The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a severe blow to many ceremonies and occasions billed as talk-of-the-town events. The directive of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has restricted the gathering of not more than 20 people during such events. And for many dignitaries and regular Nigerians as well, they have been forced to host protocol-compliant celebrations. For the family of late business magnate and founder of Naira Group of Companies, Chief Ezekiel Agbolade Modupe Badero, it would have been gold and glitters, excitement and exhilaration last Saturday July 11 when it clocked 10 years their billionaire magnate patriarch died. But alas, it was a subdued and solemn memorial affair for the extended Badero family owing to the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Not to allow the day just go unnoticed, one of the late businessman’s widows, Adetutu Badero, took to her various social media platforms to eulogise her beloved husband. “…Just like yesterday. Today the 11th July 2020 makes the 10th year that my dear husband, Chief Ezekiel Agbolade Omo Badero departed from this sinful world. As the proverb says, Iku Mu Olododo Lo Siwaju Ojo Ibi. We love you but God loves you more. I and my children particularly miss you. Nobody can occupy your space than Almighty God. There has been nobody but God since your departure. But we all give thanks to Almighty God that has been there for us…” A fixture of the Nigerian party scene throughout the 1980s and 2000s, Chief Badero was known for his very popular pools betting brand, Naira Pools. He died in one of his London mansions on July 11, 2010 at the age of 71. It was reliably gathered then that the betting magnate woke up around 4 a.m of that unfortunate day to complain of acute chest pains to one of his wives and some of his children who were with him. They battled frantically to soothe his pains while awaiting the arrival of a doctor they had called on the phone. But before the arrival of the doctor, the top socialite passed on.
The deceased —who had shut down his hometown of Ijebu-Igbo on Sunday 27 September 2009 to celebrate elaborately his 70th birthday— was said to have acted like someone who had a premonition of his death. Badero, a few months after the high-octane 70th birthday party, had embarked on the tour of all the countries where his children were based, visiting them one after the other.