- 42 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 3, 1969
- Place of birth:
Benue state, Nigeria
- Date of passing: Mar 10, 2012
- Place of passing:
GARKI, Abuja-FCT, Nigeria
|Let the memory of BENEDICT be with us forever|
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, BENEDICT ALAGH, 42, born on August 3, 1969 and passed away on March 10, 2012. We will remember him forever.
"Memories of Ben
First drafted October 2012. Reviewed January 2017
Doing this because Ben's wife, Roselyn sent a mail on the 6th month anniversary of his passing on to glory (!_!) - tears, tears, tears - requesting his friends to share any good memories so his children will know more about heir father. Had done a mail response to that with some brief memory.
Presently on a plane to Dakar for a 3-week TDA and during the long flight, I suddenly remembered the last time Ben and myself and many other colleagues (Aunty SOj - Ma to Ben, Isaac Aladeloye - Is-hac as Ben calls him, Abiola Davies, and the Health Section Chief, Dr. Naawa Sipilanyambe).
Most colleagues went to sleep during the flight except Ben and myself. For some reason, I can sleep whilst moving, including during flights. So I was listening to music on my IPod and Ben was busy with his laptop throughout most of the 5-hour flight. Okay, I can understand listening to music, or watching film or playing games, but guess what he did all that time? Finishing up his essay to submit to the faculty at a South African University where he is pursuing a Master's degree on Health Economics! Never mind that the guy already had a distinction MPH and is an expert on health policy and financing as far back as 1997! In fact he gave us his classmate tutorials and helped us pass the health economics course during our MPH in 1998 when the whole class didn't really understand the course, and we all passed, thanks to Ben.
Back to our flight and mission, the large Nigerian contingent arrived Dakar at 3am. Myself and Ben had a reservation at Archotel and we all have a meeting by 2pm to review and finalize indicators for MoRES so we all need to rest immediately after the flight that operates like molue to prepare for he meeting. People tried to change money at the airport (at 3 am) even though it was not necessary as hotels in Dakar do not require immediate payment before lodging. There we were at the airport, for 30 minutes surrounded by like 20 hefty, unkempt Senegalese youth with dreadlocks (which my generation from my part of the world, used to associate with Ganja smoking and thus they looked dangerous - to the unknown eye). I thought we should quickly go to the safety of the hotel, but Ben, in his usual self, stayed with colleagues, helping with his minimal French, to negotiate the rates with these dreadlocked youth, at past 3am, in a poorly lighted airport. And as soon as a bargain is struck, another Senegalese youth will make better offer (1 cent lower to the dollar, an insignificant amount if you ask me), and colleagues will request to restart bargaining all over. And Ben, the only French-speaker will have to do the bargaining again, and again. I could not understand why people will take such risks when we all know that in our dear Lagos, you won't try that even in broad daylight in full view of the police and I felt we are pushing these youth to the limits, and tempting them and I don't want to have no part in it. I was exasperated and kept insisting we leave, since people are jeopardising their safety for a cent, but Ben wouldn't budge, and insisted on staying until all have changed money and boarded heir taxis for their hotels.
Me: "Ben, lets leave now before these guys attack us and collect the dollars"
Ben: "I am helping these colleagues to bargain, and get them onto taxis as they don't understand French"
Me: "you are risking our lives and they are wasting time over a cent for God's sake. And in any case, they are adults who have more experience on international travels than you. Let's go"
And very stubborn, he will retort politely but firmly and now you can sense his resolve of not leaving: "sorry, you can go, I 'd meet you at the hotel'
So I wait, because he doesn't know the hotel and that was his first time in Dakar and my own sense of right won't allow me to leave him at the airport even if I think he is crazy.
