ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by E O on March 31, 2021
Mike Ajukwu shares Additional Thoughts on Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu.

I start by thanking the fine men and women of the Navy for their service to our Country. You are our anchor when the waves come crashing down. Thank you for your noble service.

Rear Admiral Joseph Omozuya Aikhomu loved the Navy. As a collective,we have lost a profoundly decent man and the Navy lost one of it's finest Ambassadors. Yes, the Navy lost one of it's finest Ambassadors. Rear Admiral Joe humanised the military in the hearts and minds of so many .
This day is a hard and painful one for all of us gathered here. It is so much easier to mourn in silence. But silence or not, one thing which binds us, bringing all of us together is Joe--a man we all loved as a colleague, a friend, a brother and a Father. I am certain of two things though: Rear Admiral Joe would have wanted us all to be here, full glass of cognac in hand, sharing our happiest thoughts of our time together. Therefore, in pain and in tears, let us celebrate the very impactful but tragically short life of this fine officer. Second, Joe is still here with us strongly in spirit--it is so palpable.

I will talk about Joe by referring to two passages in the bible. These passages neatly encapsulate the essence of his life on earth. The passages talk about the Love of God and the love of neighbour. The love of God and the love of neighbour. Joe Aikhomu was a genuine Christian, free from pretence and hypocrisy. I am confident attaching the word genuine to Joe's name because I have seen and experienced his heart. I have also seen, and read of, the massive outpouring of emotions and pages of warm tributes, the deeply felt sense of loss and grief. In part, and I confess, I decided to put my eulogy in writing because speaking extempore would have been an emotional challenge.
From the gospel of Mathew, chapter 22, verses 35 to 39: an expert in the law tested Jesus by asking : Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law. Jesus said to him: you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is: you must love your neighbour as yourself. You must love your neighbour as yourself.

Joe honoured both commandments. He honoured both commandments. Proving that he honoured the first commandment is certainly above my pay grade, and will defer to the Rev Fathers on that. But God gave us the second law as a litmus test for the first law. And I ask, who were Joe's neighbours? Very simple, very straightforward: everyone he met, no boundaries of faith, religion or tribe. I repeat : everyone he met regardless of faith, tongue or tribe. It is often said, partly in good taste and in jest, that a true Sailor is one who finds love at every port. Joe hated not loving and his passion was friendship. He never met a stranger he did not love. Joe never met a stranger he did not love.He embraced friends and strangers with his heart. He demonstrated his love for God by putting others before himself. Indeed, he reintroduced me to the word " welfare" not as pejorative adjective but as a term of endearment for the least able among us. The least among us had a special place in his heart.

Joe was truly a good man, a genuine Christian and even that is an understatement. I saw and experienced his love of God and humanity; his cohort at the Defence Academy are deeply pained by his death and their outpouring of grief has been monumental; his neighbours at Bar beach towers continue to tell of his graciousness; to his friends and neighbours at Nicon Estate he was a beacon of light that gave a warm glow to life. The core of this fine Sailor was aptly captured in the words of Maya Angelou. I paraphrase roughly: you may not remember the incident, the occasion or the circumstance but you never forget how he made you feel. You never forget how he made you feel. I still recall with a drop or two of tears many cheerful and happy moments of more than 30 years ago. One of my favourite poems is the Soldier by Robert Brooke which is associated with a romantic image of England. I quote in part: If I should die, think only this of me: that there is some corner of a foreign land that is forever England . My friends, I speak for many when I say there is a corner of our hearts that forever will be Joe. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.( an old navy saying) Our beloved Joe adjusted the sails and lived his best life. Tragically short but long enough to teach us the lessons we needed to learn, most especially the love of neighbour.

Painfully, we have to say good bye to someone who has been an integral part of our lives for decades. How do we reconcile ourselves to the heart breaking reality that our very dearly beloved Joe is no longer physically present with us. I am literally numb and struggling to process my thoughts and emotions.
In conclusion, I implore all to say a prayer everyday in Joe's memory for the safety and welfare of his family and of the men and women of the Nigerian Navy. And may the light of Jesus and the Angels bring peace and salvation to Rear Admiral Joseph Omozuya Aikhomu. May he rest in peace knowing that his soul belongs to God and God only. . God bless you all and may his memory be a blessing to family and friends . Amen

Mike Ajukwu
Lagos
29th March, 2021
Posted by Maddy Onochie on March 31, 2021
TRIBUTE TO THE GAME CHANGER - OUR BROTHER & FRIEND UNCLE JOE AIKHOMU.

AND THE HONOURABLE MAN LEAVES FOR A BETTER HOME.
••YES THE KIND HEARTED MAN IS GONE
•• WHEN HE STEPS IN THE SCENE CHANGES.
•• HE TOUCHED ALL WITH HIS MAGIC SMILE
•• YES HE IS THE GAME CHANGER.
••STAY WELL "OPEN MIND""

TINNA MALECHI ORAEGBU
Posted by E O on March 30, 2021
JOE AIKHOMU DIES, - AND MY HATRED FOR DEATH DIES

By DR. OKEY ANUEYIAGU


When Joe died, I began to hate death again. I hated death for the first time when I was barely 12 years old and growing up in Kano. It was the day our young handsome pediatric doctor-neigbour was murdered by young Hausa-Fulani rioters during the pogrom and massacre of Igbo residents in Northern Nigeria. This young Igbo doctor, who had just returned from medical studies at The John Hopkins Medical School, in the USA was captured at the Nasarawa Hospital where he was delivering babies from pregnant Hausa-Fulani women, was tortured and killed by Northern hoodlums.
When I witnessed his lifeless brutalised body lying bloodied in the frontage of his home next to ours, I hated death, and its fetid accomplices. The next time I would hate death was when my mother died. She was only 61 years old, and in the prime of her life. The body of the most beautiful, most loving and most angelic woman that I ever knew, made me hate death some more and with ineluctable and lugubrious intensity.
Now, as Joe dies, I begin to ask myself how do I know that in hating death I am not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know their way home again? This question takes me back to my college days study of philosophers. It takes me directly to one of my favourite Chinese philosophers, Zhuangzi. He dealt extensively with the anxieties and stresses of death – our fear of death. This great Philosopher wrote that since we humans really know nothing about, or of death, we need not fear it. He argued that the fear and hatred for death that disrupts our natural state of tranquility are often unfounded and baseless. Why do we fear, worry and hate what is ultimately real, what awaits us after death, or other insoluble puzzles or uncertainties? My belief, which I have tried to substitute for my hatred for death, is that by relinquishing such fruitless fear and hatred, I, and possibly others, can find and achieve happiness while alive.
In fact, I consider the lessons I have drawn from the death of Joe and the hatred of death, to have formed my mind and body to think of life itself as strange, a confusing and complicated state, and death as a return home.

Joe told me countless stories. He repeated these stories and each time with perfect accuracy. He never missed a word – it was as if he had electronically recorded these stories in his head or in some compartment of his memory bank. He once told me the story of how as a young High School student he had visited his uncle, Admiral Augustus who was himself then a young Naval Officer living in the Navy Barracks in Apapa. After spending several boring days at his uncle’s house with practically nothing to do, Joe, the rascally inquisitive boy set out after breakfast to “know” Lagos. Without any idea of what he was doing and where he was going, he wandered off on foot into the streets of Lagos. He found himself in unfamiliar territories after walking for over 12 hours. He was lost, tired, hungry and did not remember his uncle’s address. He became delirious, confused and began to retrace his steps back home. The more he walked, the more he was lost. When darkness began to fall, he began to panic and his attempts to get help or food and water were unsuccessful. He did not have a penny on him. He was knackered, as his hubristic and pertinacious attitude began to fade.
Joe continued to walk. He told me that he then remembered that he hadn’t asked for God to intercede. He then began to pray. He was too hungry and tired to mouth- out his prayers – he was only able to recite his prayers in his heart as his face was drenched with tears and his eyes bleak from the fading daylight and the impending nightfall and darkness. His day was dangerously gloaming. As he walked, he continued to pray, and suddenly he found himself in front of the Navy Barracks to the welcoming and worried arms of his uncle and his wife.
My friend and brother Joe Aikhomu found his way home, and in dying, he exchanged the uncertain and frightening state of feeling lost and unsafe in life, with a journey free from all worries and anxieties. He knew what harbor he was making for, and he had the Right Wind. His mind was tranquil and impervious of any disruptions, as he sailed home.
Good Bye, brother.

