It is with mixed feelings that I present this address today in honour of our departed friend and colleague in the ICT industry who departed to the great beyond, so suddenly. But we cannot hold her back, therefore, we must gather in this forum to give her this befitting honour for the last time.
On behalf of National Executive Council (NEC), and the entire members of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), with membership strength of over 20,000 comprising IT professionals, Interest Groups and Stakeholders, it is indeed with a heavy heart that I welcome you to this event at this hour of sober reflection. It saddens my heart that our coming together this evening is not for NITMA, nor Conference but commendation service of late Engr.(Mrs) Florence Seriki, who departed this sinful world on the 3rd of March 2017 after a brief illness. We sincerely appreciate your presence here today.
“There is a time to be born, a time to die
But in between is a privilege to live, to love and serve God and humanity
Therefore, God, I considered it not my care to live or die
But to love and serve thee is my share.
If my days be long I will be glad; if it is short why should I complain
After all you own my life”
Engineer (Mrs) Florence Seriki, Fellow of Nigeria Computer Society, born to the family of Odebu in Edo State, Founder/ CEO of OMATEK Ventures PLC, one of the few indigenous OEMs we have in the country today. She was a thoroughbred Professional, a planner, a visionary leader, astute manager, articulator and indefatigable lady.
Here are what some elders and members of the profession had to say about her:
“———Very sad indeed that we have lost our ICT Amazon and Diva, the first Nigerian ICT woman entrepreneur and owner of a publicly quoted ICT company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. She was a rare model of diligence and hard work, an epitome of humility who believed in perseverance for success and she succeeded. We shall surely miss her and her smiles at every occasion. She was a great ambassador of the computer profession wherever she went. May her soul rest in perfect peace and to the family and us all, her Fellow Colleagues in NCS, the grace of almighty God to bear this very painful loss with fortitude”
– Chief Don Etiebet, 3rd President, NCS
That our Florence is gone is unbelievable. The good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh. This time around He has taken one of our very best. Pray God grant her the choicest part of paradise. Also pray He kindly looks after those she has left behind. Amen
Condolences to us all”
– Alhaji Ladi Ogunneye, 8th President, NCS
“…Florence, yours was a life well lived! May you find peace in the bosom of our Lord JESUS CHRIST.”
– Demola Aladekomo 11th President, NCS
“President NCS, Provost College of Fellows, All Fellows , All ITAN and All NCS Members
My condolences to all of us for the loss of our dynamic visionary. My spirit is low. She was my cherished daughter.”
– Dr Adeola Odeyemi Former Provost, College of Fellows NCS
This is a very painful loss. I can feel your grief personally. May her graceful soul rest in peace! ?Amen. May the good Lord grant us all the strength to live with this irreplaceable loss. Please, accept my profound condolences”
– Emmanuel Ekuwem(FNCS)
“Good night Flo, Amazon of IT industry, until we meet to part no more at the feet of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. “
– Nike Osofisan Former President and Chairman of Council CPN.
“This is unbelievable but true. I am still in shock. Florence was so full of life and very dynamic but God moves in mysterious ways. My condolences to all of us in the industry and to the loved ones she has left behind.
REST IN PERFECT PEACE DEAREST FLO.”
– Sekinat Yusuf, Former President and Chairman of Council CPN.
“An iroko tree has fallen.“May her soul rest in Perfect Peace! Florence was a great Entrepreneur, a trail blazer, a brilliant energetic woman. A role model for us women. She was very friendly the couple of times I had the opportunity of meeting her. I interacted more with her products. We have lost a rare gem. I pray Almighty God to grant her eternal rest, comfort her family and raise another icon from her family who will grow her company even more than expected”.
– Prof Gloria Chukwudebe (FNCS)
There is a limit of grief at the grave of the dead. The bodies of the martyrs like Florence are the most beautiful altars to honour. When one dies in the arms of the lord, death ends, prison is broken, at last with death life begins with Christ.
Though, Sun shine on agony that words cannot paint, there are many sorrows, the bitterness of death, the tortures of jealousy, the anguish of suffering, but there is nothing that rends the heart and ruins a life than the death of the loved ones. Florence’s death will no doubts ruin many lives.
Therefore, those of us mourning and shedding tears for her transition should stop doing so and instead think of the survival of her business and children.
Engr. Seriki, it is no gain saying that the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) will conspicuously miss you. The IT industry will miss you. Your friends and colleagues in the IT industry will miss your friendly relationship.
It is necessary to educate each other today on the need to be original and be of positive influence wherever we find ourselves. Let us remember that whatever we achieve in life is just by grace. We might have the grace to live long, even longer than Methuselah, but that longevity cannot overwrite the landmark successes of David and others that spent few years but great achievements. Whatever your hands find to do, do it diligently, because at a time (short or long) we shall all be in the status in which Engr. Seriki is right now.
Permit me to address the family left behind by Engr. Seriki. I plead that we please take heart. This occurrence is definitely not palatable but we cannot hold it back neither can we challenge God. He does His things in His own way but for good reasons which I am sure is known to all of us. Let us hold forth firmly the family and the business she left behind. God will grant you all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
We in the NCS family will continue to remember you all in our prayers and the good Lord will not leave you without consolation at every moment of your life.
Engr. Seriki, we love you but God loved you most. Therefore, continue to rest in the bosom of your Lord till when we will meet to part no more.
Finally, I want her epitaph to read – “Here lies the lifeless body of Engineer Florence Seriki, a lone voice in the IT wilderness crying for Massive IT infrastructure development and Local Content in Nigeria, who lived life to the best of her ability, if her best was not enough who can blame her. Like all fortunate heroes in the history, death snatched her away while she was still needed mostly by her children and of course by her family and the entire IT world’’.
Good Night Madam flo.
Thank you all and God bless you abundantly.
Professor ‘Sola Aderounmu (FNCS)