I'd fume and hiss but deep inside, I know he was only Ben helping out others, even at a risk to his safety. Note that he himself was not even changing any money, in a truly selfless service, and all i am thinking of is my safety, and i would wait, fuming, but in my mind knowing he is doing the right thing, and admiring his courage and selflessness (well, and I also thought he didn't make sense, but I think he doesn't care about making sense as long as it's the right thing)
Of course throughout the mission, he kept pushing at all so the indicators were finalized with everyone's inputs. If you keep quiet for a significant time during the meeting, he will visibly get upset, take it up with you and insist you have the responsibility to make inputs. Not that making inputs in an engagement with Ben was easy. Never was, as he will take you up on your every suggestion, query it with a look that says "I don't believe this stupid idea. How ridiculous can you be? Are you serious? And you'd go, 'ok, I withdraw my suggestion, let's go with yours'
now his eyes will get red, and his look changes to 'you are kidding me, you have to defend your proposal or give another one. you can't take the easy route. you will have to defend that input until the whole team is satisfied."
By then you feel like taking a run, but stay because it was not personal, it was just work, and yes, we are all collectively responsible. Some colleagues will walk away saying, 'i am fed up, i am going away, do your worst' and of course, he won't talk to you for hours, because he could not fathom such irresponsibility for a collective work. But trust Ben, he 'd be the first to call you again and enquire about your life, work and health.
On the last night of their mission, Noma, Amina, Ben and self stayed on the porch of Archotel and discussed Nigeria's problems and woes, the impunity with which our leaders behave irresponsibly. We ended up discussing about Dame Patience - i took a deliberate stand to say as the 1st lady, she represents our mothers and we can only use good words to discuss her. Now Ben has very strong family values, and is always respectful even when upset; Amina is a self acclaimed gender activist and in my opinion, an unapologetic feminist and Noma is from the South south, same region as the President and First Lady. Surprisingly all three ganged up and said no, you can only respect someone who respects herself, that she is not our mother, and she did not achieve anything except to be married to Goodluck, who had the good luck of becoming president. I was dumb-founded. Anyways after 2 hours, could not convince them, and they set out for the airport and 11.45.
Typical of him, he called as soon as they checked in at the airport, and also called on arrival at Lagos to tell me they had arrived and he was the only one to do that. Making an international call just to say they arrived safely. That's just like Ben, never shying away from doing the right thing whatever the cost - financial or otherwise.
I only found out days later, that few hours after arrival at Abuja, he was on admitted to the hospital. And till today, I always wondered, was it possible that Ben was unwell, perhaps even in some pain when he made the call to say he had arrived Lagos? It's not beyond him to do a responsible act (no matter how minor) even when he is uncomfortable, unwell, or in pains. He had that gift, that strength of character, that iron will to always do the right thing.
One day, some months after our dear Ben moved on, I heard Mrs Ben say "Ben is one in a million" and I cannot but feel she was her usual modest self. Ben is (yes, i wrote "is") at least one in 150 million. Have never anyone with his brilliance, his discipline, his hard work and his spirituality. Usually those gifts don't come together, but somehow, God blessed him with all at once and he was able to utilize all effectively and in a complementary manner. What a Great guy in all sense of the word: great friend, brother, colleague, classmate, leader, politician and thinker!
I am sure we've only seen a little of you. Your greatest greatness is coming yet, through your wife and beautiful children. Through Roselyn, because I actually think she is the wiser, kinder, and stronger half of your union (Oh yes, it's possible to be better than Ben). Through your children, because the unstoppable "Ben genes" will surely express themselves and help the world.
Usman Shehu Umar"
"This is in memory of a very good friend, whose memory will always be cherished and whose company will always be missed.
Continue to rest in peace Ben
"Mixed feelings, missing you and yet glad that you have run the race and fought the good fight.
See you soon Ben!"
"Terkula, you were a friend in a million. You were even more than a friend. A brother from another womb. May your gentle soul continue to enjoy eternal repose in Jesus name."
"Ben I remember you with a heavy heart but with gratitude and glory to God Almighty for giving me the privilege to have known you as a special friend in Med School.