Dr. Okey Anueyiagu.
Posted by Charles Asinugo on March 30, 2021
The great Admiral Joe! It is unbelievable you will leave this world so soon! I am sincerely short of words to describe the indelible marks you left on those of us that were privileged to meet you! I can only thank our precious God for you and pray that He accepts your soul and grant you eternal rest. May your light continue to shine! And above all, may He give your family the fortitude to deal with this irreplaceable loss! May He take their hands and lead them on! Rest in peace, my brave brother, friend, and country man!
Posted by E O on March 29, 2021
TRIBUTE TO LATE REAR ADMIRAL JOE AIKHOMU (RTD)

By

Rear Admiral Samuel Ilesanmi Alade (Rtd) The Balogun of Akure Land.

It is with heavy heart and humility that I oblige this piece of Tribute to my boss, friend, Royal brother and teacher, Late Rear Admiral JOE Aikhomu (Rtd), The Aigbokalu of Esan Land who left this sinful world on Thursday 25 February 2021. The news of your exit came to me as a rude shock and surprise. I recall meeting you for the first time in January 1980 as an Officer Cadet at the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna. You took me as a brother and sometime treated me like a son. That relationship continued even as commissioned officers in the Nigerian Navy. Our paths crossed severally as we progressed in the Service. The story is very long and the experiences are fascinating. Your brotherly and supportive mien cannot be forgotten. It is my fervent wish that your legacy of love and responsibility will continue to resonate in humanity. I therefore, seize this opportunity to commiserate with our military family and the children of my good boss on this sober occasion. I pray that God Almighty will console you all and give you the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. Adieu The Lion himself and my Royal Brother. May your gentle and kind soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

Signed
Rear Admiral Samuel Ilesanmi Alade (Rtd) The Balogun of Akure Land.
Posted by BEN-jamin Owuapu Willie on March 24, 2021
TRIBUTE TO OUR UNCLE J-1

‘Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal'
- Irish Headstone -

Uncle Joe. Uncle J-1. Our beloved, one and only UJ-1 for life! These were the many names we called you. Ben was your B-1 and Ose was your ‘My Aunty Ose’. So sad to know that we will not hear your voice call us those names in your unique way again.

You were the adopted uncle to the Ben-Willie and Michael Owolabi clans. Loving us and all our children like they were your own biological grandchildren. We in turn came to love you to bits like a blood uncle. You were an adopted uncle, turned big brother and a great friend. Age was no barrier to those you called friends.

Uncle J1, you were such a bubbly, loving, boisterous and selfless person. How can we forget those unique dance steps to tease and make us laugh our hearts out? You were a quintessential gentleman to the core. Loving the good things of life with no apologies. One of our friends refer to you as ‘Uncle Elegant’. 

Oh… such fond memories of fun times we had with you since you came into our lives. Never a dull moment around you. New Year Eve celebration was simply the best as we knew we would herald the new year at yours with felicitations and fireworks. So sad this would never happen again.

A giver per excellence. Your giving nature knew no bounds. You give, and give, and give, and could never be out given. What a kind-hearted man you were. You showed love to everyone and anyone who came in contact with you. We are living testimonies and recipients of your friendship and love.

And God did you love your children? Your love for Omo, Mama and Ehis was enviable. You were very proud of them and talk about them with so much love and joy. We know God will comfort and watch over them and all the loved ones and family members you left behind.

Walking into your house the first time since your passing was too emotional. Seeing your usual lounge slippers lying forlorn without its owner. We (Ben, Ose, Somiebi, Belema, Boma) are all so devastated by your demise. This is to let you know that we love you so much, but we yield to the only ONE, the Almighty GOD who alone can give and take away. Who are we to question GOD?

We will sorely miss you Uncle Joe. But it is not goodbye but good night our beloved UJ-1, till we meet again on resurrection morning.

May you find eternal rest in peace, in the bosom of the LORD. Amen


OSE (‘My Aunty Ose’) & BEN WILLIE (B-1)
Posted by Onyeka Anyanechi on March 24, 2021
JOE, A MAN WHO RETURNED TO FOREVER, A STORYBOOK SETTING, AND A FAIRYTALE ENDING.

Joe, for over 35 years, you and I became like a lock and a key; opening each others heart, and unlocking our innermost expressions of a timeless and the most extraordinary and truly unique brotherhood, so rare and a one-of-a-kind relationship.

In the last decade, I began to call you “Nwokem” an endearing Igbo word for “my brother, my friend”. And in your typical ways, you “retaliated” with your own name for me: “Nwokem Gbo Gbo” – my brother, my friend of ages, of old. So old was our brotherhood, that I remember with nostalgia, that Saturday morning 31 years ago, when you stood as godfather to my first daughter. I recall that you arrived the Church Christening venue long before us the parents. Spruced up in your stunning white brocade agbada, you held the white burning candle in trust of, and as a symbol of the holy oath to protect and cherish the life of your goddaughter. That holy oath, you gallantly, proudly and diligently upheld until the day you passed.

PASSED?
This tribute is one of the most difficult ones I have had to write, ever. How does one write a tribute to the master tribute giver? At my last birthday, you spoke most eloquently – you opened and closed the speeches. Your jokes, your tales by moonlight, your jocularity were unmatched. No one dared tell a joke after you had delivered your usually hilarious monologues – Impossible. You were a tough act to follow.

Joe, your presence was like no other.

Imagine the magic of knowing this man for as long as I did. It was an experience defined by legendary atonement and happy times that were engrained in memorable moments. From day one, Joe’s sweet, kind soul and valour became intensely incomparable. His compassion was vividly expanded into many terrains that transformed into unequalled human goodness, kindness sweetened with love and affection.

Joe enriched so many lives with passion, love and unquenchable quest for a life full of energy and zeal. It is so difficult to capture in this tribute the essence and complete worth of his being and life. The poise and elegance of his life were embodied in his natural charm and in his ability to sublimate the worldly selfishness of our generation by channeling his energy towards the common good.

Joe’s favourite word was “love”. He used that word so passionately that he gave it a new coat of ensemble. He would often say to you; “I am in love with you …we are lovers”. It didn’t matter if you were a female, a male, a child, an old person or even a cat, he was in love with loving. He loved so intensely and stupendously that even when he didn’t like a person; someone that may have offended him, he would dislike that person with intense love.

Joe provided me with a life that was candid, a life that was incisive, moving and riveting. Whether it was about his brilliant and distinguished career in National Service, or his unblemished reputation, his potent decency, integrity and humanity, he exemplified in so many ways, that the productive and positive forces of our lives reside in love of all people.

With immensely clear vignettes from a life well lived, Joe had a consequential existence with absolute exhilaration that succeeded admirably in portraying both in character and substance in very lively narratives, and in such triumphant ways that endeared him to many from all walks of life.

Perhaps, Joe’s most appealing attributes and legacy was the use of his gift and talent to effortlessly bring laughter and happiness when there was sorrow and sadness. He mastered these gifts and talents and used them cleverly to build and nurture constituencies across barriers of tribe, ethnicity, religion, space, time, distance and culture. For these attributes and more, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed and shared in Joe’s incomparable legacy and to have been in the shadow of his path of dignity and honour.

Nwokem, during one of your many visits to my home town, Awka, you asked that a full citizenship of the town be conferred on you. You asked that a piece of land be reserved in this town for a home for your retirement. I was working on these requests when I was informed by General Emeka Onwuameagbu that he and the people of Oba were processing these same requests on your behalf. With all the “palliatives” in Awka, how could you make any other choices?

Joe, in your loss, I lost hope. I lost the joy to talk, to laugh, to hug, to feast, to be together and to do those things that brought us happiness. I have lost the dreams that we spent time building.

In your loss, I have gained gratitude. Gratitude to God that your life, even in death, gives my heart and hands to the common purpose of goodness, hope and a commitment to our world’s past, present and future.

My Nwokem, where have you gone? What will happen to all our plans, our aspirations, our prayers and hopes?

You will forever occupy an indelible and unique place in my heart and in my home, and in the hearts of everyone that ever had the rare privilege of coming in contact with you.

The World Misses You.
Go in Peace, My Brother, My Friend.

Dr Okey Anueyiagu.
Posted by Ako Eluma on March 23, 2021
I've come to this site several times. I just cannot believe uncle Joe is gone. It's so heartbreaking thinking about the unbearable loss for his children. Omg how much did uncle Joe love Omo, Mama, and Ehis.

He was the most generous, and the most thoughtful uncle. 6 months ago he had Dr. Oguntolu call me from TN to see how I was doing when I had complications postpartum. Just like that...some random Dr. said he got my number from uncle Joe who is worried and asked he call to check up on me. How thoughtful is that?

You always knew when you saw uncle Joe you'd get some teasing and you'd get some money lol. He was and is so loved.

I pray that the soil is light for him. I pray God rests his soul and may his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.
Posted by Eseosa Okunbor on March 23, 2021
With a heavy heart, I with this tribute to our dear uncle Joe. You were an exceptional leader who contributed immensely to the growth of our great organization. You were a humanist who positively touched the lives of many with grace and candor.
 
