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Ajayi’s death of saddening irony

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IT is no longer bizarre that death, as Christopher Pike once said, never comes at the right and expected time, despite what mortals believe. Rather, it always comes like a thief.

This age-long maxim has again attained a vindication, given the recent news of one of Nigeria’s most vilified deaths in 2018 – the death of the Anambra State Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr. Sunday Michael Ajayi in a road accident. This is unarguably not quite far from similar hideous situations where a medical director is murdered by malaria or where an EFCC Boss is swindled of his lifetime assets by Yahoo boys.

Indeed, the worst form of death is one which the victim used his lifetime to fight against, even for his lifetime enemy. And this is the type of death that has truncated Ajayi’s life journey.

In Nigeria, road accident has been a recurring situation and one of the most life-truncating shortcuts that has swallowed up innocent lives of many Nigerians.

It is in a bid to be an elixir to this life-threatening challenge which sleeps and wakes up with human heads on daily basis, that patriotic men like Sunday Michael Ajayi joined the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Ever since Ajayi joined the Corps, he did not only show unremitting efforts and commitment in promoting safety of the road users, but also recorded some rare but great feats in the discharge of his duties and in helping the corps achieve its prime goal of reducing road mishaps, which welcomed his promotion to the post of a Sector Commander in the corps.

Sunday Michael Ajayi, who was born in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, over 50 years ago, joined the corps in his early age with the prime intent to serve his father land and save the public from the risks and dangers of road mishaps.

Earlier before being posted to Anambra State as a Sector Commander, Mr. Ajayi served in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Command as the Head of Operation and Ondo State Command as the Head of Operation, each of where he recorded humongous achievements. In 2014, Ajayi was posted to Anambra State as the state’s sector commander, replacing the former, Mr. Hyginus Uchenna Omeje, who was then redeployed to Lagos State.

Within a couple of years he rooted in, the safety guru recorded great achievements in the state, ranging from building public confidence in the Corps, to safety education and innovations that have helped avert many road mishaps and perils.

In fact, all Ajayi’s effort was focused on promoting safety of the motoring public and other road users whose lives are surrounded by road dangers and risks on daily basis. He never wished anybody’s blood should spill on the highways, not even that of his enemies or the reckless drivers; and this he initiated several measures to achieve.

Among all these laudable feats accomplished by the dexterous commander, he championed several safety campaigns as FRSC Commander in Anambra State and brought to its lowest rate, the incidence of road mishaps in the state since the  history of the state. In a bid to minimize the road accidents in this yuletide period, Ajayi had launched various measures and flagged off safety campaigns in different cities across the state. The last of these flag offs was the one he championed at Nnewi on Friday, December 14, after he participated in the 2018 FRSC Football Competition, which took place that same day at the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), Awka, where he also handed over prizes to the players and the winning teams in the competition.

Shockingly, and as nature may have it, the following day (Saturday, 15th December) after these two official appearances, Ajayi, who had devoted all his lifetime in waging war against road accident ruefully lost his dear life in road accident in Asaba, Delta State, on his way coming back from his home state, Kwara, where he attended a relative’s wedding.

Ajayi, whose car was said to had been hit from behind by another bus, was pronounced dead in a hospital where he was rushed, and his driver, a senior Marshall, Mr. Raji, who was also rushed to the same hospital was said to have sustained few injuries, and was then receiving treatment.

This highly vilified form of death indeed presents an irony of life, in which what one used his lifetime to prevent (even for his lifetime enemies) eventually hit and axed off his own life in a more lamentable way.

This indeed could be rated as one of the most deplorable and pathetic deaths in 2018, as it has continued to elicit condemnations, lamentations and tributes from concerned Nigerians who were individually marveled to the marrow on hearing the ugly news.

Reacting to the death which he termed ‘a heavy blow to the state’, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, described Mr. Ajayi as a “hard-working and a gentleman who was passionate about his job, gave his country his very best and left an indelible mark in the state with his palpable enthusiasm and commitment to duty.”

Several other concerned citizens who recently visited the FRSC Headquarter to sign the condolence register have also poured their tributes and bared their minds on Ajayi’s death, among who are: Mr Isyaku, Yusuf, the State Director of Department of State Services (DSS),Mr Dele Momodu, the Director of NDLEA in Anambra, Mr Kehinde Aremu, Director, NYSC in Anambra, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, Resident Commissioner of INEC in Anambra, Dr Dave Ugonna, Chairman of Heads of Federal Establishments and Parastatals Forum in Anambra,Mr Kehinde Adeleye, Zonal Commanding Officer (ZCO), RS5 Benin.

In an interview with National Light, the Head of Administration and Human Resource Management of the FRSC in Anambra State, highlighted some of the great achievements recorded in the state by the road safety guru.

Notwithstanding how rueful and shocking this may be and whatever sorrow this may have posed, Ajayi’s death is a message to the living, and has both didactic and demanding pages that came with it. Only the wise would understand and utilize the message while the others would assume it was merely a passage.

However, in every reaction, the most wishful prayer of every well-meaning mortal for this great hero should be: “May the soul of Sunday Michael Ajayi repose peacefully in the bossom of the Almighty, Amen”.

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