When Bimbo Odukoya and those innocent children flying home from school, on holiday, died in a plane crash some years ago, I asked the same question and got no good answer. When people-loving Maria Sokenu died in the Bellview air crash in Lisa village, Ogun State, years back, I asked the same question but got no convincing answer.
Only recently, we lost Isaac Durojaiye alias Otunba Gadafi of the ‘Shit Business is Good Business’ fame, I posed the question too but got no good answer.
Now I have cause to ask the question again following the loss of 153 people in Dana aircraft that crashed in Agege area of Lagos mainland recently and I doubt if anyone can offer me an acceptable answer. One is pained because the crash has taken the lives of fine Nigerians who are robustly tangential to the growth of this country. One is pained, in particular, losing the likes of Ike Abugu, immediate past president and chairman of council of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Tosin Anibaba, a staff of FATE Foundation, Charles Ntuko and Chris Okocha, Fate Foundation volunteers. These are elite Nigerians growing the enterprise sector of our emerging economy, killed in their prime!
Tosin Anibaba was the Head of Business Alumni Support Services unit in FATE. She held a B.Sc in Economics from the University of Essex and an M.Sc in International Consulting & Accounting from the University of Reading. Chris Okocha was a senior partner and co-founder of Thotline Consulting. A FATE alumnus, and invaluable volunteer of FATE Foundation for eight years, he was awarded the FATE Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2011. Charles Ntuko was the CEO of Hitwew Limited and an invaluable volunteer of FATE Foundation. An amiable and hardworking entrepreneur, he assisted Small and Growing Business owners start up their businesses for many years.
Abugu who hailed from Enugu-Ezike in Enugu State held a Doctorate in Engineering (PhD) from Moscow Technological University of Steel and Alloys Moscow, Russia. Since after his return to Nigeria in 1993, he carved a vision of leveraging superior knowledge, appropriate technology and effective management and corporate governance skills to deliver consistently high quality services to the challenged sector of Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria. This he pursued vigorously using the Skyward Group, a company he incorporated on arrival to his father land, after long years of educational sojourn in Russia.
To give more impetus to his vision and raise the momentum of service delivery, he joined the founding fathers of NASME to establish the Association in 1996 and in 2005, he was elected the President and Chairman of Council. He used the NASME platform to consistently advocate for policies and programmes that will radically improve the fortunes of MSME operators and their businesses in Nigeria. His advocacy for the MSME sector was later embraced by the Government and by 2012 the sector has witnessed various government interventions and policies that has today placed MSMEs on the front burner at all fora.
His tenureship as the President of NASME brought dynamism, vigour and unprecedented awareness on the importance of MSME sector to the economic development of Nigeria. In dealing with the public and private sector in pursuit of the interest of Nigerian MSMEs, he employed the strategy of constructive engagement to shape positively the stakeholders opinion.
Why should Ike Abugu die now?
One Bill Hicks gave an answer two years ago. Hear him: ‘The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: Is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey - don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride...” But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus - murdered; Martin Luther King - murdered; Malcolm X - murdered; Gandhi - murdered; John Lennon - murdered; Reagan... wounded.
But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride.
Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.’
No. I am still not convinced. I will keep on asking the question: ‘Why do good people die?’