Adieu,Ogbonna David Eze By Emenike Ubani



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On a dull morning in July 2010, I emerged from the general office of  the Mass Communication Department, (University of Nigeria) Nsukka and walked towards the venue  selected as the PG class to see Opene Nkiru Favour who was the assistant  course representative of the 2009/2010 Post Graduate class. I had spoken  to her earlier on phone. As a new person in the department, I wanted to  meet and become acquainted with my prospective course mates. When I  eventually met her, a young man accompanied her.Nkiru introduced  us; I was impressed by his geniality and his charm. His face looked  familiar, I pointed that out to him, and he admitted that he was  thinking along the same line. We started to trace where we could have  met before.

As our discussion progressed, we discovered that it was  during our service to the nation (NYSC). We both served in the same  state and same batch. The point of contact was therefore during the  three weeks orientation camp. When I told him that I was Ngwa and from  Aba in Abia State (that was at the height of the kidnapping siege by  bandits in the state).He threw banters at me that he hoped I was not  there to kidnap him. That was the kind of person he was. Always armed  with a joke or prank up his sleeve. And it sometimes got him into  trouble when some people took exception to some of his jokes.

His  name was Ogbonna David Eze Ignatius a.k.a Dj Excel. Dj was a tall  handsome young man. He was fair, bearded, and well built. He had a frame  that would make any girl swoon. He was what every young girl would call  her dream man. Dj had charisma. He always held his friends captivated  by his precise diction, cadence and vocabulary.  Dj as he was  popularly known was someone you would stay with and forget the passage  of time because there was never a dull moment with him. I never saw him  quarrel with anybody for the three academic sessions we spent on the  programme. That is not to say that he was without blemish. No human being is perfect. As a mortal, he also had his flaws but his good sides  definitely eclipsed any bad side of him. Dj was an intelligent fellow.

While others were busy making notes during lecture hours. Dj would not  write. However, ask him any question, he would answer correctly with  amazing clarity. He would argue out his own opinions on academic issues  convincingly. This earned him the SOBRIQUET of media terrorist by one of  our lecturers. He also had an aphorism, which was “ I LOVE ACADEMICS”.  It was no surprise that he made second-class upper and received awards  in his degree programme in the same department. His brilliance also  endeared him to his lecturers whom he ran errands for.

He was from  Admabia Umakashi in Nsukka local government of Enugu State. He was the sixth child in a family of ten.

After his youth service in 2009 and due  to the dearth of jobs in a country so rich but being ruined by  incompetent leaders who mismanage the resources of the people,he  returned to his alma mater for his postgraduate studies. While there he  kept applying and sending CVs to several institutions but did not get  favoured until he died due to the unfortunate situation in the country  where jobs are no longer gotten on merit. He was a peacemaker. I  remember vividly a little dispute between me and a student from the  north that he helped us resolve amicably.That was the sort of person he  was. He had a charismatic personality that made people listen to him.

The ladies loved him and of course he was simply a likeable fellow. He  had a small private bike that he used. He called it his HUMMER. The hummer was used in lifting any of his course mates who happened to be  going through his route at the end of the day in school. And trust the

ladies, some of them made maximum use of this generosity. Ladies always  like FREEBIES. They only had to ask him and he would whisk them to their  destination.

 

On the 3rd week of July this year, I went to Nsukka  for an assignment and we met unexpectedly at the entrance to the  department. It was a good reunion. The usual jokes and banters were

exchanged. We chatted about our immediate concerns, which were the delay  in the processing of our results, the unemployment situation in the  country and his efforts to offset his remaining fees. In the process, we  went into the office of a senior lecturer that I wanted to see. There  he also enlivened the atmosphere and had us laughing while he went to deliver a purchase he made for another senior lecturer who sent him on  an errand. I concluded what I came for and left the school two days  later.

I was in a sober mood some days later (on the evening of the  30th), when my phone rang and it was Endwell on the line. We had not  spoken for quite a while and I was expecting her to upbraid me for the  shortfall in communication. Without further ado, she asked .Have you heard? I asked, heard what? I was actually expecting it to do with some  information from the department. But alas, it was something that would  spoil my evening. She threw the bombshell. Dj is dead. I was shocked! I  could only lament repeatedly, is it the same Dj I was with few days ago?

 

I tried Dj’s line but it was not going through. I still though it was a  cruel joke but several days later, the reality that he was no more  dawned on me. As a result of apparent paucity of help from his immediate  environment and no offer coming from the places he applied to for  employment. Dj obtained a bike to carry passengers in Nsukka. Dj had to  settle for the okada business TEMPORARILY to keep body and soul together  and probably pay up his fees. We cannot question the choice he made  because I am sure he must have exhausted other options available to him.

I am also sure that he may have looked for funds to start a business or  approached people for certain favours and met unfavourable responses.  This is probably true because the bike was obtained through a hire  purchase system which he eventually finished paying for before his death  (this much he confided to another good friend of mine). He was very  close to that friend. He simply wanted to survive and he was not ashamed  to hustle.

According to the information available to me, Dj had an  accident on the 29th of July. A driver who was trying to avoid a dog  that dashed suddenly in the road between Odenigbo roundabout and St.  Paul’s Anglican Church slammed into Dj who was on his bike that fateful  Sunday evening. The dog excaped unhurt while Dj became the victim. He  was rushed to the Bishop Shanaham Hospital in Nsukka where they did  their best to stabilize his health and transferred him to the University  of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu where he gave up the next day.

One of my friends  will always say this “something must definitely kill a  man”. That something led to Dj’s untimely departure from Earth.

Life  is indeed a big puzzle and we sometimes wonder why certain things  happen. And as Ian Mackenzie would say “whatever you do, life is a mystery and is going to remain a mystery”. Another philosopher Cheechls  Chong aligns with the above quote with the following “I believe that the world is full of things we cannot perceive and may never understand or  even acknowledge them”. However, out of dust, we came and back to dust we shall go back at the appointed time. It is therefore certain that we  will all die one day no matter how much we dread the idea of it actually occurring. At a certain point in our stay on earth, death is a welcome

and inevitable end. Someday in the future, someone would definitely  write our epitaph. The Holy Bible in Ecclesiastes 3.2 summarizes it all.

Be it as it may, Dj never had an opportunity to reap from the fruits of  his labour. Neither did his family. Nevertheless, His death at 33 years  of age was a sad and painful end of a promising young man. He was  buried on the 10th of August  but I know his fond memories will linger

in the minds of friends,relatives and family until the end of time. We  pray that god grants him repose in his bosom. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

 


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