Your gentle and kind soul was one of a kind.
Your determination and drive in achieving outstanding success in whatsoever you laid hands on doing was a a huge inspiration to me.
You were a very beautiful gem in our class.
Miss you bro.
Rest in His loving bosom until we meet again.
May the Most High comfort your family always"
"Dear Ben, it's been 4years and yesterday would have been your 47th Birthday. We spent it remembering the great times we had. I know you are smiling down from heaven. Our families and friends have been great and everyone has beautiful stories about you. You are truly GOD's Angel sent on loan to mankind and you are always on my mind.
Continue to have fun in Heaven......"
"He was not just an Uncle but the only father figure I ever had. I remembered 2010 when I failed my WEAC exam and I was so depressed and downcast and nothing made any sense to me again, I was 15 at that time. Daddy told me it wasn't too late for me to go back to school and make it right. I took his advice determined to make it this time, despite the fact it took two more years I came out victorious. I graduated this year from the University and on my Thanksgiving day while dancing tears of joy filled my eyes, Daddies words of candour, wisdom and faith in me brought me thus far. FOREVER a blessing in my heart i love you Dad."
"BEN where re u, this is hard to write because of the good life we shared in the office. though its 4 whole years now that you left us to the greater beyond but your memories as fresh as the morning dew as if it was just yesterday. It was a privilege for me to have been a part of Ben's life. Although much too short, his, was a life well lived! He was a determined, visionary, goal-oriented, caring person who loved life and all that it offered. Through his work and his practice, he made a significant contribution to UN Health system while alive, your footprint can never be erased.
Rosy , u re a wonderful wife & mother to behold, the Almighty God will always see you through & soon the Princes & Mayor's Ben let behind will be celebrated IJN. Adieu Tekular Alagh till that glorious morning when we will dyne with our Lord Jesus Christ Amen!."
"I remember Ben's Birthday today not with pain but with Gratitude to GOD to have found me worthy to have shared my life with GOD's son Benedict TERKULA Alagh. Am Happy for the fact that GOD said Ben is an Angel with HIM. FATHER LORD cut off premature death, Ill health and every ancestorial curse from our blood line. Amen"
"Ben, you are unforgettable - the quiet force of your personality, intellect and charm. And the legacy you left behind, for those who know your impressive footprints in public heath and the network of friends. But your best legacy is the awesome family who proudly fly your flag: Roselyn, the frail looking but steely strong young lady you named with a conviction that brooked no dissension "the best wife in the whole world", then Shise and Ageba, pure Ben gems; and the sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, whom you pulled up along on your hard but meteoric rise to success. Peace and Joy to you Ben! Everlasting."
What a world, so fast the year runs. its just like yesterday that you left us & join your creator. The legacy, jokes, smiles & helping hand you render to any body that comes in contact while you are alive will never die, Just as Rose said it is hard to me to use was for you because my office in Enugu is your point of call every morning except you are in a mission. I remember one day a colleague was calling Dr. BEN, DR.BEN & you called me to please tell this woman your real name, that you are not DR. BEN, you are funny and always happy & never turn your back when someone needs your help. We missed you but God who loves you most has called you home, rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ till that great day of resurrection when we will meet to part no more."
"One of the jokes daddy Ben shared with me once...... LITTLE JONNY
Little Johnny was sitting in class doing math problems when his teacher picked him to answer a question, "Johnny, if there were five birds sitting on a fence and you shot one with your gun, how many would be left?" "None," replied Johnny, "cause the rest would fly away." "Well, the answer is four," said the teacher, "but I like the way you're thinking."
Little Johnny says, "I have a question for you. If there were three women eating ice cream cones in a shop, one was licking her cone, the second was biting her cone and the third was sucking her cone, which one is married?"
"Well," said the teacher nervously, "I guess the one sucking the cone."
