Mann Abali was a United Kingdom trained practical Banker and Accountant that kept footprints in the sands of time in the Rivers State Public Service during the 1970s and early 2000s.
Mann Abali (1948-2014) hails from Otakeme community of Ogbia Local Government Area and Twon-Brass town of Brass Local Government Area all of Bayelsa state. He was a practical Banker par excellence with the Defunct Pan African Bank Limited from 1972 to 1993. Mann Abal as fondly called also contributed to the development of Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku in Rivers State as once management staff. He died in 2014 at the age of 66.
His Parents and Birth
Mann Abal’s father was Alabo Benjamin Nelson Abali-Shidi from Shidi Ama in Twon-brass and Otakeme communities all of Bayelsa state. His father was a renowned community Chief whose laudable deeds are veritable in Brass Island; he was a seasoned contractor with the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) from the early 70s till his demise in 2013.
His mother was Mrs. Caroline Abali (nee Aroh) a daughter of famous catechist Samuel Johnson Aroh (now late) of Otuogidi community in Ogbia kingdom and while her mother was Cameroon-Ama of Twon brass. Mrs Caroline Abali died in 1999 thereabout.
Mann was born in Ghana on 17 April, 1948 when his father had a stint with the Military (West African Frontier Forces). After his birth in Ghana, he lived with his maternal grandparents at Otuogidi village in southern Nigeria; his maternal grandfather Catechist Samuel Aroh was a light complexioned, 7 feet tall and good looking gentleman that worked for the missions (Anglican Church) and he instilled humility, Christlike living, temperance and what have you into Mann’s life. Mann drank profusely from Samuel Aroh’s due diligence, gentleness and retrospective solitudes.
Mann had his primary education at St. Michael’s school Oloibiri in Ogbia town from 1958 to 1963 and got his First School Leaving Certificate. He later proceeded to Mater Del High School in Imiringi town in the same Ogbia kingdom for his secondary education from 1965 to 1967. Then, he attended Baptist High School, Port Harcourt between 1969 and 1971. He wrote the General Certificate of Education Examination in 1972 and 1975 and passed the required subjects.
However, in 1982 Mann later went to the United Kingdom to further his education under the auspices of the Rivers State Government scholarship under late Chief Melford Okilo’s administration to study Banking and Business Financing at Liverpool Polytechnic and got a Higher National Diploma in Bank in 1984. Mann Abali did his National Youth Service Corps at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja from 30 August 1987 to 29 August 1988.
Subsequently, from 1988 to 1990 his quest for more knowledge took him to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University) to acquire a Law degree, but unfortunately he never completed the programme due to his promotion as Branch Manager (PAN AFRICAN BANK) at Omoku community in the then Ahoada Local Government Area now (Ogba/Egbama Local Government Area) of Rivers state.
He later enrolled and studied Financial Management at the National Open University for his post degree diploma in 2009. Finally, from 2010 to 2011 he was at the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Jos, Plateau state for the professional Accounting Certification programme and got his Membership/certification.
Mann had a wonderful and bitter working career. Firstly, Mann Abal worked with the Post and Telecoms (P&T) Nigeria after his secondary school-days in Port Harcourt. He later entered the banking profession as a Bank Clerk with the defunct Pan African Bank Limited in 1972 and he was promoted Supervisor Headquarters in 1974. Subsequently, he was promoted Branch Accountant in 1977 at Club Road Branch Port Harcourt.
As a qualified Banker after his sojourn in the United Kingdom, he was promoted Branch Manager from 1990 to 1993. Mann was a consummate and practical banker. He was the pioneer Omoku Branch Manager in 1990, his technical banking prowess and dexterity made Pan African Bank Limited the preferred bank in the Omoku community at the time.
Unfortunately, on 10 November, 1993 Mann Abal was relieved of his services with Pan African Bank Limited on the premise of staff rationalization. Mann’s designation was Assistant Manager when he left the Bank. However, much later Pan African Bank Limited went distressed and eventually liquidated.
Fortunately, on February 19, 1999, the Federal College of Education (Technical) Omoku, Rivers State employed Mann Abal as a Principal Accountant in the Bursary department of the institution. In 2002 he was promoted Assistant Chief Accountant and later he was promoted Chief Accountant in 2009. He was made Acting Bursar in 2010. From 2012, Mann Abal was the institution’s Deputy Bursar till his demise in 2014.
His Life after PAB
From 27 April 1972 to 10 December 1993 Mann Abal worked and contributed to the development of the defunct Pan African Bank Limited. When he was relieved of his job, it was really devastating for Mann and many of his colleagues that were laid off by Pan African Bank Limited. Some of his colleagues became incapacitated due to the trauma and while some even lost their lives due to frustrations.
However, during his services as Bank Manager at Omoku, he had some investment (business financing deals) transactions with some friends who never kept faith to the terms of their business and Mann was kept to his own fate.
Mann was a reserved and independent fellow, encouraged himself and took off his pride; out of Mann’s entitlement he got a taxicab for himself and went into the transportation business plying Port Harcourt and Omoku; he also had a dispatched vehicle (505 Peugeot) registered with presidential hotel just to make ends meet.
His Sojourn at FCET
Mann’s stint at FCET Omoku was impactful. He contributed to the development of the school. He was admired by his colleagues for his kindness, words of wisdom and professional disposition in handling banking related issues affecting the institution at the time.
In 2010, before leaving FCET as Acting Bursar for the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Jos, Plateau state for his accounting certification program, he presented the best Accounting Report a predecessor has ever presented to a successor in the College as confirmed by Bursary staff.
Most especially, he was a workaholic; he loved his job so much that he hardly missed going to work and he also had style from his outlooks, writings and verbal communication.
Mann was a member of the following professional bodies:
- Institute of Administrative Accountants of London (1985);
- Member, Institute of Bankers of London (1984);
- Member, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (2011)
Mann Abali’s Faith
In his early years, he was an Anglican due to his upbringing in an Anglican home. Mann was baptized and confirmed in the 1960’s. He later sought for God in many different places. Mann believed there is repercussion for every deeds here on earth and the afterlife.
He was married to Elder Patience Abali (nee Ekoni) an industrious trader and devoted Christian in 1976 and they had five children together. They got separated in 1996 and later He kept some other relationships, but never had children in those affairs; he found solace somewhat in the game of pool and watching football matches and moreover he was an avid reader. Mann lived a secluded life till his death.
- 48 Bende street Port Harcourt (His property)
- 12B Rex Lawson Street Borokiri Port Harcourt
- 1 Police Road Ikiri-Omoku (ONELGA) Rivers State
His last moments
Mann had glaucoma and this adversely affected his work and he was somewhat made redundant at his place of work. He, subsequently grappled with some family related matters that remotely affected his health greatly. On 27 February 2014, He went to work and slept in his office and never woke up till this day. It was reported, he had a cardiac arrest while resting in his office. He was interred at his maternal home town Otuogidi in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa state on 14 April 2014. He was 66 years old.
Mann will be remembered for his gentleness and uncanny way of reaching people and most especially unending words of wisdom.