As Engr Emmanuel OLUwafemi AWOYINFA goes to soil today I bow my head and pay due tribute to one of the notable practioners who lived and died using their professions to serve humanity.
Oga Olu Awoyinfa had another unique credit to his own service record though. He preached and lived PEACE, he spread GOODWILL and did HUMOUR that was completely harmless to all genre of humans.
A man known for doing all the LEGWORK once it counted for service to the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Early in January 1993, he had made his way to my office at Akowonjo to congratulate, through me, our NSE team that worked for the emergence of the Nigerian Communications Commission whose establishment decree was signed in November 1992 but only brought to public notice a day before his visit. As he made to leave, he whispered it into my ears that he actually came ALSO to recruit me into the new IKEJA Branch of NSE whose approval by Council of NSE was imminent and whose formation he and a few others promoted. Although I lived in Isolo my office was in Ikeja. It was the month I was relocating my office to Mushin the geographical centre of THE LAGOS Branch. The point I make here is that the two purposes of his visit were hinged in service to NSE.
The good story is that Engr Olu Awoyinfa was properly decorated in his life time by the profession he toiled for and in full tradition of the distinguished profession. The OLU AWOYINFA ANNUAL LECTURE held nine editions in his life time just as the Nigerian Academy of Engineering decorated him with a LifeTimeAchievement Award a month before his passing.
He was Secretary General of both the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, and Federation of African Organisation of Engineers, FAOE.
Two days before his death, we ate lunch together at Prof R.I.SALAWUs son’s wedding reception. As I bowed to welcome Oga Olu Awoyinfa and his wife to the ‘Academy Table’, Oga said “Titi.com, I have read your Engineering Assembly paper” and he made a request “Please let me be at any gathering where any group assembles to hold followup discussion on the paper”.
“Ok sir. I promise to alert you if and whenever any holds. I’m leaving here to attend the first one at 5pm today though”
“ONLINE sir with a WhatsApp Group of some young engineers.”
“Be ni tie ri Awe yi” (that’s vintage you my brother).
As I made to go away, I shook all hands and Oga’s hand was the last I shook.
It didn’t occur to me I was wishing Oga Engr Olu Awoyinfa GOOD NIGHT.
Please sleep in the LORD, Oga Engr Olu Awoyinfa FAEng, FNSE. You paid your dues.
Titi Omo-Ettu. FAEng, FNSE.
September 29, 2017.