Says ‘I lost a dependable guardian, adviser’
By DAPO OLAWUNI
As the transportation ministry stakeholders, particularly the maritime sector continues to mourn the passing of the octogenarian Otunba Kunle Folarin, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Dr. George Moghalu, said he lost a dependable adviser and guardian.
Moghalu, who led a NIWA team on a condolence visit to the bereaved family of the late maritime stalwart in Lagos Thursday, said that he was “not only knowledgeable, he was dependable. He was somebody you could trust.
“For me, I lost an adviser, a guardian, somebody who encourages me, tells me MD this is right, this is wrong, try and do this, it will help the maritime industry.”
Reacting to Folarin’s death, Moghalu said he was “yet to recover from the shock because less than two weeks before he passed on, we had a lengthy conversation because at NIWA, we are trying to organise an international maritime conference.
“We discussed extensively. He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t looking sick either; he made valuable contributions. We had planned on what we were going to do.
“You can understand when somebody is planning something, and he is a member of the committee doing the planning, and he was kind of briefing me on what they had done, only for me to travel on official assignment out of the country and then they called that Otumba has died. For me, it was a very big shock.”
For the maritime industry, he stated that “Otumba will be strongly missed, because he was a voice in the maritime industry. He was not only knowledgeable, he was dependable. He was somebody you could trust.
“He is going to be strongly missed, he is a dependable and knowledgeable person. But this is one area that nobody can question God – when it has to do with birth and death. But God told us that in every situation we should give thanks.
“You can’t be selective in thanking God, so in situations like this, despite how bad we feel, we still give God the glory that he made 81 years in good health and still played the role and contributed to the society, particularly in the maritime sector.”
While consoling the bereaved wife, Mrs Joyce Folarin, and daughter, Mrs Olamide Adeosun, Moghalu urged them to be strong.
“If it was in our control, Otumba would have stayed, but God knows best. I believe he has gone to a better place, so be strong. I pray that God will give you the courage and grace and the enablement. He will always be there for you,” he said.
Mrs. Adeosun, who responded on behalf of the family, thanked the managing director and the entire visiting NIWA team. According to her, “with all that have been coming here, it is like he has a wider family outside.
“We do not take this for granted. Festac is not down the road, so this is a deliberate visit from you, which is really appreciated.”