Sir, you remain a pacesetter whose values and commitment will continue to inspire us all. Your memory will forever be treasured and your legacy will live till generations to come. We take solace that you are in a better place.
 
I pray that God grant your family the strength to bear this irrecoverable loss as my prayers and thoughts are with your entire family.
 
Good night to a rare gem. Sleep in the Lord’s bosom.
Posted by Louis Ekere on March 21, 2021
Tribute for Admiral Joe Aikhomu.

My path crossed with Admiral Joe sometime in Year 2012 when he was Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command- Calabar. I was in his office to seek for his approval to deploy Naval personnel onboard one of my vessels. I was sitting in his waiting reception when he strolled in and started exchanging banters with me as if we were already friends. Needless to say, he issued the approval and he invited me to his official residence where we had dinner the Admiral way.

Our relationship evolved to become more intimate until his retirement from the Nigerian Navy where we began to collaborate on several business matters of mutual interest. He will always encourage me by his words - I am so proud of your accomplishments that I don’t even believe your age anymore.

The greatest Admiral on Planet Earth as I fondly called him was my confidant, a senior brother, an advisor and a buddy all rolled in one... Whenever we plan to travel out of Lagos... I will drive to Nicon Town Estate where he resides and he will join me in my car whilst his driver and his security details will join mine... Whenever we have an event to attend, he would usually wait for me to pick him so we can drive together and banter on our way. He would ensure that I stick to our brand of drink and will always come to my table to check that our mutual
friends have not derailed me to join their brand.

Admiral and I had a lot of plans, discussed extensively on his dreams, plans for himself, his children and mine... He would as usual wake up early to send the morning devotion messages and call to check on me regularly. He was always jittery whenever I travel abroad as he would always say “ My Admiral of the Southern fleet, my partner- I hope you won’t stay too long this time ? “

Admiral would always call me on Friday whenever his program permits to report to his house by 7PM PROMPT for dinner where mutual friends will be hosted to the usual warm Admiral hospitality.

Admiral’s friendship knew no bound, no age barrier & social class as he was able to break all barriers... I still cannot believe that our Admiral is gone and we will not see him again..

His last message to me was on Tuesday February 16th... I didn’t realise that will be his last message to me. His last call was on Thursday February 11th where we bantered over 30 minutes as he cracked several jokes.

The People’s Admiral would send several gifts in his lifetime to me. He was a stickler for time, honesty, always dedicated to assigned tasks, he cherished and cultivated friendship. He was usually the first to arrive for any of my events.

My friend, my big brother,
My compatriot and Admiral of the Southern fleet will be missed by family and I. He was a generous and kind man.

Our consolation is that he has gone to the bosom of the lord and his legacy lives in our hearts and the children that he left behind.

Adieu my Admiral... rest in peace my friend... till we meet to part no more.

Dr. Louis Ekere ( CEO)
Homeland integrated Offshore Services Limited.
Posted by Stanley Ogoigbe on March 20, 2021
Uncle Joe,Oga Joe ,my big brother.Been very use to your warmth ,Love and compassion for others since I met you as a little boy in our Sec school days. As God devined I met you again at the prestigious NIGERIAN DEFENCE ACADEMY as if we planned to meet there again.Most coincidentally both of us in the NAVAL WING,and you immediately started your metoring and ensured I didn’t run back to the university but stayed to bear the hardships.Uncle Joe how won’t I miss you,I wish I knew you were talking to me for the last time about two weeks before I got the news of your passage.I never knew you were leaving too soon but I take solace in the fact that God knows best.I will try and learn to live without your jokes, Joe!Joe!!Joe!!! I miss you ,remain at rest in the Lord’s bosom. Your memory and image will forever remain in my heart.Adieu my brother.—
ADMIRAL STANLEY EHIJE OGOIGBE
Posted by Greg Uanseru on March 18, 2021
GOOD BYE JOE, MY GOOD FRIEND (JA1)


AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

"When a close friend unexpectedly leaves us, a piece of our heart is broken"-Chris Lumpkin

It was with great shock and a deep sense of personal loss that I heard of the death of my dear friend and brother, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu (Rtd)

Joe was not a mere friend, but a brother with whom I shared many fond memories.

Joe, who served his fatherland meritoriously and selflessly,  retiring with an unblemished record as Chief of Naval Administration was a quintessential officer. He had all the characteristics of a perfect gentleman: courteous, humble, humorous, honest, supportive, firm and fair with a giving heart. I will miss your early morning call of G1 wake up and go for your exercise.

I pray that God will comfort the entire Aikhomu family because in Joe, Edo State and indeed Nigeria, has lost a true patriot who was an encyclopedia on the Maritime sector.

My family and I will miss you, Admiral Joe.  


Rest in Peace my good friend and brother may God bless your soul. Amen

Greg Uanseru and Family
Posted by E O on March 18, 2021
The Admiral embarks on eternal sail ...

By Senator Musa Adede

By vocation, we plied opposite realms. Being an Admiral in the Navy, his operations were on the seas. My affiliation with aviation means I operate in the air. Yet there was a common ground between Joe & I: the open, genuinely uncorrupted garden of brotherhood which started long before I met his uncle, the Late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu - CGS to General Babangida.

Indeed, there are some individuals whose mere presence would literally light up the darkest tunnel. Joe, undoubtedly belonged in that exclusive tribe of illuminators.
His cherubic smile was disarming and his sense of humour electrifying.

When the sad news of his passing broke, I could not help being haunted by the echo of “My Oga,” as he always addressed me deferentially whenever we met in our decades-long relationship, first as acquaintances, and later as friends who stuck closer than brothers.
By age, we were in the same bracket. But he accorded me the respect of a much older brother. Joe was humility exemplified. I have lost friends, but Joe's passing has broken my heart in ways beyond description.

Sail on, my friend and brother, the great Admiral.

Senator Musa Adede.
Posted by Harry Ngonadi on March 18, 2021
My dear brother, friend, Oga Joe, Lion , Ekpe ,The Admiral.
Your exit came as a flash in the pan, a tornado that shook families , friends , colleagues and our dear nation. A Kind hearted man, a brother to all ,friend to many and a global phenomenon. A man of many part, a sailor, a Sea Worrior, The Admiral, a boardroom guru and an impactful personality. A peep at the list of committee of Friends defines Joe....A true Nigerian and a global icon. Death where is thy sting? You snatched him away but you could not snatch his love for humanity ....EKPE Live on

Harry Ngonadi
Rear Admiral
Posted by Austin Oyagha on March 18, 2021
To my Beloved Friend and Brother,

Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu (rtd)

The Almighty Iroko has not just fallen but has destroyed the foundation on which the tenets of friendships and brotherhoods were based

My dear beloved Joe Aikhomu, the pathetic news of your death, was a big blow to me. The news ranks topmost among the worst I have heard this year. It was a huge shock to me and my family.

Joe, you were not only a true friend but a brother.
I remember with nostalgia how we started from the scratch and got to the peak of our career in the military. You were a brave man in all facets of life. You were always indefatigable. You were a known philatropist. The man with interest of others at heart. Your life was a good lesson to many who in one way or the other came in contact with you during your life time .
You were not only an Admiral of the Nigerian Navy but the people's Admiral. You were a perfect gentleman, strong and brave to face anything life brings and unquantifiably kind and gentle at heart.

The Aigbokalu of Esanland conferred on you during your life time was not just a title but a recognition of your service to humanity.

My Admiral, in you I saw true friendship and brotherhood. You were a personification of good deeds.

I heartily and solemnly commiserate with your immediate and extended families for this irreparable loss and I pray that the merciful God will grant you eternal rest with him .

Joe, it hurts to write about you in the past, but God in his infinite mercies knows the best.

Take heart the entire Aikhomu Family!

Take heart the good people of Esan Land!

Take heart Edo State for losing a worthy son. 

