After hitting me with the news of two passages in two weeks, Dr. Isa Momoh, in the company of Pastor Pat Enilama, appealed to me not to block his next telephone call. For he was not a conveyor of “bad” news, but merely carrying out his job as the Secretary of our 1974/77 mass communications class at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
One of our colleagues, Chris Obiefuna, bowed to prostate cancer. The other, IK Emengwali, signed out as it were after about six years of tormenting Alzheimer’s disease. This is a condition in which heavy metals and, often aluminum, damages the brain by diminishing blood circulation in it. The sufferer often experiences such memory loss as may make him or her not remember even his or her name, and to stare blankly at people.
It was painful news. IK was an intelligent University undergraduate and, later lecturer, at the Lagos Business School (LBS). When after our degree examinations in 1977, the news flew that he had narrowly missed first class, it was obvious those of us who also dreamed of it were only day dreaming. I have adviced Dr. Momoh not to feel bad about being the conveyor of the news of the passages. After all, the earth it not our home.
We should learn also from the pit falls encountered by those who leave before us to gird our loins, so that we do not, inadvertently, shorten our sojourn here. And that is the purpose of this weekly column. I will remember with fondness, as I believe our other classmates will, the beautiful time we were all privileged to experience together in that 1974/77 class.