With the Corona virus pandemic ravaging every part of the world including Nigeria and many high profile individuals testing positive, the backlash is becoming grim and no one is taking it lightly. Across the globe, hundreds of celebrities and notable figures are becoming victims —some already dead while others are quarantined and in isolation. Amid this was the negative insinuation swirling around the person of Nigerian billionaire property mogul, Sir Olu Okeowo, who was mentioned in the web of stories about the pandemic.
From last weekend, unverified reports surfaced across various social media platforms alleging that three high end Nigerians who attended the 80th birthday party of Ambassador George Olusola Oguntade, Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, held in London penultimate week, have died of the Corona virus. The rumour mongers were suggesting that Okeowo and many other dignitaries at the party, might probably be carrying the deadly virus and they have refused to go for test as well as be on self-isolation, and then put other people at risk. However, the bubbling socialite cum businessman didn’t take it lightly as he was said to be so livid with those spreading the rumour.
One of his friends who checked on him told this writer that the terribly riled Chairman of Gibraltar Construction, said he was alive and very healthy with no symptom of any ailment talkless of Covid-19. Okeowo said he has not been infected nor any member of his immediate family, adding that the rumours are handiwork of enemies who obviously are not happy with his personal success as well the honour they accorded the celebrant (Ambassador Oguntade) who is a respected jurist. “Come on, today (Tuesday) is Day 14. Nigerians should stop practicing PHD (Simply known as Pull Him Down). Corona virus is a viral infection and not a stigma. We shall overcome but I pray that those who incite hatred will be accorded the prayers of Psalm 35 and go down immediately as God moves powerfully around the world. Enough of pulling people down, rather we should question ourselves on why there are not enough hospitals or food banks to help the poor despite the large numbers of religious bodies who solicit funds immorally around and the power by each and every one of us to do good,” Okeowo said.
According to the businessman, who prayed to almighty God to heal everyone that have been infected by the Covid-19 including President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, anyone who wants to live to be 80, should not put any Octogenarian in derision. To show his irritation to the wicked rumour and its purveyors, Okeowo expressed support for the social media bill which he said Nigeria needed urgently. “I was at the (birthday) occasion and gladly played the organ to celebrate an old friend who has been there for me forever.
I am alive and so my wife and son. Enough of our dark hearts, you will reap what you sow. I can’t wait for the social media bill to be passed as we need it urgently. Instead, these people should please help build hospitals and set up food banks or shut up their mouths,” he said as a parting shot to those he claimed are spreading the wicked rumour about his person and that of Ambassador Oguntade.
It will be recalled that on March 11, over 300 esteemed guests converged inside luxurious Park Lane Hilton, London to celebrate Ambassador Oguntade, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who turned 80. The roll call at the party read of who-is-who in the Nigerian high society. They were treated endlessly to different sumptuous gourmet dishes and washed with exotic drinks. Aside Okeowo, other luminaries who flew in from every corner of the world for the bash included Governor Dapo Abiodun, Chief Rasaq Okoya, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Chief Kessington Adebutu, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, John Momoh, Bola Shagaya, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Folorunsho Alakija, Dr. Wale Babalakin, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, Erelu Dosunmu, Nike Osinowo, Senator Lanre Tejuosho, Nkiru Anumudu, Dele Momodu and many others. The magnificent and exclusive party lasted well into the early hours of the following day as the guests danced to the beat of much celebrated Chief Ebenezer Obey who was specially flown in for the bash.