Goodnight my good friend and brother , Admiral Joe.
Posted by Anselm Ojezua on March 16, 2021
REAR ADMIRAL JOE OMOZUYA AIKHOMU RTD
A TRIBUTE TO A VERY RARE GEM
It is said that some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. Some people are lucky to have one of these applicable to them but they all apply to Joe Aikhomu; he was born great, he achieved greatness by sheer personal effort and he had greatness thrust upon him by all those who had the privilege of knowing and interacting with him throughout his journey in life.
Growing up, Joe easily and effortlessly dominated his environment thus attaining leadership at such a young age in his family, his school and, much later on, in his work place.
His love for family and friends is, to say the very least, legendary and clearly illustrated by his unsurpassed passion for humanity and generosity to all those who came in contact with him. In spite of his very strong character and penchant for discipline, Joe could not suffer a friend or family in need; he always intervened as if it was an obligation.
I can testify that Joe lived life to the fullest. I had the privilege of partnering with him in most of our escapades in our early years while still in school. We did unbelievable things that I cannot put on paper but, trust me, I sometimes shudder when I reflect on the very mature practices we engaged in, at the material time, as if we were accomplished adults. It was clear from the onset that Joe was marked out for greatness.
His years in military service bear testimony to the fact that a man can work hard diligently and play hard with equal passion and achieve success in both endeavours. Joe took his job very seriously and he put his heart in every assignment he was given from when he was commissioned as a young officer till he retired as a Rear Admiral; he was, indeed, an officer and a gentleman.
Upon his retirement he went into the business world where he again revealed his Midas touch and innovative skills to achieve excellent results.
In recognition of his accomplished career and his invaluable contributions to the development of his people, he was honoured with the chieftaincy title of Aigbokalo of Esanland by His Royal Highness Alh. W. O. Momodu II, the Ogirrua of Irrua and the Okaijesan of Esanland.
In spite of the foregoing, perhaps his most valuable achievement is the wonderful children he brought forth into this world. Each time I see and interact with them, I see that their father has greatly infected them with love and affection which they generously share among themselves and with family and friends. In them Joe completed his work on earth.
Even in death Joe continues to shatter the records. The outpouring of genuine love and affection exhibited by his friends and family is unprecedented. I have never seen the phenomenal display on the “Friends of Joe Aikhomu” platform anywhere else or at any time past.
May his gentle and generous soul rest in perfect peace. Amen

Anselm U. Ojezua Esq.
Posted by Dr. Olusola Oguntolu on March 16, 2021
An Angel Among Us

Shared by Dr. Olusola Oguntolu on March 15, 2021


"The worst Solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship"
                - Sir Francis Bacon

The passing to the great beyond of this truly great man, a mentor, a friend, a teacher and confidant is beyond the capacity of ordinary humans to comprehend. Having faith that the almighty called him home for greater service, his sojourn here completed soothes the pain and void.

"My Admiral" as I fondly called him defined what true friendship ought to be. He was an angel walking among us even if we did not know it. His unfailing delivery of daily devotionals first thing in the morning followed usually by a text or a phone call, sharing his wisdom and wit will be greatly missed.

The love and devotion to his family was self-evident. He was immensely proud of his children and the wonderful, confident yet humble adults they became. He celebrated each milestone and accomplishment with such pride, I know he is at peace knowing he guided them to a place of clarity and fearlessness for what the future may bring.

I had the honor and privilege of being an advisor particularly on matters related to his well being. His humility and deference to the wisdom of others despite his deep knowledge and status is instructive. 

The near endless magnanimity to all who come in to his orbit is legendary. My fondest memories are the prayers and messages of goodwill that he and my dear departed mother sent through me to each other - even though they never met. It was especially painful that I lost both of them within days of each other, but I am uplifted by the brilliance of the joy they shared and will celebrate their memories.

I hope the Almighty assists us all in carrying forward the message, wisdom, wit, knowledge, deep faith and philanthropy as he did. His memory will live forever in the hearts of all that were fortunate to have crossed paths with him.

My Admiral...Sun 're o. 

Posted by Mike Ojeme on March 16, 2021
Da, D Joe, D Admiral....
These were the names i called you.
My Big Brother, My Friend, my confidant this is very hard and devastating.
I believe everything happens for a reason...
D Joe you brought so much Joy and happiness to everyone you came across with your Kind, generous and loving ways, always making sure people around you were happy. Da you touched so many lives, you impacted different people in various ways, you were special. Always so bubbly, full of life.... THE LION Himself.
You were a Loving, caring, generous and dependable father to Omo, Mama and Ehis and a friend and brother to me, your goodness was one of a kind.
I hold onto the lovely memories..... so many of them , they will keep me comforted.
D Joe you will always be remembered, your kindness and love will forever be with us.
Rest in perfect peace my brother Admiral Joe Aikhomu...
The Aigbokalu of Esan land.
Posted by Benedicta Kemi on March 16, 2021
I just can not get him out of my head. I just watched someone dancing and it reminded me of him, then I broke down again and I decided to come here. He was such a happy and humble soul and I’m sure everybody has that to say about him. There’s no day I drive through His house and I don’t remember him. I wish he stayed longer. May his soul continue to rest in Peace and may God continue to confort his family. It must really be hard on his children, because I know how much he loved, cared and was super proud of all of them. He was such a good man.
Posted by CDR. (Professor) Lucky An... on March 15, 2021
Admiral Joseph (Joe) Aikhomu and I were very good friends. I found him quite personable and highly sociable. Moreover, he does not make friends based on any ulterior motive/consideration, but purely for the sake of humanity. Admiral Joe Aikhomu and I related like brothers. Whenever we were in Lagos together at any point in time, hardly any day passes by that I would not make a detour on my way home to his then accommodation at the Navy Camp-site in Apapa, Lagos. When he visited London, United Kingdom in 1985/1986 he put up with me and I introduced him to a lot of my friends whom they later bonded and became the very best of friends as well. Some of those friends still ask about Admiral Joe Aikhomu from me whenever we exchange calls. One of such calls I received from one of our mutual friends who lives in California, USA was on the 11 March, 2021. He had called to confirm whether Joe had in deed passed; when I confirmed in the affirmative our mutual friend, a grown man was almost shedding tears.

When I returned from Vancouver, Canada after my training which lasted for about five years, it was Admiral Joe Aikhomu who ensured that I was properly reintegrated into the general scheme of things including work and social life in Lagos. It became his turn this time around to introduce me to people, which he did admirably. He invited me to social functions and above all, I enjoyed the Mr. Biggs he always ordered for lunch for both of us and any friend(s) present. Whenever he was really busy at work, he would drive me to his Awolowo Road Apartment in Ikoyi to relax and be viewing his big screen television. By the way, you could count the number of people who owned big screen televisions in Nigeria at the time within your fingers. I usually end up viewing either the Cable Network News (CNN) or some other sports and musical channels. He really made me feel welcomed back to the Nigerian Navy in particular and Nigeria in general.

Admiral Joe Aikhomu truly loved his family and loved life as well. Hardly on any occasion we were together that he would not bring up the matter concerning his family in the most positive, sincere and agape love way.

Admiral Joe Aikhomu also has a great sense of humor. One of such was displayed when on one occasion I was relating my disappointment to him concerning how the Nigerian Navy reneged in its financial obligation towards me while I was training in Vancouver, Canada. Sensing my obvious disappointment and frustration and in order to diffusive the situation, Admiral Joe Aikhomu in his characteristic jovial/humorous manner said, "Oga, don't worry, worse come to the worse, the Navy will just dash you one of their patrol crafts because the money too much". Needless to say that, both of us just exploded into laughing our hearts out!!

When I resigned from the Nigerian Navy and relocated to the USA, Admiral Joe Aikhomu and I maintained our brotherly friendship. When he was appointed to take command of the USN ship that was gifted to Nigeria by the USA Government we continue to exchange phone calls from time to time until he sailed the ship back to Nigeria. A feat which I believed was the First in the History of the Nigerian Navy.

Admiral Joe Aikhomu was a jolly good fellow. I pray that God Almighty grant his family he left behind with the Grace, Mercy, Fortitude and the wherewithal to soldier on in Life.

I will like to add following:

1. Life is not about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship. It's not how we care in the beginning, but how much we care till the very end.

2. Some people always throw stones in your path. It depends on what you make with them; a Wall or a Bridge? - Remember you are the architect of your life.

3. Search for a good heart, but don't search for a beautiful face, because beautiful things are not always good, but good things are always beautiful.

4. It’s not important to hold all the good cards in life, but it’s important how well you play with the cards you hold.

5. Often when we lose all hope and think this is the end, remember God and Pray, it’s just a bend, not the end.' -

6. Have faith and have a successful life. One of the basic differences between God and humans is, God gives and forgives. But the human gets and forgets. Be thankful in life... Anonymous

May his soul Rest In Perfect Peace.

Professor Lucky Anetor – USA
NDA 18 Regular Course
Commander (retired)
Nigerian Navy
Posted by BEN-jamin Owuapu Willie on March 15, 2021
TRIBUTE TO MY UJ-1

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal'
- Irish Headstone -

Uncle Joe. Uncle J-1...my beloved UJ-1.

I should have known that, that dream the night before you passed was to say goodbye. You were your bubbly self, ever so ebullient and throwing our usual banters…and by the morning after, the one who calls me B-1 and makes those unique dance steps to tease was gone!
The one who loves and gives and gives and gives, and could never be out given is gone!

What a kind hearted man you were. You were an adopted uncle, turned big brother and a great friend. Age was no barrier to those you called friend.

We (Ose, Somiebi, Belema, Boma and I) are all so devastated by your demise. We love you so much but we yield to the only ONE, the Almighty GOD who alone can give and take away. Who are we to question GOD?

