First Story:
A relative of Bongos Ikwue lived in my neighborhood in Maryland, US. The man worked for the IMF and lived with his wife and three children two streets away from mine. One day, he invited me because he had a special guest. When I got there, I met his guest and relative. And that was Bongos. I was so pleased to meet Bongos because I grew up enjoying his music. From that moment, Bongos and I became good friends, and we had many personal meetings and sharings. He even invited me to the opening of his hotel in Benue State. One day, I asked Bongos about Miriam Babangida. I had heard the story of how Babangida snatched Miriam from Bongos. When I asked the question, Bongos smiled and told me that he had never met Miriam in his life. Shocking!
Second Story:
As a university student, I heard a lot about one Igbo money-miss-road who became a Muslim, so he would get contracts from Nigerian government and that the man became so rich from that. They said he was not educated and that he was just an Alhaji with money and no sense, that his name was Alhaji Abdulazeez Ude. In 1991, I finally met Alhaji Abdulazeez Ude. I discovered that he had his First Degree from Oxford University and Masters Degree from Columbia University, that he had a publishing company in the US, that he was Economic Adviser to President Sekou Toure of Guinea, and that he converted to Islam long before returning to Nigeria. Abdulazeez eventually became my adopted father and mentor and one of the most sophisticated and most polished men I've ever known in the whole world. And he sponsored me at Harvard University.
You will hear stories about me, too. I am happy about that. But, listen, if you want to be a great person, you must question every story you hear about people. Little people always peddle rumors and superstitions. Try not to be one of the little people.
Chuba Okoye

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