The last time I saw Dapo was on Sunday November 29th, 2020 at the party held to celebrate my granddaughter’s first birthday. Just like during Tosin’s first birthday, and at all similar occasions for his nephews and nieces, Dapo was with us throughout the day. A consummate family man, very caring and devoted to all of us, his family. Dapo was a very special person who was committed to and passionate about the things he believed in. His passion was a virtue I respected so much about him. I remember that during the Yar’Adua administration when the boards of federal government parastatals were being constituted, I asked him if he was interested, and that he should send me his preferences.
True to the type of person he was, he did not send me a list of what is usually referred to as Grade A parastatals like the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or National Communications Commission (NCC). Instead, Dapo said he was interested in the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, near Jos, When I checked the master list of the boards, his choice was in the least category D. That was Dapo for you. In making that choice, he did not think of whether it was convenient for him to travel to Vom, many kilometers away from Lagos to attend board meetings. He was driven by his passion, genuine interest and the need to contribute to the development of the institute and the object of its creation. Dapo was not a man blinded by the desire to acquire wealth. Rather, he had a burning desire to impart knowledge, pursue noble goals and contribute his own quota to issues in which he was specially gifted. On a lighter note, the relationship between Dapo and myself became better and closer after I married his darling sister, Toyin. When we were both younger and I was dating my wife, he would use Vulcan, his well trained dog, to intimidate me. Then, the fear of Vulcan was the beginning of wisdom. All that changed after we got married. I guess Vulcan must have sensed I am now a respected member of the family.
Dapo, we will all sorely and greatly miss you. This is because there are many values we all still could have learnt from you. Definitely, you lived a successful life because you left great legacies. Among these legacies are many of the young boys and girls who learnt so much from you on the polo field and as they flourish in that aspect of their respective lives today, it’s all thanks to you, Dapo.
Many live their lives and acquire so many material things without making an impact in the lives of others and when they make their exit, the story ends there. Dapo, you gave so much to so many. That is why I believe you live on.
–Abubakar Bukola Saraki