- 49 years old
- Date of birth: Apr 24, 1967
- Date of passing: Oct 28, 2016
|Let the memory of Victor be with us forever|
"It was five years ago and i was trying to dodge activities leading up to my fathers burial. I was not interested least of all in the traditions and culture that our forebears prescribed before we could commit our loved daddy into the ground.
I did everything possible not to attend the burial including hiding out in a motel in a different state and monitoring activities with enough distractions that would make the legendary Hugh Hefner of the Playboy Mansion green with envy.
Inevitably i had to appear. The 'wicked' Ibibio elders had insisted on my presence failure whiich I had to take my poor Dad back to Shomolu.
So i waved my light skinned full bodied co mourners godbye and began the long journey from Duke Town in Calabar to Anyiam Nsit in Etinan through Uyo by foot and in tears. Not tears for my daddy but tears for the things i was leaving behind in Duke Town.
After five days of trekking, feeling tired and worn out, i appeared in Uyo. Uyo is our family homestead where my mother had run to, fleeing from the witches and wizards who had mercilessly tormented my dad.
As i approached our house, i saw the ass. It was big, flattened with contours at the edges. This could only be Obire.Victor Obire in Uyo. I was not even close to him. Infact we were barely on speaking terms so you can imagine my surprise Obire was the only BGL person at this burial.
I screamed his name and he turned and low and behold his famous tummy shinning bright under the Uyo sunlight, his bald head and ugly glasses completing the quintessential Obire look. I ran towards him screaming and shouting, you will forget it was my fathers burial. His tummy did not allow me hug him well but all the same i hugged his legs and patted his famous ass.
That man touched me that day. He was a gentle giant and i remeber his twin lap tops and his tiny office at BGL were we did a lot of things online that i will not mention here lest he wakes up from his sleep and give me a knock like old roger.
He was kind o and very friendly if you got to know him better. Scary and gruf to those who were far but a gentle giant. He loved evetything big, his Cars, his trousers, his bread and his drink. He spoke sparcely but was very fearless.
At strategy sessions Obire spoke his mind fearlessly and dared any one to cross him. He was not controversial but never let you doubt his positions on issues. He was firecely loyal and like a good sheperd dog once he takes a position he stayed there. You could take his loyalty to the Bank it was good currency.
Saw him last in my office when he came with his bossom friend Funsho Oke to visit. Theirs was a funny pair- a laurel and hardy type combination. Funsho with the long scrawny marchavaliean look and a Brad Pitt wanna be greying beards and Obire with his portruding tummy and village Headmaster type glases. Strange bed fellows but a friendship made in heaven and consumated in the research hub of agbabon close.
That is where they met with funsho as permanent Head of Research with no promotion and obire the hardworking and loyal deputy. The team grew to have shola and femi ademola two yoruba men join and tiny but mischevious Jimmy and the Prof. Vincent Uwani form the dream team of Research. Peole like Dafe cut their teeth there and I used to go steal their groundnuts and boli when trying to hide from Nwozor my then bible thumping oga whose bald head used to be a sneaky source of excitement to me.
Obire on the football field was a caricature artiste's delight. His yam tuber legs, his huge tummy and stout outlook was the strikers nightmare. He mistook football for sumo wrestling and manhandled opposing players for daring to even come on the field.
For Obire BGL was his life. He lived for BGL and did the job like his life depended on it. First to work everyday and last to leave. Moved around like a thundering tornado leaving in its wake amazement from his colleagues. He wept at the lost dream but like a passenger on an ilfated plane could do nothing to save it.
As i write, tears overwhelm me. A true soldier is down and the army is too weak to do anything for him. The Army must however cordon his naked body, surround him with warmth and preserve his dignity.
We remain the people of BGL we remain strong in our firm believe in our vision. Although scatttered and dishevelled our spirit will remain resolute as firm as Obires stout legs and as loyal as Obire was. Loyal to our spirit and the famed never say die spirit of BGL.
Obire was crazy. The best crazy man in a house filled with crazies. From me to omini through to nwozor to thomas emereole BGL was fun but ObireS madness was in a class of its own.
I'm rambling , strange cos i never ramble. It is Obires mad spirit driving me crazy and forcefully taking me through the now darkened hollow corridows of catholic mission street crying for a rebirth for that can be the only way we can let his restless spirit lay in peace.
Will we let Obire sleep in vain? A soldier has dropped. A true soldier albeit with the biggest ass has dropped.
I hold my tears. Yes i hold my tears.
By Joseph Edgar"
"THE OBIRE FIRE…
I heard about the passing on of Victor Obire as I was watching the match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace…
I was especially saddened as I was just thinking the brand of football Liverpool is playing this 2016 under Jurgen Klopp is quite enviable – something every Liverpool fan will be proud of – such passionate and fiery football style… and of course Oga Obire is the most die hard Liverpool fan I have ever met!
Then it came to me like a flash – that kind of fire can never be extinguished! Victor Obire was definitely a fire brand. I believe his fire can never be extinguished – it is only unfortunate albeit inevitable, that his earthly abode could not contain that fire forever.
The Victor Obire I know (cannot bring myself to use a past tense) will show his fire brand on two things – BGL and Liverpool. Ummh I could add a third in big cars (still remember when he released ‘the truck’ to match his persona in 2007 after the legendary ‘pepper soup’ sharing in BGL! He hated that Toyota Corolla given to Associates at the time!
Victor’s loyalty to BGL and Liverpool is particularly unprecedented. Those in the Research Unit (Funso, Dafe, Nwani, Femi, Yvonne, Jimi) including surrogates like (my humble self, Greg, Jelugbo) knew not to mess around with him on these issues in order to keep the ‘fire dragon’ caged! I especially got singed a few times in my naivete before I learnt!
Bottom line I bear the scars of the Obire fire… I’m sure quite a few of us in BGL also have those scars. That says to me that while we will never see Obire again he had made an indelible impact in our lives.
That is worth celebrating. Please join me and celebrate the life of a great man! He has fought a good fight!
Hip Hip Hip??? (Do I hear a hurray, somebody?)"
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