Ahead of his service of song later today and burial tomorrow, 10th of May, 2018 late Symporosa Otunuya Otike Odibe‘s childhood friend Valentine Utulu pens him an elegy that would break even the strongest of heart. Sym a lawyer was allegedly murdered by his wife in cold blood last Thursday.
Read below what he wrote below:
Elegy Written With a Broken Heart: SYM OTIKE-ODIBI (1965-2018)
I have not slept well in the past three nights. I now have to take medication to control my blood pressure. I am distressed. I am confused. I am bereaved. The timing and manner of your death has traumatized me like nothing else in my life.
I never could have imagined you would go this way. The cruelty of it all beggars imagination. My friend Sym, why did you not leave the house for her? When you knew she wanted to kill you, why did you not flee for your life? Why did you not go and sleep in a hotel or anywhere else for your own safety?
I remember when we were kids in the University. I remember the good times we had. I remember our adventures in Port Harcourt during our youth service. You taught me how to make a mean spaghetti sauce with one onion and two tins of geisha and a little oil with Maggi. You somehow turned those things into a gourmet meal. It was magic.
I weep for you my brother. You bought me a drink when we were in NYSC camp and my name was published when I passed my Bar Finals. I was going crazy that night. I remember how we used to hang out at Aquarius Night Club and Beverly Café on Aba Road. I remember the many parties at the Navy Camp at Onne were you served. I remember how I volunteered to follow you to that Secondary School in Bori Local Government to force the Principal to reject you so you could get another place for your primary assignment closer to Port Harcourt. Both of us smoked cigarettes in that Principals office that day to let him know we were bad news and so he was quick to reject you.
NNS Onne was a far better place to do your youth service. At the parties during our youth service days, you couldn’t dance to save your own life, but you perfected your funny “dinosaur shuffle” to fool all of us.
Do you remember how I taught you, Tony and Ani, Shotokan karate on the lawn of Mrs. Manuel’s house at 3 Emekuku Street, D Line, Diobu Port Harcourt way back in 1988? Can you still do the kokusudashi shuto uke? Or the zenkusudashi gidan barai? What of Heien Shodan?
When later we became partners in our law firm, I knew we you were not a perfect man and so I took a secret oath with my God that I will never quarrel or fight with you no matter what happened.
We started from one room at Agidingbi, then we got our big break and started to build a modern, cutting edge law firm but when we had irreconcilable differences I walked away.
The office or material things were not a real issue. The real issue was that our relationship was broken and I could no longer be the spiritual support I was meant to be to you because of these things.
You were a warm and wonderful soul. Your warmth touched many, but remember, I was your friend not because you were a perfect man but because you were my brother from another mother. I was sent into your life to be a help and a guide to you, but life happened to us.
A few weeks before you died I kept telling my wife that I had not seen you in a long time. Whenever I drove past the junction of your office on the way to mine, I looked out for you. I kept telling my wife that I hoped you were ok. When Femi came to my office a week before you died, I said the same things to him. I said I could not just get up and go to your office because you had not done the proper thing, but I was worried about you for some reason I could not place.
Perhaps if I had been more sensitive in the Spirit I would have sought you out in spite of what had transpired between us. I know that if you had told me what you were going through I would have given you the simple solution: “run for your life”. I have learnt now, and I will not hesitate again.
Oh Sym, why did you not just leave the house for her and sleep somewhere else that night? Why did you not deliver your soul from death?
Let the flags be flown at half mast, and let sackcloth and ashes adorn us today. Let us weep because you did not deserve to go like this. My bowels are filled with pain. I mourn and I can find no comfort. Sleep has departed from my eyes. O Sym, you were cruelly cut down in your prime by the enemy who dwelt in your own home.
But the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.