We lost Prof David Adesegun ADERIBIGBE
Born September 29, 1951
Died September 24, 2019
Buried November 29, 2019
Segun, I would have sent this as a birthday message to your Facebook messenger inbox once Facebook advised me that today was your birthday. But as it is, you cannot read this, a totally different message.
A few days ago someone replied to me from your phone to say “SEGUN IS NO MORE” when my regular WhatsApp broadcast hit your phone. That was two days after you had reportedly passed but truth was, I was still in doubt about the reality of your demise. I kept hoping to wake up from a nasty dream.
‘Segun in my house July 14, 2019
You were in my house in July to celebrate my 70th birthday and we both discussed our common disregard for ‘ceremonising’ birthdays and how I found myself doing the unusual that day, hosting a large crowd among which you, even you, counted. I tossed you into discussing your birth-date and you said ‘Facebook will tell you on that day’ and you quickly switched over to discussing other development issues and our role in that.
‘Omo Dead-Easy‘ which was what I called you in our undergraduate days in the Faculty. ‘Dead-Easy’, for those who may not know, was our sobriquet for Prof Ayodele Awojobi who, apart from being your supervisor was, I was implying, the only person I admitted was more brilliant than you. Of course, that was arguable but it was my way of doing my dry jokes when in the midst of those of us who tagged ourselves as ‘Awojobi Boys’.
You went ahead to become a colossus in, and very passionate about, national development issues, albeit un-assumedly. Indeed, you were the only non-electrical engineer who counted along in our team of trenchers when we engaged Government of those days on the issues of liberalising our telecommunications industry which was eventually put to bed by the establishment of the Nigerian Communications Commission in 1993.
You and others took on Government on a similar turf in national steel development and being your expert discipline, you put all your intellectual gift into it. Up till you breathed your last, you were still on that beat and the on-going work of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, where you and I now play, is using your input as a lead paper in this effort.
Segun, you are a super academic. Oh yes, the Nation boasts of many like you, but you are a giant among those in my generation.
You and I already agreed that the matter of living and dieing is so esoteric a subject that discussing it can only be an academic exercise. That does not stop me from still asking : whose interest does death serve?
Good night ‘SEGUN.