By Ausine Sesay (Editor, Concord Times)
At exactly 2:15 am on Saturday, January 8, I woke up and as usual scrolled through my phone and saw several missed calls from colleagues in the office—Gabriel Benjamin, the operations man; David Aruna, the accountant; and Isatu Sesay, our secretary.
Save for Benjamin who would call me at any time of the night, since we used to publish the paper online during the Christmas holiday, I didn’t expect calls from David and Isatu, taking into consideration the timing of their calls.
What puzzled me most was the direct call I received from Benjamin since he was in Nigeria on holiday. “This is something serious,” I said to myself.
So, I started wondering why the calls: has there been an emergency? I sat on the bed and contemplated that, among these three people, the only person that would be awake then and would possibly respond to my call, was Benjamin.
I again sent him a short message via WhatsApp. “Hey Ben, what’s going on? I saw your missed call.” I couldn’t wait for a response from him via WhatsApp, so I decided to give him a direct call.
“Alusine, we have lost Ehis,” he said to me.
“Lalia ha ilala Mohamadu Rasululihi,” I responded. My wife woke up and asked me, “What is the problem?” I replied in a broken voice, “Our Manager is dead.”
I couldn’t sleep anymore but ponder over the memories we shared.
I came to know Victor Ehis Eghobor when I started practising journalism at Concord Times in 2009. He was commonly called Operations.
He was that kind of an easy-going person with affable character, plus an aptitude to get along with even the devil in the dungeon. He was a true Christian who held no grudge against anybody and never believed in confrontation.
The only time I noticed some emotions from Ehis was after he fell sick—subject understood! And even in that situation, he was at peace with every staff in the office.
As the manager of Concord Times Communications before his demise, he was a brotherly figure to every staff. He was an approachable, listening and caring leader. He was an intelligent personality and blessed with ingenuity.
Jokingly, I would say to him, “Manager, you should have been in the sciences because you are gifted in that area.” His reply would always be a broad smile. As a manager, he would solve minor electrical problems in the office without enlisting the services of an electrician.
Before he left for Ghana where he underwent surgery, he called me to attention: “Alusine, I will travel to Ghana on Friday for surgery but please keep the information close to your chest.” I prayed and wished him healing.
While in Ghana and up to his demise, he would always send me some daily Christian devotions via WhatsApp. Until his death, he cared for Concord Times and would always enquire about staff welfare.
“Manager watin dae shelle?”
The entire Concord Times staff will miss you. Sleep on and take your rest. No doubt that HEAVEN is your home.