Friends and associates of Adekunle Adewale, a staff member of Overland Airways until his death, have taken to social media to celebrate his life on what was supposed to be his 31st birthday.

Mr Adewale was among passengers confirmed dead in an accident that made headlines in April.

He had concluded some marriage rites at the Ikoyi registry two days before and was travelling with his new wife, who was fatally injured in the same accident, for the traditional wedding when the incident happened.

On Friday, September 3, on what was supposed to be his birthday anniversary, his friends took to Facebook to recount their encounters.

Mr Adewale was described, from the plethora of heartfelt comments, as a decent, supportive and selfless individual who was always willing to lend a helping hand.

The comments were triggered by one of his friends, Kemi Busari, following a detailed and heartwarming narrative he wrote on Facebook about the deceased. Mr Busari titled the piece “NOTHING HAS BEEN MORE HURTFUL THAN YOUR DEATH WALE”, describing their delightful and exciting friendship that dates back to their early days as undergraduates Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).

“Today would have been another anniversary of your birth – your 31st. Normally, we will make some long phone calls full of jokes and plans for the new year. This year’s anniversary would have been exceptional as it would have been the first in your marriage. But you’re no more Wale. You left this world just when I thought our friendship was about to begin.” Mr Busari wrote, following with some memories of his friend.

A life of impact

Tons of comments quickly followed Mr Busari’s post, with some describing the memories, moments and the personality of the deceased.

Akinsola Damilola, who commented on Mr Busari’s post, paid her respect to the deceased, whom she referred to as a “senior colleague”. Ms Damilola was a year junior to Mr Adewale at the Political Science department of OAU. She spoke about the deceased’s cheerful personality and described how he greatly contributed to her academics while studying at OAU.

“As an undergraduate, every single material and past questions Wale used passed on to me. Wale was my course advisor. He would always tell me what to expect from every course and lecturer, which course to register for and the ones to skip. Like a father, he was always asking for my grades and CGPA and telling me to improve on my statistics courses…

Late Adekunle Adewale, a staff member of Overland Airways. [PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook page of Mr Adekunle]“As a graduate, I met Wale again when I was transferred back to Akure. Though I manage a customer service centre, I also own a personal business. Wale was always referring customers to me. Wale was always patronising me. Wale would tip me for products and services that I would have gladly offered him for free,” she wrote in some lengthy paragraphs of eulogy.

Another friend, Victor Assang, characterised the news of Mr Adekunle Adewale’s death as shocking.

He wrote, “You were a special person in my life, who probably knows me more than myself, who hears and understands me like nobody does. It was a blessing to have a great friend like you. Our friendship is too valuable to me, to find another friend like you is impossible and an unending assignment for me, you were crazy, caring and ever supportive when needed.”

An untimely and painful exit

Late Mr Adewale was a graduate of Political Science from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State. His early passing at the age of 30 (As of April 18) was described by many who knew him as untimely.

“Wale’s exit was painful because the discussions were never concluded, and more painful because it was untimely. The series of those beautiful moments together suddenly left us with blessed memories. Continue to rest man!”, one of his former classmates, Femi Arowolo, commented.

The deceased was killed in an auto crash just a week before his traditional and white wedding. The incident took place while he was returning to Akure with his wife after the couple had tied the knot at the Ikoyi Registry. His new wife, who survived the accident, was later reported to be fatally unconscious and was rushed to the hospital afterwards. The whole incident came as a surprise to many who knew the Late Adewale.

“The last time Adewale spoke with me was when he called for admission into Master of Transport Management in UNILAG. We spoke at length because I knew he meant well for the Nigeria Transport Sector. Praestantes Outstanding Class missed you. So sad!!!!” Sunkanmi Olagunju, also a former classmate, recalled.

One of his friends simply called Michael, who was present at the registry, could not believe his friend was gone. “Till date his death is like a mirage to me,” he wrote via his Facebook profile, Real Mael.

Like many others, Ganiyu Adesina, ended his remark with prayer; “Wale’s death is still a very sad occurrence, sometimes I still go back to look at his picture and read our last chat in disbelief that he is really gone. May God grant him eternal rest and comfort everyone he left behind,” he wrote.

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