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Remembering Ayodeji Tinubu: ‘The Boss’ (1966-2018)


Deji Tinubu was born on July 31, 1966 and died on January 25, 2018, at the age of 52.He was a true friend, who had genuine love for humanity and unwearied devotion for God’s work.

I called you ‘Boss’. Amazingly, you never acted like a boss. The future was overwhelming and for you, nothing was insurmountable. Never. Ever. Fearless. You were always positive, ready to make things happen.You were an inspiration to many and motivated young persons.

Death, the inevitable, called when we least expected. Its sting does not select. It knows no age, creed, or race. Yours was too untimely. We are still in shock.This phenomenon makes me know that God is God. A true perfection, and awesomely wholesome. A puzzle full of complexities. Death is a mystery that rubbishes the intelligence and the frail wisdom of man. It has mocked science, modern developments and technologies. No human can unravel it.

Boss, still with tears in my eyes, your passage was not the next item on our agenda. It was not in our dream or imagination. Your unexpected transition left me with a mouth full of gravel. Your exit was so abrupt.I could neither laugh nor smile. I am not angry with the Almighty Olodumare, but He knows and understands how I feel: Anguished, very anguished. Your place, no one can take. You were unique, too compassionate and caring. You were a great man and legendary. No wonder, you were so excited over the Legends for the Children Project and the elite Barca Academy Spread – Out Project, which we planned together.

He was the son of a police officer. His father did not support his enthusiasm about football. However, it wasn’t a barrier for Deji. He didn’t become a world star, but his game in the midfield found the place in Nigerian fans} hearts. On the other side, the biography of Deji Tinubu is more about his impact on the sport, than about his career.

Boss, my esteemed team would leave behind a legacy that would outlive our generation. Ayodeji Tinubu – the Boss, I still miss you, your kind words, which were like a breath of life to our projects, a strength in the times of want, a hand on my shoulders to spur and urge us on and a broad smile to lighten our face.

Your place in my life was like a fresh sunrise. None could be like you. You were so calm and peaceful, like the reflection of a full moon on the sea shore at dawn. You were bold and brave, gentle like a lamb, an epitome of humility, integrity, truth, courage, contentment and with strong sense of care and concern for others. You were devoid of any form of affiliation, a finest of souls, with the most beautiful heart. Your kind is rare to find in these times and clime. You were a very good, loving and free-minded man.

Like someone said, “you were so kind that you could die for another to live.”If I had the power to pray for the dead to come back to life, Boss, you would not have spent a second behind the dark veil … A cup we will all drink from. Boss, until an ordained time, when the heavenly trumpeters would come with melodious echoes of laughter, please say me well to Miss Ajua, the great teacher and confidant. Stay well, my brother and friend … Though you did not ever say goodbye.


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Ayodeji Tinubu
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