By Melville Obriango
Pini, my very good friend, those of us you left behind in this wonderful, sinful and godless world are still grieving your demise 365 days after. It is unbelievable that a whole year has rolled by since death enveloped you. We will not see you or read your column on the pages of newspapers or hear your voice calling me “Enerable” again. All I am left of you is your book, “A Familiar Road”, and memories of your screaming philosophical words reminding me of what we should not have ordinarily known. Like a properly tuned acoustic percussion or guitar, your inspirational words and kind deeds echo in my mind.
Words are awfully inadequate to say all about you. I am only emboldened by the fact that we started our working life in the Department of Customs & Excise where I was privileged to see the beginning of your great writing prowess.
Pini, you were a special gift to humanity. I miss your very candid and frank opinions on nagging national and international issues. I am left only to imagination what your opinions would have been on issues like the ‘DSS attempted jail break’, ‘Immigration employment deaths’, ‘Sanusi and the Central Bank brohaha’, ‘the Ibadan ritual house of horror’, ‘defection of politicians from one party to another’, ‘Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa’, ‘National Conference’, ‘Oscar Pistorious trial in South Africa’ and ‘Boko-Haram insurgency’.
Your indepth analysis would have given an insight into these and many more national and international stories. See what you have done to the numerous devoted readers of your column. Like the Biblical Lazarus, at times, I wish you could come back and put pen on paper and let us know why you decided to leave us at this crucial time of our nationhood. Death that took you away should have known that you were husband to Oby; father to Amandi, Kelechi and Ozodi; and grandfather to Chisom and Chinezirim. Pini, to say we miss you is an understatement. For 365 days, your family has shed enough tears that would have brought you back were it possible. We are however consoled by the fact that you are resting in the bosom of the Almighty God. And we thank God that you were not silent. God bless your family. Rest in perfect peace my very good friend.