By Henry Akubuiro
When a revered figure passes on, poets are wont to remind all of the halcyon days with captivating yet lacrimal verses. Of course, Calpurnia, the wife of Julius Caesar once said, “When beggars die there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”
Nath Olusegun Ajayi, a prominent member of the famous Tripartite Group of the King’s College (1958,59 & 60 sets), Lagos, a contemporary of the President of Nigerian Folklore Society, Dr. Bukar Usman, has left this world, aged 75.
The sad incident, which happened on June 20, 2021, has compelled his colleagues to invent eulogies and elegies in his memory.
Busuyi Onabolu, described late Ajayi as “a true Kingsman” and a good man,” while Major-General (rtd) Ishola-Williams said the late colleague “was always encouraging him to do his best”. For Pastor Wole Balogun, it was a painful loss.
Dr. Ayo Kekere-Ekun said “he was a true friend to all”. In his reaction, Ladi Williams (SAN) lamented thus, “Yet another shock. He was a very pleasant man. He will be missed.” One of the late man’s virtues was keeping in touch regularly with his colleagues. Charles Utti attested to that, “I will miss the regular calls and messages from Nat —one tireless Kingsman who made it a duty to call all of us to ask after our health… The Lord has called, and he answered.”
Sen. Dipo Odujinrin, who described Ajayi as a humane person, prayed for his peaceful repose. For Professor Adele Jinadu, Ajayi’s death was a “terrible grievous loss”, and he was “always in touch and in a caring and kind manner.”
Dr Cosmas Ihekuna saw him as a warm sincere friend who said things as they were, eulogising him as a beautiful soul. Oladele Oluwadiya was also saddened by the demise of “Ajasco” who distinguished himself in many games as a student.
Jaiye Fawale reiterated that Ajayi was a true Kingsman who spent his resources to check for the wellbeing of his schoolmates. Other members of the Tripartite Group who eulogised the deceased included Eviano Achokobe, David Johnson, Victor Mbamalu and Jaiye Fawale.
A tribute by the King’s College Independence set, his real set, said that Ajayi was distinguished right from his first week at King’s College, because he came into the school on full Federal Scholarship, being one of the best four students at the National Common Entrance Exam and “he was brilliant, friendly and fun to be around.”
Born on Monday, December 16th, 1946, the deceased became a Golden Ingot in 1960, thriving in academics and sports. He was a member of the King’s College team that won the Principals Cup in 1964. He was greatly loved for his courage, honesty, integrity, and dedication for community services. Funeral services will take place on Friday, July 9, 2021, at St Peter’s Church, Faji 1&3, Ajele Street, off Broad Street, Lagos Island.