In an atmosphere of conviviality, camaraderie and love, family, friends, colleagues and teeming admirers, pundits, critics, and cynics turned out in their numbers to celebrate a trailblazer, a rock solid woman, Mrs Callista Azogu.
The celebration started with a well attended Mass at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama Abuja with six Reverend Fathers to mark the 60th birthday and retirement from oil giant, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited as Deputy Managing Director.
In the homily by the Reverend Father in honour of the chief celebrant, Azogu, glowing tributes were paid for Nigeria’s first woman to attain the position of General Manager Human Resource and Organisation at Agip.
At the reception that followed immediately after, at the event centre of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Maitama Abuja, more personalities joyfully thronged the venue to mark this epochal event. Colleagues, family and friends saluted her administrative sagacity, economic viscosity, political virtuosity, intellectual firepower, infectious humility, evocative humanity and bounteous business acumen, and her fear of God Almighty signposted by her unbridled love and undiluted kindness to both family and friends.
Her unique selling points, which everyone spoke about, included the fact that she is inextricably linked to her work and inexorably connected to her family, especially her children and grandchildren. Most of her colleagues, especially the Italians, Europeans, and other nationalities who came in their numbers celebrated with this colossus of a woman.
Nigerians and foreigners alike, especially her family and particularly her youngest daughter sang a duet with her mother and a heart-tugging, awe-inspiring and spirit-lifting special rendition, which got some of the guests teary-eyed. The solo artist and the musical band that performed at this auspicious celebration were marvellous and a delight for all the guests.
In her Vote of Thanks, Azogu extolled the virtues of a discipline, honesty, and committed relationships in both the office and the home front. She said that when you selflessly serve God Almighty and humanity, the bountiful harvests of everlasting joy will always be present.
She enjoined her colleagues to always perform optimally in any assignment they are given and that, in retirement, she would forever offer support in any form to Agip, if required as the company remains her family.
The Reverend Fathers in attendance ended with excellent prayers for Azogu, wishing her retirement in pristine peace of mind laden with excellent health, high spirits, boundless energy and continued service to God Almighty and humanity.