We will sorely miss you Uncle Joe. May you find eternal rest in peace, in the bosom of the LORD. Amen

B1 - Ben Willie
Posted by E O on March 15, 2021
I CALLED HIM ‘MR JOE’,
TO HIM I WAS ‘AIR ASSAULT’!
By
Major General Emeka Onwuamaegbu (rtd)


“An acquaintance merely enjoys your company, a fair-weather companion flatters when all is well, a true friend has your best interests at heart ……….
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly,


Our paths crossed in the early 1980s when we were both junior military officers, he was in the navy while I was in the army. I don’t quite remember our first encounter but I recollect that back then the camaraderie in the military profession was so strong that it didn’t matter where an officer was from or the seniority of personnel. We were all our brothers’ keepers, we looked out for each other and friendship was more genuine than what obtains now. Joe Aikhomu was a naval sub lieutenant while I was a lieutenant in the army, although of different Services we connected more than the friends and colleagues we both had in our respective arms of service. Right from back then Joe was well known for his generosity, his bubbling lifestyle and was always impeccably turned out in his white naval uniform and when he was not in his military garb, no wonder it didn’t take much to sweep Ekanem off her feet, a union that produced three amazing children; Omo, Anita (Maama) and Ehis.

My friendship with ‘Mr Joe’ became very strong in the mid 1990s when we spent one year at the Command and Staff College, Jaji undergoing the Senior Command and Staff Course. Although we were in different faculties, but almost on daily basis we alternated visiting each other during breaks in our respective faculties, Lieutenant Commander Joe Aikhomu was clearly the most popular student officer on the course, he had complimentary words for everyone and made those he met for the first time feel very comfortable with him. At our students’ residence, he was the Master Chef whose culinary skills were indisputably without rival amongst our friends. Although l wasn’t on the course with him a decade later at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru many of his fellow participants on that course I later met all had similar stories about his popularity and how he made the course very lively.

Joe was extremely devoted to God, in the mid 1990s when we lived close to each other in Ikoyi, Joe had a daily routine (without fail) of going for early morning mass at Church of The Assumption in Falomo. In his later years he would on daily basis (without fail) share daily devotionals with his family members and his numerous friends. Joe wasn’t fanatical about his religious beliefs as his friendship and interactions were also with those of other faith. He exemplified the Christian teaching of tolerance and love for each other irrespective of class, status or religious belief.

‘Mr Joe’ doted on his children in a manner I had never seen, he was extremely proud of them and had great plans for each. Even as adults he provided for them like they were still teenagers, he would call to check on them several times a day to the extent that I would challenge him to stop ‘disturbing’ them. Joe would work in Abuja during the week then fly back to Lagos for the weekend just to spend time with his children only for him to return to Abuja the following week, that was how passionate he was about them. His greatest legacy in his life were his children.

The Admiral’s generosity was legendary which he extended to everyone he came into contact with and to many he didn’t know. He derived so much joy in giving even to those who had more than him. He was a pillar of support not just to his immediate and extended family, but to former colleagues, numerous people in his community, to the church and to his friends. I and my family, especially my late mother were beneficiaries of his magnanimity. He cared deeply for those in need and supported many causes. He was the type of kind soul who would see on TV an appeal for medical need of a patient and would contribute generously without knowing the patient. I witnessed that practice several times in addition to how he extended such benevolence to others in need.

Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu had a distinguished career rising to the flag rank of two stars before retiring with an unblemished record. I recollect that he would describe his most exciting times while in service to include the courses he attended in the UK and India as a junior officer, his one year tour of duty in Kuwait as a United Nations Military Observer, the period he spent with the United States Coast Guard and eventually being the captain of a ship he sailed from Alaska to Nigeria. He was fearless in the pursuit of those involved in illegal oil bunkering and other maritime crimes in the Niger Delta. He was also delighted to have been given the opportunity to serve as the Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command after which he became the Chief of Naval Administration, an appointment he held till he voluntarily retired.

Mr Joe joined Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS) as a Director, a company he diligently worked for until The Lord called him on 25th February 2021. At OMS he was known as that boisterous Director who while discharging his responsibilities was everyone’s friend. The Chairman, fellow Directors and staff of OMS are as devasted as the rest of us that ‘The Peoples Admiral’ has transited to the great beyond.

I’m yet to come to terms that my friend that I spoke to several times everyday on virtually all issues is no more. In very simple words I can describe my friend, my buddy as ‘a truly good, generous and God fearing friend’.
May God Almighty grant the kind soul of Mr Joe eternal rest, Amen.


Posted by Didi Ndiomu on March 15, 2021
I have tried four times to write this tribute to a great man I fondly called Uncle Joe. Each time I try I tear up and I’m forced to stop writing.

A true officer and a gentleman to the core, his wisdom was boundless. His foresight truly deep for a man who was always cracking jokes and ensuring that everyone around him was in a good mood and happy at all points in time. His simplicity was truly disarming, his heart unbelievably warm and gentle. His love for his children was unparalleled, he cared very deeply for his friends and will reach out regularly to ensure you were okay.

I learnt a lot from him and I will always cherish the memories and lessons. I know we will all die one day but this really got me.

Completely irreplaceable, rest Uncle Joe..... Rest with the Lord.
Posted by Sikiru Smith on March 14, 2021
*TRIBUTE TO REAR ADMIRAL JOE AIKHOMU*
Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu was my bosom friend and brother. I fondly called him Joe1.

We lived together as young officers and senior officers in Port Harcourt and Abuja respectively. Throughout the period, our relationship was cordial and full of fun without dull moments.

Joe1 was a good man, kind and generous to close allies. I love you, Joe1 but God loves you more. You will greatly be missed but you will be remembered for your goodness and kindness.

May the good Lord grant you eternal rest and let perpetual light shine upon you. May your soul, through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen.

Air Vice Marshal Ladi Smith (rtd), PhD.
Posted by Ose Ben-Willie on March 14, 2021
TRIBUTE TO MY UNCLE J1 of Life!!

My uncle J1! My one and only uncle J1!! That was how I used to hail you and you’d go ‘my aunty Ose’.
To say I’m gutted by your death is an understatement. Quite pained to say the least.
How do I begin to write a tribute in your honour uncle J1??? How??

You were the adopted uncle to the Ben-Willie and Owolabi clan. Loving us and all our children just like they were your own biological grandchildren. We in turn came to love you to bits like a blood uncle. 

Oh such fond memories of and fun times we have had with you since you came into our lives. Never a dull moment around you. New Year Eve celebration was always simply the best as we knew we would herald the new year at yours with felicitations and fireworks. This would never happen again.

Walking into your house the first time since your passing was too emotional. Seeing your usual lounge slippers lying forlorn without its owner and waiting for you to walk in barefooted but which never happened. What do we do? We can not question God and must now bow down to his sovereignty.

Uncle J1 you were such a bubbly, loving, boisterous and selfless person. A giver per excellence. Your giving nature had and knew no bounds. A friend to both the young and old alike. You showed love to everyone and anyone who comes in contact with you. We are living testimonies and recipients of your friendship and giving nature.

You were a quintessential gentleman to the core. Loving the good things of life with no apologies to anyone and labelled by a friend as ‘Uncle Elegant’ . That was who you just simply were.

And God did you love your children? Your love for Omo, Mama and Ehis was enviable and you made no apologies to anyone whilst talking about them and showing them off. But we know God will watch over them and all the loved ones and family members you left behind.

As we bid you farewell, this is to let you know we love you and will greatly miss you. You’ll forever occupy that special place reserved for only you in our hearts.

But it is not good bye but good night ‘my uncle J1’ till we meet again on the resurrection morning.

May your loving soul rest in perfect peace.

Ose Ben-Willie


Posted by Maddy Onochie on March 13, 2021
Big Joe! (as he is fondly called by close friends). We miss you dearly!
Gone too soon. This is very shocking and a big blow to us all.

He was loved by everyone. To many who knew and interacted with him, Joe was an Icon, an Idol, and a Phylantropist. He was an Exemplary Leader too.

He was a lively, bubbly, sweet soul; who loved to be around people, and will always made sure everyone around him was happy.

Big Joe reached out to all across the spectrum. He showed respect to everyone, regardless - small, young, and the elderly. Infact he was a true Man-Of-The-People!
May he rest peacefully in the bosom of the Lord! Amen.

My thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family.
Best wishes.
Posted by Godwin Amiolemen on March 12, 2021
You are a wonderful teacher, leader and menticulious mentor. You are everything one could look for in a good mentor.Mere words can't properly explain how humble, humane and kindhearted you are,this It is still like a dream to me, yet a reality to lose a Mentor.
Posted by Uwa EMPKPAE on March 11, 2021
Dearest Admiral this could have been written for you . . . . . .I post this in your honour. . . . .