"No," said Little Johnny, "the one with the wedding ring on her finger, but I like the way you're thinking." You might not be here wit us but your memory remains in our hearts. I love you dad."
"Oh my God, You got me on this!!! Dr. Ben, the very intelligent friend, colleague and Boss...Words may not be able to describe how we feel about your absence...however, we must say a few words... It has been three years now, the news was soooo shocking and knowing that we just saw a few weeks before you were gone, made it even more unbelievable cos u promised you would pull through. Just want to thank God for your family whom He has preserved this far and will always do. It is well in the name of Jesus. Though, you are gone, your memories still live on, adieu till we meet again! Rest in Perfect Peace!!!"
You will forever be in our thoughts, for you were a good friend, professional colleague and passionate person.
Rest in peace and may your family be consoled by the memories of the short but fulfilled life you lived."
"Uncle, you touched life beyond word can express even when you are not talking you will still pass a message.
happy I knew you when I did because despite been in pain I could still see the angel in you.
Last week, I ate the Sour chop fruit you planted that barely grows anyhow,but both trees are springing good with big fruits which is sweet and with a little sour taste, shows your footprint and memory will always remain fresh and good in our mind.
till we meet to part no more in heaven Adieus Great man.
As am dropping this lines with tears in my eyes I pray I would also be a legacy to be remembered by the good morals you taught us."
"Three years gone by like yesterday. Memories of you remain fresh, the impact you created are still with us, your legacies are visible everywhere. My oga, I miss your mentorship, counsel, your rebuke and criticism. I miss to hear you talk. There hasn't been a supervisor like you. Thank you for your time you shared with me. We are consoled by the life you lived and the wonderful family you left behind. Roselyn is waxing strong and the children are doing great. Remain in the bosom of the Lord!"
"Three years already?? How time flies.... .. My friend and brother, we miss you - your humour, your dedication and commitment.. Continue to rest in the bosom of the Lord.... Mama Rose!! Jisike!! May the Lord continue to strengthen you in Jesus name."
"How Time flies! It was just like yesterday that my beloved friend, colleague and brother Terkula was translated to celestial glory. Words cannot adequately capture my sense of loss. May the Holy Spirit, the comforter continue to comfort the family you left behind.
Sleep on in the bosom of your saviour Terkula. We love you but Jesus loves you more!!!"
"Rossy my sista, U are a strong woman of immense faith,your lover, your friend and hubby is watching over you and will always be an invisible pillar. Don`t be afraid. Ben could not just stay after the job was done. He has a bigger assignment in eternity. The Ben we know is surly with the LORD..It may have been a lonely journey of 3 years...but you were never alone..God and Ben`s excellent spirit was always with you. may his gentle sould continue to smile at us.. May we find courage like Ben did..even in his last hours... God bless the Princess and the President for us.. They will be celebrated soon IJMN."
"You are forever loved, brother
. Continue your good works as the Angel we knew you."
"May the God Lord grand you rest. For your family that you left behind may the Almighty God grant and avail them the heavenly consolation needed to bear this great loss."
"3rd Year Remembrance.
Today is exactly 3years GOD ALMIGHTY called you to be with HIM. Its been challenging and not a day goes by without thinking of you but thank GOD for HIS Grace. Your son Agebaater woke up when i was writing this mail (1.05am) and said "I love Daddy so much and will always miss him". His comment brought tears to my eyes for i know we will always miss you but I also know you are in a better place so i write this poem............
GOD saw you getting tired,
When a cure was not to be.
So He wrapped his arms around you,
and whispered, "come to me."
You didn't deserve what you went through,
So He gave you rest.
GOD's garden must be beautiful,
He only takes the best
And when I saw you sleeping,
So peaceful and free from pain
I could not wish you back
To suffer that again.
Many thanks to everyone for your immense love and support. GOD bless you all immensely and may you live to see and be blessed by your children's children. Amen
Roselyn Alagh (wife)."
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