Good Night Chief Ebikebina Tantua
SIR: Before long Chief Ebikebina Tantua Taingbe II (JP), “Chief Tantua,” as titled by his peers – and “Director,” by his staff members, past and present would be committed to mother earth in Amasoma in Bayelsa State having paid his eternal reward.
Until his death on December 9, 2014, he was the owner and Director of Tantua International Group of Schools, Second Avenue, Elekahia Housing Estate, Port Harcourt, of whose management I was proud to be associated as a Head Teacher (Primary) from 2005-2007.
The director, unlike, most owners of private schools whose fare is to indulge parents to be in their good will to get enrolment, was a disciplinarian and never bent over backwards to break set standards. The schools gate he ensured was locked at 8am in the short term and permanently after assembly to ensure that children imbibe the habit of being prompt to school and in every other activity after school.
I have never known him to miss school and periodic supervision even in the twilight of his years. The Chief walked his talk, up till the day he died after he gave a hard talk in a meeting of private school proprietors’. Even though I have gone forward to work for many persons outside his establishment, none has been able to equal his feat: the Chief never owed his employees their monthly salary.
I remember the advise he gave me when I attempted to resign my appointment for another job the first time “do not throw the water in your house in anticipation for the rain water, which may not fall, always wait for the rain to fall before that,” he said. He encouraged his personnel to do business outside work hours and not to rely on their salaries and even advanced loans (some in millions) to many, without collateral and interests, and to pay in bits – the only person I have met so far that was benevolent enough to give loans without interests and collateral. His proclivity for hard work and guidance, have contributed into making me a better person.
• Simon Abah
Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
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