BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN
ENENCHE Okogwu, the Channels Television journalist, slain in the line of duty last Friday in Kano, was unwavering in his love for the country as encapsulated in his facebook page.
“My love for Nigeria has been a compelling impetus charting the course of my life,” Okogwu wrote about himself in a remarkable phrase that was to underpin the circumstances of his death in the hands of the Boko Haram invaders.
“Courageous in the face of adversities, hopeful when confronted with despair and delighted when the society makes appreciable progress,” Okogwu added as a postscript in the introduction about himself.
The circumstance of his death in coming out to record for posterity the invasion of a group that is in the belief of many Nigerians an apparition would class him as a courageous journalist, who dared where only angels could.
Okogwu, 31, from Benue State, in his facebook page, made a sharp rebuttal to the proclamations of the Boko Haram group.
The group had at the beginning of this year asked all northerners and Christians to relocate from the North. Being from Benue State a northern state and though a Christian, Okogwu would have been trapped by the fatwa.
His favourite quote as proclaimed on his facebook page was a sharp rebuttal of the segregationist inclinations of the group.
“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are born equal, and that they are endowed by their creators with certain inalienable rights which include right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”
It was a quotation articulated by the fathers of United States independence, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Okogwu graduated in 2004 but joined Channels Television only three years ago in Abuja from where he was posted to Kano as the station’s correspondent.
A measure of his prolific reportage was reflected in his emergence as the winner of the Channel Television Chairman’s award for 2011.
Okogwu was an easy going young man, humble and respectful. His demise has been a source of grief to many, some of whom have taken their lamentations to his facebook page.
He made BSU proud — Oche Onu Okeson
Brother, schoolmate and fellow pressman, I can’t believe it happened. You died doing the thing you liked most. It might appear very short but it’s about fulfilling purpose. You hit the mark. You made your native land and the entire BSU proud. Anytime we heard your voice on air (though never again); we were and are proud of you. Rest in Peace till we meet again, broda.
My heart bleeds…..! Short a life you lived but I am happy you made your mark in your kind and humble nature. Adieu
I am crying right now. We chatted the other day. When I listened to him during the height of the strike palaver I was deeply worried for his safety. I couldn’t understand what he was still doing in Kano in spite of the dangerous goings-on there. I couldn’t just believe that they just snuffed out one of our bright lights like that. I am so sad. I am so weak. I am so cheerless.
Dear Enenche Akogwu, you were one of a kind. To many of us, you weren’t just a course mate…I called you Oyine and used to tease you about being an ardent front-bencher. You were the gentle one, always urging the class to listen to reason…I recall how people would struggle to stick to you when there was a group assignment…you are already missed and always will be…most importantly, you won’t be forgotten…say us well to Aworo Nwanwene…adieu, dear brother, colleague and friend!
Enenche my dear brother, you were the best of your generation. Nigeria does not deserve you. The story of your brutal death will be told by other journalists in tears and in a hopeless state of mind about a country which should give them protection. You were not only a good classmate at BSU but a true friend and brother to me. I will live to miss you. Rest in peace.
Eneche, you are one of a kind a true brother truly this country does not deserve you. I’ll truly miss you. Adieu till we meet to part no more.