He was murdered. By 'unknown assailants' the report said.
But GOD knows them.
And maybe he did too. Or maybe not.
Obviously they knew him not.
Or they wouldn't have killed him.
Memories are all we have now. I still remember him.
We met back then at our initiation as the newest members of the Supremost Komradium The Keggites Klub (a.k.a Palmwine Drinkerds Club) at the Moda Shrine (Ilya Ovia) very close to the School of Dentistry, UNIBEN. It was a 'wet tapping'. He was a dark quiet guy. He talked with a slight stutter. Maybe that was why he usually kept quiet.
With some other new Comrads, we got talking and introduced ourselves.
'Hi, I'm Nimmo. Yada yada yada yada yada ...'.
We gave and received the one-finger-salute.
'Hi, I'm Moses.'
A 'wet tapping' is a meeting of the Komradium where the palmwine flows freely but Moses did not drink. A Keggite who does not drink was called 'Holy'. He was a 'Holy'. Holy Moses.
('H-o-l-y M-o-s-e-s' was also an exclamation made popular by the character Mr. B in Ken Saro Wiwa's sitcom of the 80s, Basi & Company).
I remember the Parliament of the UNIBEN Student Union Government. This was during the period of Joseph Okonmah as President UNIBEN-SUG, his impeachment and removal from office.
Members of the Parliament are addressed formally as 'Honorable' followed by the member's surname. Except Moses. Everybody called him 'Honorable Holy Moses'. At some point, even the Speaker got tired of correcting Parliamentarians on the formal mode of address. Honorable Holy Moses had the floor a lot that night.
After we left school, we met severally in Lagos particularly around Ojuelegba where he lived with his family. He was a banker. And from what I gathered, he was one of the whiz kids of the industry with a fast rising profile.
Last time I saw him was in January. I was crossing the road to my car parked on Tejuosho Road, by the FCMB branch there, when a car swerved and parked close to me on the kerb.
'Who be dis person who wan oppress me with new motor so? Person no fit waka for leg again?'.
It was a new Toyota Corolla painted in the colors of a particular bank.
'Baba Nimmo What-I-saw'.
Very few people called me that. I looked closely and recognized him.
'Holy Moses! Wetin dey happen? Omo, dis na new one o. Don't tell me you have changed bank again.'
'Omo na so o but my branch still dey Apapa sha.'
He gave me his card. We talked some more. About our families. About the other friends with whom we had lost contact. About the need to keep in touch.
On Wednesday, I got to the office and saw it in the papers. A full page notice by a Committee of Friends. I called a few people if it was true. They confirmed it. It is true.
Adieu Moses Leseremejuma Ejueyitchie. 1967-2008.