“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

(Anonymous)
Posted by Uwa EMPKPAE on March 11, 2021
 . . . .My "friend" and my "brother" . . .that was who you were to me in the last few years that you drew me close to you:

Death we all know and reluctantly agree, is inevitable. . . . . when it sneaks up on one it is all the more bewildering. That's how this feels. I still got a message from you days before you passed, little did I know you were battling for your life. That was so you. Thinking of others before yourself. A perfect gentleman and most definitely an officer par excellence: distinguished and dignified. . . .

You most certainly will have a good report and a great testimony before The Throne of Grace. God Almighty sent you into the world with your "talents" of light, love and joy and dang, did you multiply them!!!

You took it as a divine mission to shed light and love on your journey, through every path it took you. What you were to me was kindness; unconditional and unadulterated: rare in the times we live in; especially in today's Nigeria. You were always so tender and sweet. That's how you will remain in that part of me where treasured memories are stored. Everything you were to me, that, you still are.

Hard as it is we have to let go and allow you to return to that beautiful place from whence you came. So go well Brother, as your . . .light returns to LIGHT; love returns to LOVE; life returns to LIFE. Mourning inconsolably questions the Will of God who loves you more than the ones who loved you the best on earth. Goodbye my friend and brother. Godspeed as your return to God from whom you came as a blessing to countless. . . . .may the Hosts of Heaven welcome you into the Abode of Perpetual Light, to meet face to face, The One you worshipped and adored passionately. . . . .
Posted by Kehinde Komolafe on March 11, 2021
JOE AIKHOMU: A MAN WHO LIVED HIS NAME
 
The night falls suddenly, too suddenly these days, and when you find out what has happened before nightfall, you would discover that much has been lost – again, lost too soon.
 
Thursday 25th February 2021 should rank as an ordinary day but not for Nigeria and definitely not for the Nigerian Navy, which lost two seasoned Admirals on that same day.
 
The grim reaper reached first for Adm Joe Aikhomu and while the lament was still on our lips that a very vibrant man had been rudely snatched away from us, then came yet again the sad news of the passing of Rear Admiral EE Aneke. He too finished his own journey on earth in the evening of same day. While Adm Joe had retired, Rear Adm Aneke was serving as Commander, Naval Drafting Command, Nigerian Navy. The two officers died within 12 hours of each other. How deeply I mourn these great Nigerians! 

If ever a man lived his name to the full, that man was Adm Joe Aikhomu. Joseph was his first name, and Aikhomu his surname. Like the Joseph of old, his name meant addition, increase, continuity, togetherness, exceeding and prolongation. Joe Aikhomu was all these and some more. Aikhomu means we don’t kill a child; it translates to having an opportunity to flourish. And didn’t he flourish in his career before retirement? He sure did.

Joe was my roommate in my 4th Term (my final term) at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, in 1980.  We were the only two cadets in the room, and he made life so easy for me while I was preparing for the Nigerian Defence Academy Certificate of Education and GCE A’ Level. Joe made sure I had all the time I needed to prepare for these exams. He took charge of the cleanliness of the room and attended to all my personal needs. As his name suggests, he added much value to me and enriched my life. I didn’t take that gesture lightly, and we have remained close friends and brothers ever since then. 
 
In June 2018, after both of us had retired, I ran into him somewhere in Abuja. He was wearing a well-tailored “Resource Control” Safari suit, which I noticed and complimented him on. About a month later, without asking me, he got two sets of the suit delivered to my house through Taryor Gabriels, his designer. I still wear and cherish the suits till date!
 
A few months ago, at the peak of the lockdown in Nigeria, Joe sent two bottles of special Irrua groundnuts to me – just to touch base with me. Again, about three weeks before his passing, he sent an article to me on WhatsApp titled, “Why You Should Double-Mask To Prevent COVID-19 (And How To Do It)”. 
 
Joe was always available whenever I needed him for anything. He always handled all matters pertaining to me as though they were his. He was a very considerate and kind man. I have lost a friend, a brother, and I will miss him dearly!!
 
May God comfort his family and all his loved ones. May we all (his family and friends) be comforted by the memories of his time here with us and by the good legacy he left behind.  
 
The passing of Joe surely reminds us all that life is transient, it’s nothing but a fleeting moment. What becomes of us hereafter must therefore be of paramount importance to us.
 
OH LORD GOD, DO PLEASE TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS!
 
KO KOMOLAFE
Rear Admiral (Rtd)
Posted by Abiodun Omisore on March 11, 2021
Admiral Joe Aikhomu was KIND BY DEFAULT. That was what anyone would notice within days of interacting with him. For Uncle Joe, the day he met you was the day he accepted you as his friend irrespective of your status.

He was a wonderful uncle that preferred to call me uncle, a mentor who shared regularly his life experience with me and cared about each member of my family.

His lifestyle defined sincerity in a special way and took it to another level. He was very open hearted, highly tolerant, and forgiving.

As a neighbour, I gave him the title of Báálè. Whether you are old or new on the street, he must meet you and introduce himself to you, take your number and begin to ask after you once in a while. At end of year, you should expect a big goat, at Easter and once in a while, expect a very massive fresh fish direct from the sea, whenever he returned from a journey, you should expect something. Through him you would get to know the different types of groundnut. Nothing made his day more than having people around him.
A closer interaction would reveal to you his level of wisdom and understanding of life. There is so much to talk about.

Uncle Joe, the things that would keep you in my memory are there and are very many. 

Revelation 14:13
[13]And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.


Isaiah 57:1
[1]The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

Posted by Ethel Afekelu Omorojor on March 11, 2021
A tribute to My Dearest Daddy Joe.

A good heart has stopped beating, a wonderful Soul ascends to Heaven.
I write this tribute with a very heavy heart as we part with our beloved Uncle Joe in pain.
I am still hoping to hear your voice Uncle ask me
"How are you My dear"
Uncle Joe you were Exceptionally kind and humble. you radiated love and warmth always.
May our Good Lord Bless and comfort the entire family in this time of grief.
I will miss you Greatly Uncle.
You're unforgettable.
May God grant your Soul eternal Rest. Amen.
Posted by Larry Imoukhuede on March 9, 2021
To Amiral Joe Aikhomu
A. Tribute

A lot adjectives have been used to describe late Admiral Joe Aikhomu: Oh my God; how I, hate to describe you in the past!
To his military colleagues, especially in the Navy, Joe Aikhomu was a master Sailor, No wonder he earned the acronym (the admiral of the fleet)
To his children, he was a super Dad, to his numerous friends and acquaintances, he was a master Sailor and most perfect host, never a dull moment with his presence: and naturally his abode in Abuja, Lagos, Benin and Irrua his home town became a natural melting pot for friends, associates and wannabee's.
Admiral Joe Aikhomu was simply a rare gem whose Like's come's once in a lifetime.
Admiral Joe, came into our space like a storm or a blizzard, infected our lives with so much magical love and excitement, and just when we were beginning to look at better days ahead with his retirement from the Navy, he departed like a meteor.
He has left us with so much despair and confusion that we are forced to wonder at the truth meaning of life. How can a man with so much zest, uplifting spirit and outstanding buoyancy dis-appear with such suddenness and shock?
Yes; it does shock beyond belief.
My brother Joe: the admiral of the fleet; the Egbokalo of Esanland, the quintessential gentleman, the master charmer, the ultimate peacemaker, the pride of the Navy, the father of Omo, Mama and Ehis, our very own Joe, the mesmerizer.
In our travails, we are consoled by the words of the famous English poet John Donne which acknowledges the inevitability of the grim reaper itself. (Death be not proud, though some have called you might and dreadful, for thou art not so, for those whom thou thick-st thou dost-overthrow. Die not poor death, nor yet cants thou kill me).
In conclusion, again we take solace in the words of the same poet. (Death where is thy sting o, death! Oh grave where's thy victory? the clod may sleep in dust beneath). The spirit will be free' my brother Joe, rest in peace till resurrection morning, when we shall meet again.
Okinbue
From: LARRY IMOUKHUEDE
Posted by Celine Ikioda on March 8, 2021
I am truly sorry for the loss of Joe Aikhomu. I would like to offer everyone and his family my deepest and most sincere condolences and may the soul of Joe Aikhomu rest in peace. Amen
Posted by Tony Ezekiel on March 8, 2021
I admire Admiral Joe Aikhomu from his days back in NDA kaduna. He was an Egbon ( Big Brother), an Omion ( Brother) and a friend.
His loyalty and dedication to friendship is unflinching. He was an astute officer and gentleman, who's approach to life itself was very professional in all facets. Kind, loving, warmth,witty and full of wisdom to navigate the intricacies of life. I got convinced by him to spend a weekend at his residence in Lagos, that weekend ended up being two weeks, as every day that i packed my luggage to head to the airport he unpacked my luggage with his very convicing and domineering personality, i also made a mistake to have entered his grandiose closet celler, the rest is left to your imagination. Joe was a beaming cornucopia of human engagements, always wanting to please humanity. I am consoled by the sweet memories i have of him, the infectious smile and his commanding words "My Friend" as well as the up righteousness of his family at this time of grieving.
By the dint of his faith in God and the benevolence of his deeds, may his passage be granted paradise and his loving soul rest in perpetual peace - Amen.
Tony Ezekiel PhD (oxon)
Posted by Oskar Christopher Ibru on March 7, 2021
My big brother, it is not the quantity but the quality of life that matters. The life you lived was exemplary and if everyone in this evil world we live in were to emulate your style the world would be a much better place.
Rest well my friend, a total and complete gentleman. Missing you so much already.

