March 15 would go down as one of the darkest Sundays in 2020, especially for the good people of Abule Ado (in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State). It was reported that there was an explosion of mass and magnitude, one that resulted in hell fires that ravaged life and home and property. So destructive and demoralising was this incident that a few hours after, countless folks were walking about aimlessly, wondering aloud how they were supposed to put their lives together and build again. Those are the people who are most blessed with the existence of souls like Fidelity Bank boss, Nnamdi Okonkwo.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, Nnamdi Okonkwo and several other executive management staff of Fidelity Bank, rode into the fray with heavy hearts, rolled sleeves, encouraging pats on weary shoulders, words of prayers, and promises to ease the financial burden and aid in the rebuilding process. Speaking with words seasoned with salt, Okonkwo explained to the distressed folks that he and his staff “thought to come this morning to commiserate with you and see first-hand the damages caused by the effects of the explosions”.
Those who received Nnamdi Okonkwo’s party, leaders of the Balogun Business Association (BBA), Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA) and Association of Progressive Traders (APT), were overwhelmed with gratitude. They remarked that Fidelity Bank has always been dutiful to the plights and scrapes of the marketplace, and that it was the first among its sister banks to arrive on the scene and lend a hand.
The various presidents of the trading associations had quite a lot to chip in. President BBA, Chief Anthony Obih noted that although Fidelity was not the only operational bank in the market, it deserved true commendations for offering aid barely 24 hours after the explosion. Adding to that, President ASPAMDA, Chief Daniel Oforkansi noted the act of kindness rendered by Okonkwo and his team, and promised to reciprocate in due time. The APT Market Association President, Chief Eric Ilechukwu, entreated the other members of banking and industry to follow in the steps of Fidelity, emphasizing that its actions were representative of the banking spirit.
Nnamdi Okonkwo took his time to visit the affected areas of the market, doubtlessly running the numbers and evaluating the damages while still sympathising with the victims. “The contents of his pockets”, said Annie Oakley, “were often emptied into the hands of small, ragged little boys, nor could he understand how so much wealth should go brushing by, unmindful of the poor”. That is Nnamdi Okonkwo, a compassionate soul of girth and grace.