Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tribute To Stephen Ogunnaike!

The Gardener asked,
"Who plucked this flower"?
"It is I" said the Lord.
And the gardener held his peace.

Everything God made is good except one thing and that is death. Human beings are beautiful and life is also very beautiful and enjoyable. Man is very courageous and unafraid to undertake any venture no matter how risky it is. Man has been to the moon and back. He dared to fly aeroplane and not being satisfied he built submarine, computer and think of them. Man has simply undertaken any venture that is conceivable by human mind.

Man is able to draw maps and navigate the whole world. He is able to detect criminals using advanced forensic science. He is able to speak many languages and perform wonders. Man has even performed miracles, invented life through a test-tube and demolished same life using nuclear bombs. Man is good as exemplified by the good deeds he has done and could also be very wicked. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are testimonies to that as well as lies told to invade Iraq and wanton destructions of life and properties in Gaza.

Man is simply unfathomable. He is unpredictable. He is a genius and has done numerous things he himself cannot believe. However despite all these one thing regrettably eludes human comprehension. The answer to why humans are not immortal is still a hard nut that has defied human cracking. Man has lost dear and beloved ones they would not have ordinarily let go if they have the means and wherewithal to stop them from going. Parents. sisters, brothers, friends, classmates, loved ones, name them have all succumbed to this mystery called death leaving the victims of the deceased ones in a complete disaster, pain and agony.

It was exactly in the same situation that I found myself couple of weeks ago, When I got the bad news of the sudden death of a good friend. I was simply speechless and even while am still writing this, am yet to come to the fact that Stephen Ogunnaike is dead. It came just like a flash and he is gone and gone forever.

Stephen just like every other day woke up and did his normal daily chores and actually ended his day by going out with friends to club. On coming back from the club, he had time to discuss with his neighbours as usual before retiring to his bed. While asleep, Stephen gave up the spirit peacefully only to be discovered dead by same neighbours couple of days later.

Stephen is a very nice young man. My acquaintance with him has not been too long just about few months but Stephen was able in those few months to prove to me that he is not just a friend but a brother. In this era of information technology we nurtured our friendship using the yahoo messenger, HI5 and the face book. No day passes without him either sending me message, a mail, a text or even calling my computer. I was really impressed with the openness of heart with which Stephen accepted me as a friend despite the fact that we are of different ethnic groups, though from the same country.

Stephen is a Yoruba and am an Igbo but then people thought we are from the same family. He is simply a man who spent his short life on earth going about and doing good. Stephen's weakness lies in his inability to say no to people and that is why his short life on earth was spent being and doing good to others. He was a light to people around him. An introvert by nature, Stephen hardly talks. He is slow to anger and carries himself with gentility and every aura of goodness.

It is therefore a shame that death will have the audacity, the effrontery and the gut to knock on the door of this young man, who owes nobody any iota of debt of wickedness and injustice. Shame to death and a big shame to untimely death. Death never conquered Stephen because Stephen died doing what he liked doing best, going about doing good. Stephen is a man of substance and people like him are not dressed in gold. Just scratch him and you will know he is made of gold.

Even though as friends, well wishers, brothers, sisters, families and men and women of good will, we mourn his untimely death, we are also grateful to God that Stephen did not die in a painful way. He simply died in his sleep peacefully. He never faced the agony of dying from fire, road accident, plane crash, drowning, stabbing, ship wreck or suicide. He simply died in his sleep peacefully. We thank God for his life and will never stop holding death responsible for taking him away from us so soon like a candle wickedly exposed to fiery and furious wind. Shame to death. Death, you have not conquered Stephen for he is resting now in the bosom of the Lord.

Oh death show me thy victory! Oh death show me thy sting! Oh death show me thy power! They are no more for Stephen conquered you. He is now gone to a place of eternal rest where there is no more sorrow nor pains. Death he is in a place where he will never pay any rent or tax again. He is now in a place where he will never worry again about loading his oyster card, paying his bills or wondering of what to eat or drink. He is simply resting in perfect and eternal peace.

Stephen we miss you. We love you so much. We cherish you. You are the apple of our eyes. We are missing you dearly and just wondering when we are ever gonna be able to fill this void you left in our lives. Our life is completely empty without you Stephen and nobody can ever take your place because you are simply unique. You are a genius Stephen and right now with my eyes flooding with tears am finding it very difficult to get nice adjectives to qualify you. You are simply good and everything about you oozes with aura of goodness.

Stephen, I wish you are here to watch the sky sports you loved so much. How about the football that gives you a sleepless night Stephen. How about the nice foods you cook all the time. How about your Ewedu and Amala. Stephen you are simply Stephen and nothing else and nobody else will ever take your place. Though the state is not mourning you, we want you to be aware that we your friends, family and good wishers including the comets in the sky are blazing forth your death.

Stephen we are not questioning why you left for we know that whatever happened was beyond your control. However we are consoled by the fact that you are now resting in peace while our suffering and struggles for nothing continues here. The credit crunch is biting us so unmercifully now and we are full of gratitude to God that you are no more here to be part of this suffering. Today would have been your birthday but what a shame that am celebrating both your birth and death at same time. Wherever you are, have a happy birthday for your death is a birth to a new life.

God has simply taken you to the better place of eternal rest and great be the name of the Lord, now and forever till we see to part no more.

Stephen Ogunnaike requiem aeternam dona ea Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ea. Requiescat in pace, Amen.

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