Friday, April 28, 2017 12:49 pm
By Emeka Okpara
I have been unable to take my eyes off this photo since last weekend. The image has done two, no three things, for me. One, it has reminded me of one of Nigeria’s best, a gentleman, a management expert, a boardroom guru, a humanist and a perfectionist. Two, it has reminded me of what we call “love in Tokyo”…you can imagine the quality of romance between the Darby & Jones! Then, thirdly, I’m here wondering that Mr. Onosode is truly gone and will not be seen again in person. Unbelievable!
A couple of times, Mr. Onosode invited me for breakfast. For a man his age then, he’d be up and about in his usual shorts and polo shirt, looking trim and fit, organizing breakfast. And I’ll ask him: “What of Mummy?” He’d be like “don’t mind that “wicked” woman…she’s waiting for me to finish and she’ll come down to balance and eat.” And he won’t as much as break a smile. Poor me, I’ll be rolling on the floor with laughter knowing he didn’t mean it literally. Very funny old man!
Baba was a quintessential family man. There are times you’d see him playing the piano with his grandchildren. He loved music, especially classical music. Nothing, he said, must come between a man and his family. He’d warn me never to allow the demands of my job, especially the travels, to have a negative impact on my family. Make the time for the family, he’d always say. Once I checked him into a suite at the Hilton, Abuja, and he said to me “Emeka, why didn’t you tell me you were going to rent a whole house for me? I would have brought my wife along. This is too big for one man, an old man like me.” The old man loved his wife hopelessly. Chai!
I’ve taken liberty of the fact that Mummy is not on Facebook to share this photo knowing how emotional it could make her feel. May God continue to be her strength and comforter. For Mr. Onosode, if our good deeds are all that’s required to make it to heaven, he, therefore, is definitely in a good place. May almighty God forgive him whatever imperfections he might have had as a mortal and grant him paradise. He was a good man.
Rest In Peace, Chairman of Chairmen.