It took me time to pen this down despite having the full article written in my heart. I wanted to be sure, I wanted to be double sure, I really wanted to be so sure that I want to do this.
When I first gained admission to study Mass Communication I was so happy, so also a lot and definitely each and everyone that gained admission that year. The class was always filled to the brim, but before long class got reduced to a relatively manageable size because a good number of those that gained admission couldn’t meet up with school fees deadline and had to go back home.
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I already made friends with a lot of people, I was also popular so if I don’t know you, you must know me (except you don’t come to school regularly). Well, I wasn’t the only one like that, we had a few other students like that who were so friendly and popular. Sade (not her real name) was one of such students. However, when the school fees hullabaloo began, she left school without bidding her distant friends farewell, I was sure to be one of those distant friends.
Sincerely, it took a long while before I knew Sade wasn’t coming to school again.
After our year one, we all embarked on our first phase of internship (SIWES, a four months industrial training program). I was blessed to have gotten a placement at Radio Lagos/Eko F.M, Agidingbi road. Myself and some other interns were placed on permanent night shift which we usually resume by 5pm and close 10pm (I enjoyed the moment o, it was so much fun).
One beautiful night, on my way home, I was approaching Shoprite when I heard Sade’s voice (she didn’t see me) she was walking with her friend on the opposite direction when I sited here, I was so happy that I rushed towards her, picked her up with a hug and rolled her three times before dropping her, after dropping her I still didn’t leave her, I jumped up and I landed on her feet breaking her right big toe, Sade screamed in pain and by the time I looked at her face, the tears were just pouring out profusely.
I have just seen an old friend, but due to too much excitement I have hurt her and we can’t even catch up on old times. The little time we spent together that night, we were trying to see if we could get a first-aid method that will reduce the blood pouring out of the badly broken toe. When we finally said goodbye that day, she couldn’t wear her sandals on those feet and I left very sadly. I just hurt an old friend.
Just last week, I was at the NYSC secretariat when I opened my social media and saw a repeat of such hurt, but this time, the hurt wasn’t minimal, it claimed the life of the old friend.
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Tolulope Arotile, the first female combat helicopter pilot in Nigeria was knocked down by an old friend who was excited to see her again and was also not willing to miss an opportunity to speak with her. She was knocked down and ran over with the car (so sad).
Since then a lot of Nigerians have called for further investigation into the cause of her death; a lot of people feels NAF is hiding something, some says there is more to her death, opinions are running and various conspiracy theories flying here and there (as far as I am concerned, the only thing extraordinaire about that death is spiritual)
Tolu’s friend (the alleged killer) will be charged with manslaughter and may likely spend the next seven years (or more) of his life behind bars. The Joy of seeing an old friend again has just been truncated, turning to eternal sorrow. I am sure even if he has to spend the rest of his life behind bars, he will always have a replay of the event in his memory and will wish he could turn back the hand of time to undo what has been done.
While I commiserate with the Arotiles, NAF, the Oduduwa descendants, the people of Kogi state, the entire youth of Nigeria and of course, Nigeria, I want to advise that whenever we are meeting or we meet an old friend, let jubilation be minimal, control the adrenaline to overreact or over jubilate. I send you into the world with the adage “ayo npa eniyan (joy kills)”. Let it sink, write it on your heart so that Joy won’t turn to sorrow.
This is an Olamide Onabanjo's narration.