down, but not Gabby,’ he said.
As a mark of respect, Okpalaeze was given the honour of presenting a paper on the place of traditional broadcasting in the era of social media. The paper was prepared to teach young broadcasters the robes as he left the organisation.
The event also marked the formal send-off of some other retired staff members of the organization who were not formally sent off earlier.