By uche Mbah
It is a truism that many people only think of death when it is at their doorsteps, when a close relative, colleague and acquaintance passes on. Sometimes we react out of shock, with the realization that there is an element of vanity in life, vanity that makes morbid materialism an empty striving after the wind. The death of Chibuike Osuji, a friend and colleague, has sent those of us at The Source Magazine into reflections on the vanity of Life.
When 52 year old Chibuike joined The Source several years ago, he immediately distinguished himself as a go getter. If there is any legwork, any investigations to do, the Avuvu, Ikeduru local government area of Imo state born Chibuike is on hand to do it. He was the best investigative Journalist we had. Crime was his beat, and he covered the beat with gusto. So many breaking news were credited to him, and he had a very cordial working relationship with his colleagues at Crime reporters Association of Nigeria, CRAN.
A typical example of the Chibuike spirit was an investigative report he did on children being used by unscrupulous elements for begging; handicapped and orphaned children, and how a particular Non governmental organization has been doing all that is possible to help rehabilitate the children. The Source carried the story as part of a Cover. The story exposed the owner of the NGO who, prior to that period, was being hounded for kidnap of children. A governor of one of the eastern states took notice of her activities through The Source and offered her a job as a Special Adviser.
Such is the kind of impact Chibuike had on his environment. He has helped many people around him, people who depend on him when the going was good. And these are total strangers.
Before joining The Source, Chibuike had a stint at Television reporting, where he worked under the late spokesperson of the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation, NNPC, Livy Ajuonuma. He later moved to Abuja as the Personal Assistant to, again, late senator Cosmos Nyiagwam, who was once the sole Administrator for the liquidation of National Shipping Line. Chibuike met Nyiagwam when he interviewed him for NTA, and the Captain was taken in by his amiable and loyal nature. When he won his senatorial seat, he remembered to immediately call on Chibuike to resume as a Personal Assistant. He was on the verge of becoming the governor of Plateau state when he died. After some period of hiatus, Chibuike joined the Source.
Chibuike passed on after a protracted illness, which he went through in controversial circumstances. Finally, when the call came, he had no choice but to answer.
As the service of songs is being held today, his colleagues at the source, who has been thrown into mourning, have no option than to accept the fact that he is truly gone-a sad reminder that we all must pass through the same route. The argument on whether there is life after death, where we go after –for those who believe there is-and what happens now becomes reality to him. Adiu, Chibuike Newman Osuji