Olorogun, Otunba (Dr.) Oskar C. J. Ibru jp++
Posted by Akinaka Richard on March 7, 2021
Uncle Joe, listening to the background music and writing this has further reinforced the kindness and desire you showed to help me grow in my craft.
The first day I met you in company of my mentor, your accommodated me as if we have known for a long time. Just three weeks before the sad news of your death, you called to ask of me and my family advising me to be careful of COVID and you did send me list and pictures of supplements I should have at home. You even said that the next time I would be in Lagos and not come visit, you will fine me and I gave my word that I was not going to fail to visit but now you have gone beyond a point where i am not ready to come.
You were a special man who was accommodating and willing to help at all times.
Uncle Joe, the memories are such that one can’t forget how electrifying you could be where you were found. Even when you were around leaving a space were you are was a difficult one because of your imposing aura and fun. If it was for carefulness, you should be the list victim of this evil. God Almighty alone knows best. So I pray to Him alone to give your gentle soul eternal rest

Posted by Sarkin Yaki Bello on March 7, 2021
Adieu Joe, knowing u and coming very close to u during our senior staff college days in Jaji 1994/1995 was truly fulfilling. U were so gracious lending me ur BMW to test drive and have a feel and our banters and jokes which u excelled will remain indelible in my memory. Rest in Perfect Peace the Great Sailor
Posted by Michael Ajukwu on March 7, 2021
For The Whole Earth is the Sepulchre Of An Illustrious Man---Pericles, Greek statesman.

A Tribute To Joe.
I will mourn Joe but celebrate the remarkable life of the man I called Da( origin unknown). No surprise at the outpouring of warm and very kind words for our dearly beloved Joe. Over the coming weeks, some of the finest testaments ever given about a man will be said and written about Joe. The world has lost a truly decent man and we are all diminished as a result. What was there not to admire about this fine gentleman? He was as good a man as it ever pleased the Lord to put on earth. At his creation-- bonhomie, empathy, love of family, an outstretched hand of succor and a zest for the good life--were all baked into his DNA.
To know Joe is to restore your faith in humanity and to experience the true meaning of friendship, unscripted and not contrived. Ever effervescent, Joe remembers you from his heart, while quietly admonishing you, with a stretch of his right hand, for not returning his calls. In my own case, and for good effect, will add that I spend too much of my time speaking grammar and failing to return very important calls. Joe was wonderfully prodigal of himself in the course of friendship and service to humanity. A sentinel that stood watch for his friends in times of need.
He was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life: just, humane and sincere. In uniform, he was dignified and commanding. To his juniors he was kind , and to the objects of his affections he was examplarily tender. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues. I saw and experienced the purity of his heart. On a warm summer morning, June 4th, 1988 , he surprised my wife and I with a huge bouquet of flowers to congratulate my wife for the delivery of our twin sons. I had flown into London at dawn and gone straight to the hospital. Less than 30 minutes of arriving the hospital ,at about 8am, Joe showed up at the maternity suite with a very beautiful bouquet of flowers , doing what was a 3 hour red eye trip from Portsmouth to London. How relieved I was that he did not steal my thunder by getting there before me. That is the Joe I carry in my heart -- the real deal and a fine trooper.
IT IS NOTHING TO DIE. IT IS FRIGHTFUL NOT TO LIVE--VICTOR HUGO
Joe did not live long , but , by Jove, he lived well. The quantity of his life was disturbingly small, but the quality was magnificently big. He was the embodiment of the joy of living---'joie de vivre 'with an exuberant flourish. And all in good catholic taste. Always one for high jinks and delicious mischief. He insisted, in one of our bachannal outings ,that ,in the absence of drinking glasses , I must learn to drink STOUT through a straw. You can't make that up . That was Joe. And I complied. In a different life and in a different world, Joe would have been an accomplished troubadour. His words were poetry in motion: the welfare of others and the relentless pursuit of happiness for all. Indeed, a gift to mankind.
To Ekanem, Omo, Mama, Ehis --I commend to you all the very redemptive words of Pope John Paul 11( karol Wojtyla): Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song. Oh yes, our celestial songs will see him to a good night sleep.
And in the very consoling words of the great negro spiritual: Beams of Heaven:
    There is a world where pleasure reigns,
    No mourning soul shall roam its plains
     and to that land of peace and glory
     I shall want to go someday.
Your Joe, our Joe, my Da has raced with the sweet chariot of Angels to that land of eternal peace. He has arrived where we all started: our Heavenly Father's Throne of Grace and Mercy.
Sail on with God's grace, good friend and patriot. Your star will never be diminished. And may your memory forever be a blessing to your loved ones.
Requiescat in Pace. 
Michael Ajukwu
Posted by Onyeka Anyanechi on March 7, 2021
Adieu "My" Uncle Joe

It took me this long since the news broke to pen this tribute because I found it extremely difficult to wrap my head around the fact that “My” Uncle Joe, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu has passed on to greater glory.

My friendship with Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu is like a fairy tale. We met many years ago when he was just finishing his house in Nicon Town Estate and was ready to move in. By then myself and my family were residing a few houses from his own on the same street.  It was a chance meeting that began a whirlwind friendship that can be described as “love at first sight”.

 Twenty four hours after I met Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu, he invited me to lunch and came to my house to pick me up. When I came out he passed his phone to me with a mischievous grin on his face and I saw he had saved my name as “Onyeka Aikhomu”. I felt like what “audacity”!!! But that was the man Joe for you. We became inseparable and was never far from each other thereafter. My family became his family and his became mine. He was like a senior brother to me. I adored him so much that I could not call him by his first name despite his simplicity. He reluctantly accepted my calling him “My” Uncle Joe and in return called me “Uncle Onyeka”. What a man!  “My” Uncle Joe was humility personified.

 Our friendship can also be described as childlike. “My” Uncle Joe would invite me over to his house for breakfast and I would end up staying for lunch and dinner. Late at night he would see me off bare feet to my house and take another hour saying goodnight. After which I would then see him off back to his house. This pattern became our normal over the years.

 “My” Uncle Joe had an extremely large heart. He loved and gave unconditionally and without discrimination. He wanted everyone to be bubbly and happy at all times. You cannot meet him and not feel special. His home was the real “United Nations” headquarters. He welcomed everyone warmly with open arms.

 However, like all humans, he had his vulnerabilities and I observed him over the years bear them with equanimity. He was that selfless.

 “My” Uncle joe was a complete family man. He loved his children in an almost indescribable way but never spoilt them. He set very high standards for them and held them accountable. I know his children will miss him very dearly.

 To say I miss him is an understatement. I sincerely wish I could turn back the hands of time. We talked about so much like children’s marriages, naming ceremonies, exotic vacations and getaways. However, I have learnt to surrender everything beyond my comprehension to the almighty God, because He knows best.

 May God comfort his family (Ekanem, Omo, Mama and Ehis) and also grant his Siblings and the very numerous friends the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.

 May God forgive his shortcomings and grant him eternal rest. Amen.

 

Posted by Uzo Ajukwu on March 6, 2021
We have lost a rare gem, joy-bringer, dependable caring father, benevolent, generous and irreplaceable man with a large heart. It is not how long, but how well you lived that matters.

How can I forget how 32 years ago, you were at the hospital with a beautiful bouquet of flowers just a few hours after I delivered my twin boys. How can I forget how you were at the airport to welcome your "twin soldiers" as you called them, back from London.

Death takes the body, God takes the soul. Our minds hold the memories, our hearts keeps the love. Our faith lets us know we will meet again.

We have lost a friend but gained an angel. Joe, you are loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure. Rest in the bosom of the Lord till we meet again.
Posted by Ebenezer Onyeagwu on March 6, 2021
Joe Aikhomu was my senior at the famous St Columba’s Grammer School(later changed to Gbenoba Grammer School)Agbor. When Joe was in Form 5 in 1975/76 session, I was in Form 2 and he was both Labour & Games Prefect at same time which was in recognition of his leadership traits and charisma. Joe was tall, macho, strong, his leadership skills were visible to both staff and students. His light skin and handsome look made him the toast of girls of Marymount College and Baptist Girls School.

