By Ed’Rumun Mningem
In the words of the chairman of Ukum Local Government Council and ace-broadcaster, Steve Terwase Ayua to everything there is a season.
Invariably, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted.
Apparently, it is no-longer news that there was an outrage Monday, September 14th 2020 in Abuja following a brief ailment which had started same day in Makurdi.
The Governor of Benue State, his Excellency Samuel Ioraer Ortom prayed for his eternal rest with the Almight God.
He hoped they would meet in paradise to part no more, an assurance of the blessed. In the words of the image-maker, Dr. Ahangba Ayati, Our boss was a complete gentleman in all ramifications. The Chairman of ALGON, Comrade Caleb Abah was also visibly worried that they were ultimately robbed of a pacifist, an icon in Local Government and personnel administration, politician of no-mean stature, while the Permanent Secretary in the Bureau, Chief Elvis Attah lamented bitterly that it was grievous and shocking to have lost a living encyclopedia of pragmatic politics.
To cut the story short, though dead, Elder Jerome Torshimbe’s fond memories as an eminent peace envoy, whose recognition and investiture was inducted by the president of the International Association of World Peace Ambassador (IAWPA), an affiliate of the United Nations would continue to be cherished.
Indeed, the elevation conferred the global responsibility on him of initiating and coordinating effective implementation of the United Nations’ Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa and beyond.
He was to lead fifty-four (54) African countries in his capacity as African director of IAWPA/UN to the United Nations Peace Summit Germany as from 1st- 3rd March 2020, but for the global lockdown orchestrated by the hydra-headed monster, covid-19 pandemic.
Without regurgitation of history, Elder Tor Shimbe’s leadership style as an ordained citizen and eminent peace envoy anchored on social justice, equity, love, fairness and rule of law, undoubtedly endeared him greatly to his peers, who found in him an enigma. An avowed social justice crusader and an orator par-excellence, he always held his audiences spell-bound.
A practising Christian unlike others, who took preoccupation in rearing thugs and serving two masters; God and mammon.
An astute technocrat, the late Tor-Shimbe worked stoically to stabilize the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs within a brief spell .
In the words of the former Chairman of Katsina-Ala Local Council, Hon. (Mrs.) Virginia Mbazan Kpindi, the deceased Special Adviser was a jolly good-fellow, who was always fraternizing with the masses and less privileged. According to her, Elder Jerome Tor-Shimbe (JP) was a great father to many, a Mentor, Community Leader and grassroots mobiliser, whose versatility knew no bounds.
An ebony man with a pentecostal persuasion, he was married to Francisca Shimbe (nee Ulam Agashua) and Comfort Simbe (nee Obande-Obeya) and is blessed with five children: Philip Mvendaga Tor-Shimbe, Lawrence Tersoo Tor-Shimbe, Reuben Tor-Shimbe, Blessing Nguamo Allagh and Ernest Iorwuese Tor-Shimbe and six grand children including: Francisca Ngodoo, Allagh, Benedicta Ngohide Tor-Shimbe, Michelle Mrumun Allagh, Daniella Doose Allagh and Grace Mesuur Tor-Shimbe.
The vastly travelled peace envoy crisscrossed virtually, the world including, United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Germany, Israel, Kenya, Italy, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mexico, Netherlands and many more.
In the words of a retired Chief Matron Mrs. Becky Anweh (JP) if the truth must be told, the patriarch is at peace with the Lord as he had fought a good fight and finished the race, having kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for him the crown which the lord the righteous judge would bestow upon him and all who loved His appearing. Zadedoo and aurevoire! According to Chief Mrs. Grace Igbabon, the patriarch still lives, while his widow, Chief Mrs. Comfort Jerome Tor-Shimbe visibly down-cast, disclosed, Im overwhelmed by the mammoth sympathizers and the church in view of their powerful representation and urged them to extend same to others, who may suffer similar fate.
Elder Jerome Tor-Shimbe (JP) was born on 12th September, 1956 into the family of the late Pa Shimbe Unduikya and the late Mama Martha Moshji Mbapa in Gwer-West Local Council of Benue State and was the third of six children.
He started his early education at St. Francis Elementary School, Aliade 1964-1969. Thus obtained his First School Leaving Certificate as from 1970-1974. He attended the elitist Mount Saint Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade. The amiable and result-oriented Jerome proceeded to the College of Education, Katsina-Ala from 1970-1979, where he passed out with Nigeria Certificate in Education. His intellectual sagacity further bolstered him to the prestigious University of Jos, Plateau State, for a degree in English. Today, he boast of an Advanced Diploma in Personnel Management (ADPM) and a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) at the Benue State University, Makurdi.
Perhaps and understandably, Elder Tor-Shimbe enrolled at the Imo State University, Owerri and steadfastly obtained yet another Masters of Science Degree (M.Sc). This time in Industrial Sociology and Personnel Management in 2009. Suffice it to say that, he embarked on an intensive works for Doctoral Degree (Ph.D) in Local Government Administration and Personnel at the Federal University, Lafia before his sudden death.
A peep into his resume shows conferences both at home and abroad was membership of several professional bodies. The scholar’s selfless service to God and humanity cannot be quantified in a hurry started his career as Dean of Studies in Geidam, Borno State.
At one point or the other, he was Executive Chairman, Gwer and later Gwer-West, Board Chairman, Benue State Library Board, Makurdi; Board Chairman, Tyoshin Community Bank, Naka; Proprietor, Community Secondary School, Makurdi; Deputy Chairman, All People’s Party; Commissioner, of Education amongst others.
As he is dead and buried, it is our prayers that God grant him eternal rest and his family, friends, well-wishers and the entire people of Gwer-West the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. Zadedoo and aurevoire. Amen.
The life and times of late: Jerome Tor-Shimbe
By Ed’Rumun Mningem