Thursday, May 6, 2021 1:16 am
By Kazeem Jimoh
He was an Electrical Engineer to the core – the first profession God created. As a man of light, his soul cannot be in darkness. He had disappointments, no doubts. He was not a perfect person but he touched lives of his staff, families, colleagues, friends and the Church.
Their words were emotional and comforting. They were loaded with prayers and best assured that they had come to terms with the loss of Pastor Foluso Micheal Olusanya, an Engineer, who passed on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 at the age of 67.
In his highly emotional tribute, former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, an Engineer, described the deceased as a friend indeed and in truth, “Folu, as I always knew and called him was my friend of almost fifty years. Our paths first crossed at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) where we collaborated on academics and socials as students at the Faculty of Engineering of the UNILAG”.
“Even then, Folu, was matured, brilliant, humble and very social. He somehow, managed to combine academics very successfully with an active social life and a career. I recall that he was already working while we were at Akoka”.
“On leaving UNILAG, Folu, joined the very respected Engr. Akin Taiwo’s AKTA Consultants/Edison Groups and Partners, where his quality shone through and within a short time, he had established himself as a brilliant power and services Engineer. I had moved on to HF Schroeder and our friendship continued”.
“When I became the Deputy Managing Director of HF Schroeder and the need to appoint an Electrical Engineer, as the pioneer Nigerian Electrical Engineering Manager, presented itself, my thought went to Folu, without hesitation. However, he pleaded for understanding for not taking up the appointment because of his commitment to building Celmeng Associates into a formidable engineering firm”.
“Folu, went on to become a very successful Engineering Consultant with landmark projects dotting the nation’s landscape. When I started Kresta Laurel Limited, Folu, was one of the pillars of support. He supported us without reservation. He also gave us a fair chance on projects under his purview despite being an indigenous engineering company in an industry that was the exclusive preserve of the multinationals” said Daniel.
The former Governor, added that “the deceased was a through-bred professional, a great family man, a true man of God and a friend indeed and in truth”.
“I am proud to state that my dear friend, Foluso Olusanya, left great legacies and footprints in both of his professional and spiritual life. Thus, painful though his passage might be, we must take solace in the facts that he knew Christ and left such fond memories. I commend his beloved wife and children to the care of the Almighty God and I pray for the repose of his amiable soul. Goodnight – Folu”, Daniel stated.
Another childhood friend, brother and a business partner, Mr. Kunle Oyesanya, an Engineer, who is also the Managing Partner, Celmeng & Associates Limited in his tribute, said his relationship with the Late Olusanya, dated back to about 57 years ago, where their families lived in the same neighborhood in Oke-Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State, South West Nigeria.
His words: “We became friends when we were about 10 years old. We used to play football together on the street. We got admitted into different secondary schools both in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He attended Ijebu Mushin College, Ijebu-Ode; while I got admitted in Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu Ode”.
“We sat for WAEC the same year. He was more brilliant than me. In WAEC, he had Grade 1. While, I had Grade 2. He had A1 in Mathematics, while I had A3. This led to my father, beating me for a whole day. My father said, why should two of you be playing and reading together and you allowed him to beat you academically. We used to call him ‘Calcu’, which is a short form of calculator”.
“In my final year in the University of Lagos, where I studied Civil Engineering, Folu, came to my room visiting. He had graduated then, a year earlier. He then asked me, if we can form a Company together when I finished. That was how CELMENG & ASSOCIATES was formed in 1983 as partnership”.
“Folu, you taught me many things in life, you taught me humility; perseverance; to be large hearted and kind to people. I saw you grow up from when we first met in Oke-Bola, Ibadan from age 10. I saw you got married and raising your lovely kids. You taught me how to be accommodating. The way you brought your siblings up, trained them and established them in their own businesses is worthy of emulation”.
“The promise you made to my own mother, you did not live to fulfill it. You left us too soon. You promised my mother, who is about 89 years old now, that we shall bury her together. Mama is always asking of you. I don’t know what to tell her now. My family will miss you, especially my wife and my last baby girl. The partners and staff of Celmeng & Associates Limited will miss you. The Vacuum created by your demise will be difficult to fill. We all miss you and shall miss your wise counsel. Adieu!”, Oyesanya, asserted.
According to the National Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), Engineer Kings Adeyemi, in a letter of commiseration to the family of Engineer Foluso Olusanya, dated Friday, March 26, 2021 noted that even in death, the Board of Trustees (BOT), the Governing Council, Executive Committees at the National and 28 Chapters across the nation, as well as the entire members of the NIEEE, are proud of their beloved Senior Professional Colleague.
Adeyemi, described the demise of Olusanya, an engineering icon, as a loss to the entire engineering family in Nigeria, particularly to members of his primary Constituency – NIEEE, adding that he was a man of integrity, firm, a teacher and an embodiment of vast resources.
He recalled that he was one of the first set of NIEEE members to be elevated to the fellowship grade at Osogbo, Osun State in 2015. I had never knew what he’s made up of until 2016 during our flagship event (ICEPT 2016) in Jos, Plateau State, where he was the resource person to the 2016 NIEEE inductees. His lecture during the maiden Induction Ceremony of new members was titled, “Strategies for successful entrepreneurship”.
“Though the shockwave of his demise may linger, nevertheless, I congratulate all members of the family, because you can walk the street with your head standing tall, because Engr. Foluso Micheal OLUSANYA, has registered his footprint on the said time of life. It is indeed a celebration of life well spent. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace”, Adeyemi, said.
On his part, the former National Chairman, NIEEE, who is also the Managing Director, AKW Engineering Limited, Mr Emmanuel Akinwole, described his great boss, friend, brother, confidant, business partner and leader par Excellence, Engr. Folu Olusanya, as a quintessential, hardworking, diligent and easy going professional Engineer of repute, intelligence, charm and charisma!
Akinwole, noted that you need to know him or have worked with him and you go home better that you came… in character, faith in God, diligence, business acumen, simplicity, exuberance and learning; wao…!
Said he: “I remember I visited you in the house late last year, when you told me you were down and have been hospitalized for more than three months in your expansive lovely living room in Lagos, discussing and I finally PRAYED fervently for you and you asked madam to help escort me out, which normally you would have gladly done!”.
Continuing, he said: “Then I knew something was amiss but couldn’t fix it… but I continued praying and calling you when I found out you had gone for better treatment in United Kingdom, which we both agreed earlier during our last meeting. May the good Lord uphold the families, friends, colleagues and relations during this trying period of mourning and caring with Christian dignity and forbearance”.
For the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Pastor Folu, in a special note of condolence, signed on their behalf by Pastor Johnson Odesola, Assistant General Overseer, stated that they received the news of the triumphant transition to glory of Late Pastor (Engr.) Foluso Olusanya, with great shock and with missed feelings.
“On one hand, we miss him dearly because of his immense contributions to the Mission at all levels, especially as the Chairman, Physical Planning and Development Control and member of the Technical Advisory Board (TAB), but on the other hand, it has pleased God our creator to take him home to rest and we shall see him in eternity” said the revered cleric.
The widow, Pastor (Mrs.) Oludolapo Olusanya, stated in her tribute that the 40 years she spent with the deceased as husband and wife, were the best years of her life and happy and honored to have been his wife.
Her words: “My husband was such a wonderful man. I am not sure I can really express just how much I will miss him. Not only was he a wonderful husband, he was the best father, grandfather and my best friend. It was very hard to let you go and you will live within my heart forever. Goodnight Foluso”, she said.
-Kazeem Jimoh is a Lagos based journalist and public affairs journalist