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Gloom as D-One dies


News of death caused Aguda School teachers,students’ collapse
THE impact a teacher has on his or her students can never be underestimated. Some leave their imprints and indelible marks on the students, which transcend the classroom and influence them all through their lives.

Last Thursday, students of Aguda Junior Grammar School, Surulere, Lagos, lost forever the opportunity to express their heartfelt appreciation to a man, Mr. Omosowoni Ibidapo Olabisi, who held up the torch of knowledge that illuminated their searching minds like no other. He suddenly slumped and died at Randle Hospital, Surulere.

The reaction that trailed the news of Ibidapo’s demise was gripping and unexpected. Emotions ran riot, some to the point of danger. At the school assembly on Friday where it was officially announced that the 42-year-old teacher, popularly called D-One, was no more, sources told The Guardian that four students collapsed immediately and two of his colleagues also fainted.

Luckily, they were immediately resuscitated but the school management had a tough time managing the situation as a cacophony of wails rented the air. The impact was so real on the school and community of Brown Road, Aguda, which made the principal close the school and dispersed the throng of sympathizers and well-wishers last Friday.

As Ibidapo will be laid to rest today, a huge vacuum has been left behind at Aguda Junior Grammar School. It is one death, which has left both teachers and pupils bewildered because of his uncommon work ethics and attitude to work. The conscientious teacher, the school authority said, died of natural cause at Randle Hospital.

Right from the school gate, it was not difficult for even a visitor to discern that all is not well in the school. The school environment noted for its boisterous nature was unusually calm with few people in hushed tones discussing about the unfortunate incident that caught them all unawares.

According to a staff member, who pleaded for anonymity, Dapo’s death has left a psychological effect on all.

He said: “Dapo was very nice to a fault. He was everyone’s man. We are all devastated and our psyche has been affected. I wish I could wake up to find out that it is not true.”

This view was also corroborated by one of the pupils, who gave his name as Saheed. According to the JSS II pupil, Mr. Dapo was a very nice and friendly man that was loved by all.

On how he received the news of his death, Saheed said he was saddened when the news was broken during the assembly. “Although I was not among those that fell down when the news was broken, I was sad because he was nice to me personally.

For another pupil, who pleaded not to be named, this is the first time both teachers and pupils will react in the same manner like they did to Mr. Dapo. “It was painful to lose such a man of goodwill,” she said.

The Guardian learnt that Dapo’s death has thrown the school off board. The school authority, who described late Dapo as loyal, dedicated and jolly good fellow, said he will surely be missed because of his hardwork, dedication and exemplary life.

Because of the life he lived, his colleagues in the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) are now in the forefront of organizing a befitting burial programme for him. According to the programme released by NUT, the interment holds today, Wednesday, at Atan Cemetery, Yaba, after a commendation service at St. James Anglican, Itire.

Dapo is survived by an aged mother, wife and children.