By Gbemiga Ogunleye
Like many Nigerians who knew and had a relationship with Ikeogu Oke, I am still in shock.
Ikeogu was part of the star-studded team of journalists assembled by the duo of Dele Olojede and Dapo Olorunyomi to bring into fruition the NEXT newspaper.
As the Chief Standards Editor, it was my privilege to lead a team that included the talented poet.
One complaint against Ikeogu then was that he was too meticulous! He spent too much time cleaning out copies than our production time would allow.
Each time I raised my voice to complain, he would disarm me with his smile and a genuine apology.
For him, any story that passed through him must be completely error-free. He, therefore, took him his time fumigating every story passed to him. I need not say that he was a good writer.
His winning the 2017 NLNG prize for poetry was proof-positive of that. In spite of his celebrity status, Ikeogu was always happy to introduce me as his boss!
The poet, perhaps sure he might not overvome the ailment that eventually took his life, had pulled a fast one on us all by writing his epitaph two months ago! Or was he afraid of being misrepresented in death?
Ike Ogu had written: HERE LIES A MAN WHO LOVE VIRTUE AND ART. AND GAVE TO BOTH HIS FORTUNES AND HIS HEART – IKEOGU OKE (1967-).
How did Shakespeare put it? Death is a necessary end, will come when it will come.
Ikeogu’s turn has come!
We await ours! May the good Lord be with his family! May his gentle soul rest in peace!