I recall an incident how Joe came to the rescue of I and two of my classmates when some of Joe’s Form 5 classmates bullied us for no just cause. Joe simply walked into the scene and realized that we had received some slaps (the hardest slap I ever received in my lifetime) Joe asked the Seniors to kneel down and for us to retaliate but we could not summon the courage to take on our Seniors but Joe did front and back hand slaps on the seniors (his classmates) with a final warning that they should never lay their hands on us. From then onwards I joined the group of untouchable Joe Boys.

I also recall how Joe as Games Prefect was not impressed with the goalkeepers in the school football team and began training as a goalkeeper and turned out to become a famous goalkeeper in the same class as our legendary late Kwasalopo who was about 3 years ahead Joe. When I reminded Joe of this story a few years ago in presence of his brother Air Comm Victor Aikhomu (Rtd), Victor added that Joe’s goal keeping prowess was vanquished at NDA when Joe conceded 6 goals in a match and vowed never to return to goal keeping.

I lost touch with Joe until about 2008 when he moved into his house on Road 8, Zone C Nicon Estate adjacent to my house. I never notice his presence throughout construction period until he moved in. When I saw him outside in the company of General Emeka Onwuamaegbu(Rtd) he quickly recognized me and ordered me out of my car. As we reconnected Joe refused that I call him Senior Joe and I couldn’t still imagine calling him by his first name. So I starting calling him Lord Joe or Admiral which he felt comfortable with.

Joe’s kindness and generosity remain uncommon. As soon as he realized that my wife and I are into tea, Joe made sure he got different collections of teas for us whenever he made a trip out of the country. Oftentimes Joe would lay ambush for me on a Fridays on my way from work just for him to make a combo of mint tea for me and enjoy some pepper soup with him.

Last year when I called him to congratulate him on the employment of Omo at CBN, Joe said to me “from today Omo is now your son I am handing him over to you to nurture and mentor him for the rest of his life”.

Joe became a rallying point for every home on Road 8. When I told him how my family used his plot as shooting range for our Christmas and New Year fireworks event Joe said we would find another empty plot to use and incidentally the plot directly in front of his house was vacant became our new shooting range and Joe turned it to an annual New Year fireworks party that distinguished Nicon estate. It use to be a a contest between us in Road 8 and Road 9 on who runs our firepower first. Joe would go on to give out live goat/ram to every home on Road 8 which has now led to a tradition of exchange of gifts amongst every family on Road 8.

On December 28th 2020 I called Joe and he announced to me that we would skip the our annual fireworks new year rituals in compliance with COVID-19 protocol. Joe was that careful and diligent with everything.

Joe’s death is a personal loss to me and my family and we will forever miss him. Looking at Joe’s personality and charisma one would wished he lived longer but God has the final say. Surely he is now in a better place.

Joe my testimony of you is simply that you were an outstanding man and gave your all to everyone that you came in contact with. Certainly Omo, Anita and Ehis have a long list of your family members. friends, associates and colleagues who will be there to try to fill the big vacuum of your fatherly role but I will never forget your charge to me not only to take Omo as my son also Anita and Ehis. Above all, the Almighty God will take care of them and do that which no human can do for them.

Rest In Peace Senior Joe
Rest In Peace Lord Joe
Rest In Peace The Peoples’ Admiral
Posted by MOROUNMUBO AMODA on March 5, 2021
 The Admiral! My jovial way of calling him. His death not only alarmed but saddened me. Whatever the Admiral lacked in personality, the Lord compensated him with it in liveliness and generosity. In all the years I knew him in the NN, I couldn't remember not smiling or laughing away whenever we talked.
 The last time I saw him was at a lavish wedding in Landmark V/Island where he introduced a daughter of his to me. I distinctly remembered, he said, he looks forward to her marriage. I couldn't imagine that he wouldn't be there whenever that happens.
 I pray that his desire would be granted by God whenever the weddings of his children would be.
 May the Lord continue to bless and console all the family members he left behind. May He raise for them a better version of the Admiral as well. Amen.
 Adieu, the Admiral!
    
Posted by Adetola Owolabi on March 4, 2021
Our Beloved Uncle J1 was truly a gift to all those he encountered. He cared deeply about everyone, young and old irrespective of status. He always gave a gift and just wanted everyone to feel special. Our entire family is still lost for words. Moyin says "Mum is this what grief feels like? you mean I wont see him again?" Yes our 11 year old son had a relationship with him, he had an uncanny ability to relate across all spheres. 

Michael and I are still shocked that we will not have him around again saying "come out here when last did you see me?" . His Memory is blessed and we know that Omo, Mama and Ehis will find favour all their days because their Dad -Uncle J1 sowed seeds of love to all that he came across. He will be sorely missed.

Love Adetola & Michael Owolabi
Posted by JIM OBAZEE on March 3, 2021
Good night Uncle Joe...the only man that calls me "J1" or "Jim of the universe".

I can testify that Uncle Joe was a man with a hurrying feet in grace, a loving heart in sympathy, a listening ear in attention, a graceful lips in gratitude and a watchful eye in outlook. He usually finds wisdom to turn his personal pains into learning experiences. He was love; personified, laughter; excited and humility; manifested. I was more impacted by his behaviour than his beliefs.

The passing unto glory of Uncle Joe is a quiet reminder to the rest of us that we are on earth to work towards achieving eternal life and not to seek to become the Eternity.

I am however consoled that Uncle Joe slept in the Lord. We shall see him again on the resurrection morning at the bosom of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace and may his memory continually be a blessing.
Posted by DHANA GOVINDAN on March 3, 2021
With gratitude to God Almighty for a life well spent, I write to express the shock I felt upon hearing the news of your demise.

Director REAR ADMIRAL JOE AIKHOMU (RTD), your transition reminds us of the timeless injunction of the Holy Bible that “….A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth….” What remains after our departure from this mortal world, are the impacts we made in our communities and the lives we touched.

REAR ADMIRAL JOE AIKHOMU was humble, God fearing, humane and a peace maker to the core. He was a father indeed and an inspiration to many in Nigeria and the World at Large.

To your family and relatives, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire family at this time and may your beautiful memories provide some comfort and the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

I commiserate with your entire family and pray the good lord grant you eternal rest.
Posted by MyDaddy Chuma on March 3, 2021
Indeed, a great human being has bowed out of the scene. He will be greatly missed. I will miss him very much. He was a leader I accepted consciously. He called me ENC 1 and when I refused to share that appalage with him because he was too much of a giant for me to rob shoulders with him, he humorously agreed to designate me ENC 1A! And so I remained till date. Adios! Great Soul. You lived the life of a giant because you were a giant.
Rear Admiral OC Medani (rtd) (ENC 1A)
Posted by Peter Okundaye on March 2, 2021
Am still in shock and disbelief that my bro (JA-1) is gone. Gone too soon because of the Covid19 virus that’s looming around. This is too unreal. But again that is reality everyone will have to deal with if the inevitable calls. Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu was a key participant in a recently celebrated birthday of our mutual partner and brother on a “ZOOM” call party back in Jan of 2021. I didn’t know that would be my last visual of my brother Joe. He didn’t ask to be infected. The Joe I know loved life and people to the fullest. He would have wished to live over 100 yrs sharing his love, fun and laughters with all.

Only God knows best. We cannot question God. I pray blessings and favors for the children and family he left behind and may God grant them the fortitude to bear this very irreparable loss. Rest In Peace ☮️ with the Lord Rear Admiral Joe (JA-1).
From P-1
Posted by Olumuyiwa Ajayi on March 2, 2021
I'm lost for words. I have do much to write but don't know how I can write my tribute. One thing I am grateful for was having met you in life through your adorable sister Tessy, 32 years ago.
You were a very considerate human being, open-minded and very jovial and even accepted me as one of your own younger sibling because of my relationship with Tessy for which I was grateful.
Rest in peace Uncle Joe.
Posted by Theophilus Okoro on March 2, 2021
AN EXQUISITE ADMIRABLE AND FINEST OFFICER OF THE FLAG RANK JUST SET SAIL FOR HEAVENLY ABODE

Your demise is a great lost to humanity. You are one of the most exquisite officer of Flag rank I came across in the Nigerian Navy. An admirable socialite and one of the finest Catholic faithful. A champion of peace in and out of uniform that made friends across tribes and colours. The OMS, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria and the world will miss you. Good night the Admiral. May your gentle soul find a resting place in the bosom of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Rest on sir, until we meet on the resurrection day.

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