70th Birthday Tributes

70 years and 8 days ago, a phenomenal woman of unusual strength gave birth to a small sickly child (as we’ve been told you were quite sickly).  However, as though with a gift of great foresight, you were so aptly called Nimi meaning knowledge in our mother tongue.

Now, 70 years and 8 days later, here you are- Father of 5, Grand-father of 5, Emeritus Professor, Justice of the Peace, Officer-Order of the Niger, Knight of St Christopher, Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, Fellow of the International College of Surgeons (to mention a few); an astute academician, a stellar administrator, a remarkable mentor and most of all a son of the Most High God.  WOW!

I recently asked you if at 10 you had any inclination that from such paltry beginnings you could attain such heights as you are at today- your answer was a hearty laugh saying never in your wildest dreams.

With you I have seen how diligence, hard work, fairness, forthrightness and compassion, with a spirit of excellence has constantly taken you higher and higher. And with all this, deep and true humility as you unendingly bless and thank God for the waves of miracles and blessings that you have experienced and keep experiencing.

Over the years I have repeatedly marveled at your brilliant mastery of self-reinvention; how effortlessly and gracefully you do it with your ‘usual’ stamp of excellence. At 70, you remain vibrant and oh so relevant not just to me or our family but to an army of people all over the globe.

I definitely know that God loves me especially for blessing me with you as my father!!!

As is our standing joke (with me meaning every word of this) if God grants me another chance to come back to this earth, my number one condition would be having you as my father!

It has been and is my delight to have such an iconic man, with a humble soul, bold face, bursting charisma and charm, contagious intelligence and a lion heart gushing with such pure unbridled love as my father, my friend and my confidant!

At this all-important landmark in your life and in our lives as your family and friends, I celebrate you now and always….

Happy birthday my father, my ‘Fidus Achates’, my first-son!!!

I love you endlessly…..

Iyigime, daughter


Name: Dr Okeh Nwachuku 
Dear sir, for my generation of students  you epitomised all that was noble about our chosen profession. As Medical students, you put us right in the centre of the medical firmament in the Teaching hospital. I still remember your insistence on a Medical student scrubbing for every operation & cancelling such if the theatre staff could not or would not accommodate us. The same held sway at ward rounds and clinics where patients had to see us before anyone else. You reminded everyone it was called a “Teaching” hospital because of us!
You really made us walk tall & begin to recognise early the dignity and commitment our chosen path demanded.
As we are now scattered across the globe, those core qualities you imparted in us have held stead. Without doubt, your tribute is secure, inscribed in our hearts where it can never be erased.
As you commemorate the deserved milestone of 70 years, we wish you happy reflections and profound peace. More Blessings!!!

– Okeh Nwachuku 1990 set Uniport.
SA 5700 Australia.


Name: Linda Taiwo (nee Austin-Peters)
A very happy birthday to you sir. I remember my time at Port Harcourt medical school with fondness. O & G was tough but fun and Prof Briggs kept us on our toes.  You were so knowledgeable and current about women’s health issues that we could not fail to be interested. Thank you very much for all your hard work and even the hard words which drove us to pursue excellence.
May God continue to bless you sir. May the Lord give you more strength and many more years in good health. Happy birthday Prof Briggs!