Highlights

THE PRIVATE WORLD OF HIGH CHIEF O.B LULU BRIGGS

chief 0. B. and Mrs. Seiyen Lulu Briggs

chief 0. B. and Mrs. Seiyen Lulu Briggs

I had no plans of joining Chief O.B Lulu Briggs and his wife Seinye for prayers on the October morning when I visited their palatial residence on Armed Forces Avenue Drive. I simply came to inform the great man of the decision of Andy Briggs Report to bestow upon him the magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010. Over the past decade Chief O.B Lulu Briggs entrepreneurial success in the oil and gas sector had become a point of reference and the abduction of his wife Seinye, at the height of the Niger Delta crises had so thrust the couple into the news that his home had become a Port Harcourt landmark. Even if one did not know the owner of the property, the splendor of the architecture was hard to miss. Whenever the gates were thrown open, a passer-by would catch an enchanting glimpse of the house, a castle on the quiet street otherwise lined by duplexes and simple one-storey houses. The security details at the mansion were usually polite though intimidating. After the experience of Mrs. Seinye Lulu Briggs at the hands of militants, the natural reaction for her husband who could afford it was to reinforce security measures. Lately, only the governor of the state went about with more security details than Lulu and Seinye Briggs.
I was a bit early for my appointment and I was offered a chair in the security office beside the gate when a church bell suddenly tolled. This immediately drew my attention to an off-white chapel right in front of the security office. It was a beautiful building with stained glass windows, the sort one expected to see in a cathedral. It was not long before I was invited to the chapel. Apparently, that was the first business of the morning in the estate and being a man familiar with prayers I walked into the chapel, full of curiosity and no reluctance. I had heard stories of prayer meetings organized by Seinye Lulu Briggs. This one was already in session as I walked in. Music swirled around me from an organ at the front of the chapel; the walls were white, dotted with ornate lights and people sat in rows of comfortable and expensive chairs. Even songbooks were provided as women, men, boys and girls of varying ages and station sang accompanied by the organ, a real expensive church organ.
I joined in the singing caught between my Christian reverence for the worship of God and a natural skepticism about what was going on as I noticed Seinye Lulu Briggs upfront and clearly incharge. Maybe if I had seen a long line of folks waiting to ask and receive one favor or the other of the owner of the house, that would have seemed a more realistic picture. Would all the people present be gathered if Lulu Briggs was not the richest man in Kalabari land and even Rivers State ? Was I being a hypocrite ? Would my magazine be giving Chief Lulu Briggs the lifetime achievement award, if he was some long suffering pioneer teacher or nation builder without affluence ? Was it not sheer cynicism, on the other hand, to doubt that needy people could have genuine intentions ? Only an unwise judge would conclude that because Lulu Briggs was loaded, the needy people who came to him, once in the chapel would not turn their hearts to worship God. Such a conclusion did not appreciate the grace and omnipotence of God. The philanthropy in the old man’s heart was certainly a spark of the divine. Even people who were only interested in what they could get from Lulu Briggs could still be touched by God in many ways.
While we were singing, Chief Lulu Briggs came in. Actually, he rode in on a scooter specially designed to help him move around. Chief Lulu Briggs suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a neuromuscular condition which makes muscular co-ordination very difficult with attendant muscular weakness. Though Parkinson’s disease had greatly limited the high chief’s ability to move around unhindered, his unusual entrepreneurial success so late in life keeps him quite busy. Having a wife with a bit of a banking career experience has been helpful though she was not the wife who helped him make the fortune. There is no doubt however that Seinye plays an invaluable role in the life of the great man for that was why he married her in the first place. Though there are those who claim that Lulu Briggs remains as sharp as ever, he depends on his wife to represent him at board meetings as a result of his illness which has deprived him of the ability to speak audibly or clearly. Naturally, Seinye controls all access to the man and whatever she says on his behalf is regarded as his opinion. There are however quite a few relatives and friends of the high chief who complain that they no longer enjoy access to their brother and friend who they had looked up to for one kind of help or the other.
Directly or through her representatives, Seinye Lulu Briggs runs Moni Pulo, O.B Lulu Briggs Foundation and every other business with which the man has to do. Since she speaks for him, she can hire or fire any one who works for him. Those who wish to survive in the Lulu Briggs empire learn quickly where their loyalty should go. Even during meetings of the Briggs extended family, O.B Lulu Briggs who by age and accomplishments is regarded as the leading figure in the compound can not communicate with family members and the wife speaks his mind. It is a role which makes Seinye Briggs very powerful and there are quite a few allegations of occasions when she has used these powers to deprive her husband’s relatives of benefits extended to them by the great man for their perceived disloyalty to her.
Seinye Lulu Briggs runs Moni Pulo, the oil and gas exploration company founded by High Chief Lulu Briggs. Due to his incapacitation which is most regrettable, the company is presently run by his wife and Moni Pulo’s insistence on continuing to refer to its esteemed founder as the executive chairman and CEO is grossly misleading.
The corporate social responsibility and public relations profile of Moni Pulo falls far behind the standard of major oil and gas exploration companies. Perhaps because it is run as a personal estate over which Mrs. Seinye Lulu Briggs presides. The absence of Chief Lulu Briggs sons from the helm of affairs at Moni Pulo is also rather mysterious.

8 Comments on THE PRIVATE WORLD OF HIGH CHIEF O.B LULU BRIGGS

  1. kelvin chuka // February 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm // Reply

    No doubt his a man of substance,,his someone I admire a whole lot even though am not from rivers state……..

  2. dimkpa kenneth // September 28, 2012 at 10:05 am // Reply

    It. Is good to have a man-like wife….. Intelligent,strong Äπϑ cauragious

  3. RELY MY SOUL WAS LIFTED THE FIRST DAY I WENT TO GODS CHAPEL AT FORCES AVE.I GAVE MY LIFE TO GOD WEN THE SONG WAS GOIN ON

  4. martinsbriggs // September 10, 2013 at 1:16 am // Reply

    am so proud of him.I pray God should keep him alive to achieve more of his goals.. am proud to b a rivers man..wish to b like u someday 07037217901

  5. This enviable man,who look at the poor,less privileged,down trundle and the forgotten masses with much, much care throw himself to them as a solace.This is a man I know not but only hears of his charitable works to humanities ; should we have such man every where the poor masses would so so be grateful to God. Though am a native Olachor- Okpoma in Yala L.G.A.of Cross River State.I pray that God almighty would continue to preservd him and give him good health.Am proud of him, more grace to you sir.Am Obeyi Aloysius Abachor;07086106160.

  6. TONYE ANIGBORUNUME AMACHREE // May 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm // Reply

    HAPPY BIRTH MONTH TO MY BIG DADDY(OPU DAA)HIGH CHIEF (DR) O.B.LULU BRIGGS (OON DCF) UR CHARITY LIFE FOUNDATION WIL CONTINUOSLY TO GIV HOPE TO PEOPLE ALL OVER D WORLD IN JESUS NAME AMEN.TNX,4RM TONYE ANIGBORUNUME D AMACHREE.

  7. collins lawrence // August 18, 2015 at 3:34 pm // Reply

    may God almighty guard and protect,my HIGH CHIEF(DR) O.B.LULU BRIGGS………………………………………..if only my GOD i will touch ur heart to bless,a poor orphan like me

  8. warmate sokeipiriala // August 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    may u live long our pride our hero of the kalabari clan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: