Death, the ultimate end of all mortal has struck again. This time, taking along a man of beautiful spirit, humility personified and a friend, Mr Babatunde Shakirudeen Edu, a scion of the Edu family. His late father, Chief Shafi Lawal Edu, popularly refer to S.L. Edu, was a great philanthropist, business mogul, environmentalist and a distinguished politician during the First Republic.
Chief S.L. Edu’s impact in our national life, particularly in Lagos State, cannot be overlooked. It was same line with his father’s activities that Mr Tunde Edu towed till the end. Being a bibliophile and for research purposes, I had set a task of getting a copy of the biography of the late Chief S.L.Edu, titled Journey From Epe. When all efforts proved
abortive I gave up on getting the book.
Strangely, I met Mr Tunde Edu on social media and this was the beginning of our friendship till his demise recently in Accra, Ghana.
Though any keen follower of Nigeria’s political and industrial development will surely know Tunde and his younger brother, Yomi Edu, both participated actively in politics and commerce.
Mr Tunde Edu, in particular, was once Lagos State chairman/leader and gubernatorial candidate of Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) during the Second Republic. While Mr Yomi Edu, until recently, was a Minister of Special Duties and before then, a gubernatorial candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos State in 1991.Mr Tunde Edu is both a lawyer and an economist; he has served on the board of several companies in Nigeria like African Alliance, Blackwood Hodge (Nigeria) Ltd, among others. He was a polished and groomed gentleman with immense exposure.
Our meeting on social media was the high point of good personality display by Mr Tunde Edu towards younger friends. I was pleasantly surprised when during our communication, he gave me his mobile number in Ghana and, indeed, encouraged me to call him as often as possible.
Despite the distance, he attended with dispatch to my request for a copy of his father’s biography, within six days of our communication, I received a call to pick the book from a professor in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), who just arrived from Ghana.
I was kind of imagining the efforts Mr Tunde Edu would have put into locating someone who is returning to Nigeria at that particular period and most importantly a location close to my residence.
Also, in spite of the wide age gap, he displayed uncommon humility and accommodation. We followed-up on each other through telephone calls and I was lucky to speak with him on the hospital bed, where he confided in me that he was not feeling too well.
Somehow, I was hopeful that he would overcome his ill-health and that not too soon, our planned meeting in Nigeria would materialise. But alas! I was shocked to learn of his passage at 76.
Again, I was hoping his remains would be brought home for burial, but probably in his quiet and gentle ways, he had given instruction to be cremated in Accra, Ghana. He was a great soul. May almighty God grant him repose and give the family and friends the fortitude to bear this huge loss.
Mr Tunde Edu, thanks so much for the friendship and the honour, always. Goodnight sir! Adieu.
- Badejo sent in this article from 10 Adeniji Street, Off Adebayo Street, Lawanson-Itire road, Surulere, Lagos State.