Saturday, 9 August 2014



On Friday, August 8, the Nigerian social circuit was thrown into a mourning mood. This was occasioned by the tragic death of Henry Abebe, one of Nigeria’s most prominent Big Boys, who died in Abuja. The very handsome and sociable Big Boy was the younger brother of the late Stella Obasanjo, the wife of former President Olusegun Obansanjo.
Abebe, a businessman and a former Executive Director at the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, died in a local hospital in Abuja, after he reportedly fell ill.
The ELITES gathered that, prior to his illness, Abebe had been battling liver cirrhosis for years. Sources disclosed that Abebe suddenly took ill and was admitted at the hospital to get treatment for his liver ailment. His health was said to have stabilised for a while. However, his state of health took a turn for the worse, when the doctor on duty, who was not aware of his medical history of being diabetic, mistakenly
Henry;s wife, Beatrice (nee Moekeme)
administered glucose intravenously on him. This resulted in him slipping into Coma, from which he never woke up from.
Fondly called ‘Ahey’ by his friends and admirers, Abebe was the last of the seven children of distinguished industrialist and administrator, Dr. Christopher Abebe and his wife, Madam Theresa. Dr. Abebe is the first indigenous chairman of UAC Plc.

Henry and Beatrice Abebe
Since yesterday, when the news of Henry Abebe’s death broke out, members of his family and friends have become very downcast. Worst hit are his parents, his wife, Beatrice (nee Moekeme) and his children- Manny, Antony Ikhide and Nicole. And so also are his two surviving siblings- John Abebe and Rita Harold-Sodipo (nee Abebe).
Henry and Beatrice Abebe
Sadly too, since 1989 till date, Henry Abebe’s parents have had to bury five of their children. The first death claimed Edwin This was then followed by that of Victor, who died in 1989 of a terminal ailment. The late Victor, a successful obstetrician and gynecologist, was married to Edugie, the elder sister of Senator Daisy Danjuma. The Abebes were still grappling with the pain of his death when Bess Abebe-Abiola, the last daughter and sixth of the Children, died in August 2002. Bess died of a kidney ailment and she was buried at Ikoyi Cemetery amidst sorrow and wailing that were so palpable. Three years after, precisely in October 2005, the eldest of the Abebe family, Chief (Mrs.) Stella Obasanjo, died just few weeks to her 60th birthday celebration. The late Stella Obasanjo, who was fondly called ‘Sista’ by her siblings and their spouses, died at the
Moulding Clinic in Marbella, Spain, from complications arising from a Liposuction surgery. Her death really shook the country, not just because her husband, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was then the President of Nigeria, but the circumstances
that led to her death sparked a volume of controversies among people across the world.
Henry Abebe joined the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, in 2003 as a General Manager. Later he rose to become the Executive Director of Cabotage and Maritime Labour Services of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Abebe attended the University of Nsukka, Enugu State, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Accounting. He also obtained his Master’s from London School of Economics, where he majored in Banking and Finance. He worked in several banking organisations within and outside Nigeria.
  Described, as a very good social mixer, Henry 
Beatrice and John Abebe's wife, Yemisi
Abebe was close to most of the notable Big Boys, who were his bosom friends. Prominent among some of his close friends are Chief James Ibori, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Henry Imasekha, Ebisan Rewane, Timi Alaibe, Hosa Okunbo, Tunde Ayeni. Ivor Ekpe, Dere Otubu, Feyi Bali, Lulu Enboifo, Tony Anenih Jnr., and many others.

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