The late call came by 2am (Nigerian time) from my daughter in Dallas Texas (8pm) and the message was terse: “Daddy your friend is dead.” I had just returned from visiting her a couple of days earlier and so I inquired:”Which friend?” Her emotional response: “Daddy the Ambassador,” immediately jolted me out of my bed. Ugochi knew how close we were and how he was instrumental to the success of my BOOK LAUNCH in Washington DC in 2013 at the Nigerian Embassy.
Prof was studying history while we were studying rocks at the University of Ibadan, but we belonged to the same Hall and our friendship was mutual which continued as we went our ways in the early 70s, to teach history at University of Lagos [UNILAG] and myself to Mobil Producing Nigeria,Lagos as a wellsite geologist.
On becoming a diplomat in the late 80s his good nature, humility and simplicity did not diminish. We were to reconnect again in Abuja when he joined ECOWAS and I had retired from the NNPC, but we both became worshipers at St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Maitama Abuja. With his deserved posting as Nigerian Ambassador to the US, it was my pleasure together with Ngozi, my wife, to host Ade and Sola, his wife, to a Luncheon prior to their departure to assume that onerous role in Washington DC.
Ade and Sola were to do me proud in 2013 when they insisted that my book: “THE WAY WE ARE: Ideas for a better Nigeria,” must be launched in Washington DC for the Nigerian Diaspora and foreign diplomats. The role they played towards its success will ever remain indelible in my heart.
His last major assignment and accomplishment, the President Buhari visit and reception in the US in July will ever be marked as a Diplomat’s diplomatic high-point. To all my friends who merited to be in attendance, all received official invitations and personal calls from His Excellency, the Ambassador.
A great pity that his invitation for us to meet before my departure to Nigeria was not feasible owing to some militating factors. How one wished that one knew that the conversation was going to be the last!
His Excellency, Professor Ambassador Ade Adefuye was a great scholar, a brilliant diplomat and a patriotic and humane Nigerian. What a sad loss. May our good Lord grant Sola and the family the Comfort and Peace only the Lord can give.
Adieu, our genuine friend.