I came to know about the predicament of late Titus Kehinde way back July, 2016 when it was brought to my attention and I spoke with him extensively to balance the story making the round that ethnic cleansing was going on in the state owned institutions.
From him, I gathered he has been with the institution as a lecturer rising through the ranks to become the Provost and the only non-Ebira to occupy that position since the creation of Kogi state; Dr. Attah was Provost for eight years (8) and Mallam Yahaya who succeeded him spent a whooping Thirteen years (13), both were Ebiras. I reliably gathered that Alhaji Hassan Salawu, PDP State Chairman spearheaded the emergence of a Provost of a different ethnic extraction for fairness.
In the second year of the tenure of Late Titus Kehinde, he faced several challenges on the basis of his home local government area that he managed to overcome.
But his troubles started when he didn’t write the mandatory letter of intent to renew his tenure within the stipulated time and those bent on easing him out of that position took advantage of this lapse to make life hell on the school for him.
During that period, prominent indigenes of Okehi local council, the host LGA namely; Engr. Sadik, the Accountant-General of the state and the appointed Administrator of Okehi LGA led a group of armed men in uniform to effect his removal and late Titus Kehinde had to escape through the bush for fear of harm to his person.
Sadly, despite government being informed of this infraction, the perpetrators of this illegal were never brought to book. Then comes the sordid part where the office of late Titus Kehinde was reallocated first to another person of Okun extraction who turned it down before Mrs Abraham, an Ebira who was next in line took over. The amusing thing is that even if his tenure has expired it didn’t mean his exit from the school as his experience is much needed considering the dearth of qualified instructors in the school.
While this was going on, a curious instruction was received by late Titus Kehinde which was induced, I reliably gathered by a complaint to the powers that be allegedly from Mrs Abraham that the continuous presence of late Titus Kehinde in the school was making her uncomfortable as in her words it’s akin to keeping two captains on a ship.
This curious instruction late Titus Kehinde complied with until he could no longer afford the financial implication of this new directive, considering the fact that by this time his official vehicle has been forcefully taken away from him amidst several months of unpaid salaries. To shuttle from Obangede to Lokoja to fulfill this imposed task became herculean and understandably so.
I want to downplay the clannish import of the aforementioned and wish to concentrate on the calculated and systematic emotional and physical decimation of late Titus Kehinde by those who vowed he will return to the school over their corpses and succeeded in making Titus Kehinde a corpse.
One pertinent question, is why so much callousness for a position and even life itself that is transient?
Now, late Titus Kehinde is gone and it’s hoped those he made uneasy by his mere presence can now be comfortable.
What sort of system perverts the rules to the extent that it’s compliant to the whims and idiosyncratic inclinations of certain individuals?
What sort of screening exercise makes a Provost of one of its state institution, a potential ghost worker? Why was late Titus Kehinde being owed that long? What system permits so much laxity that makes so much infraction possible and unpunished? Late Titus Kehinde has an aged mother close to 90 years, he was somebody’s husband and father. In fact, he was different things to many in his nuclear and extended family.
Some can proclaim he could have died anyway but won’t we all? Yes, late Titus Kehinde had health issues he has been managing successfully for years and the more reason he ought to have been spared the persecution and deprivation that hastened his walk to the grave. His death was untimely and avoidable and for H.E. Gov. Yahaya Bello to demonstrate his detribalized proclamations and believe in equity and fairness, the circumstances surrounding the death of late Titus Kehinde should be unravelled and those culpable appropriately sanctioned.
Even a man as fit as fiddle would not have fared better in the tribulations late Titus Kehinde had to face.
Late Titus Kehinde, is just one of several avoidable and untimely deaths attributable to the ineptitude and indiscretions of state officials in the performance of their duties. Like I once wrote, every notable achievement of the present administration will pale into insignificance if the uncertainty Kogites face especially cleared workers/pensioners remain unresolved. I await the response of government to the issues raised above.