By Okechukwu Anarado
A healthy tree's branch snapped at a vulture's impetuous perch. Darkness suddenly overtook a bright and sunny day. And mortals, in recoil, ponder over the mysteries that pervade the moment. If only the reality could be upturned.
Randie's passage presents this scenario.
Life, in all its expressions, harps on its utmost transience. It continually upholds the trifle in the wishes of humans to subdue it. Life entrenches an imbalance in the competition between nature's inimitable cause and human's innate inclinations to hanker after outstretched longevity. Indeed man would wish himself immortal in time and space; nature wills otherwise, regardless. Nature prevails.
While the mode of Randie Chima's passage - abrupt and worrisome - buttresses this precept, our subdued postures, sully emotions and deep pains as Randie's associates, friends and family, are obvious manifestations of forgivable human frailties. How else would we respond to the impromptu removal of one who pleasantly crossed our paths while he lived? Randie Chima was a good man!
I might not claim knowledge of Randie beyond the intimacy my interaction with him in the service of Anambra State Government availed me. This interaction which dovetailed into warm friendship started blooming about the third quarter of Chief Peter Obi's second tenure. It was rooted in the passion we shared for our interfacing responsibilities.
Indeed, Valentine Obienyem who marshaled ex-Governor Obi's media and media related matters thought us a fair pair and set us working. The success Randie made of that opportunity is now history. By the way, at that time, Randie worked for Patrick Oke Audio-Visual Group then on retainership, I think, with the State Government.
Randie however returned to Awka solo in the administration of Chief Willie Obiano. The value he was able to add to the Governor's achievements earned him the Governor's approval as a treasured ally. This became manifest in Randie's transmutation from an outsider working for the government to an insider working in the Government of Anambra State – he became the Senior Special Assistant (Audio-Visuals) to the Governor. But the sparkles of this ascending star suddenly extinguished, and we are compelled to address him in the past - the painful but sure way of mortals.
The warm fellowship I shared with Randie informs my deep appreciation for the privilege of this space to identify with this fallen colleague of mine; my friend truly.
Many, indeed so many other persons out there, would wish to publicly celebrate Randie even as he lies lifeless, given his genuine countless expressions of warmth, love and compassion at work and beyond, and his insistence on best practices as the only sure way to excellence in the execution of his job. A stickler to objective presentation of his principal's mission, Randie remained most conscious of the good of the common people and society in his deliveries. He defied daunting risks: would freely go on tree tops, climb or go down hills, wade through crowds and mud, mount canoes and dare anything to obtain the coverage that would tell the stories he sought.
Randie was a rugged Field Marshal whose passion for his audio visual engagements, as much as equipment updates, could not be negated by any. He was more gratified by the satisfaction he offered his principal and his input to societal uplift than selfish pecuniary lures. Randie would do anything to tell Governor Willie Obiano's story in governance, being himself convinced that the governor keeps faith with his (governor's) avowals to expand the frontiers of good governance.
Wherever Randie went or lived, his amiable warmth and genuineness attracted trails of like minds who, alike, processed and interpreted the dynamics and vagaries of life as factors that extract man's hidden potentialities. Across Europe, Lagos, Auchi, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, the Niger Delta axis and Awka provided such veritable platforms. Indeed Awka offered Randie a crop of highly prized friends in whose company he rollicked 'eternally'. His watchful spirit would recognise this truth. Randie was therefore always willing to march on, encouraged by the imports of friendship, even at moments when the tides seemed against his favour; the world wasn't his after all, and he understood that much, albeit with pains – pains that persisted.
I am sure that the reactions of governments, organizations and persons that Randie shared something with in life will bear bold testimonies of the robust compulsions that drove this life that was.
Randie Chima hailed from Amuta, Isiukwuato Local Government Council in Abia State. He is survived by Ngozi, wife; Kelechi, son and Ogechi, daughter, who will forever miss the warmth of his dedicated headship of the family. Randie's aging mother, three sisters, other family members and cherished in-laws also deeply mourn his passing on.
Here, I wish to adopt Randie's own words in answering people's question about what happened to my friend. In his charitable spirit of 'at all at all, na-im bi witch,' (his words when he had to give less than what one sought from him) I submit that 'I have no idea,' - what he would say if he had no answer or solution to a question or problem.
While medical science could proffer or aver the cause(s) of death, only God Who gives life stands free from the hazards in speculations on how life expires.
It is therefore my prayer that as we mourn Randie's departure for many reasons, we converge on the insistence that the young family he left behind does not cease to feel the warmth of the friendship which he contributed to and benefited from while he lived amongst us. Positive signs are rife, however, that this preaching might not be necessary for people who, in good spirit, are already rising to the challenge.
I can risk a boast, without any consultations, that the Government that Randie served would duly recognise the burden of his absence on his family. The humanity this Government exudes would bear me out.
I counsel all of us to mourn as Christians consoled by our faith in Resurrection.
Randie's remains were interred on Thursday, the 25th of October, 2018, at Amuta, Abia State.
A wake for him was earlier held in Awka on Tuesday, 23rd of October, 2018, at St. Thomas Aquinas' Catholic Parish (behind Government House) Awka; by 5pm.
The wake at his home town Amuta was held on Wednesday, 24th of October, 2018.
Adieu Randie Chima
May God Who made you grant your failing soul mercy in Paradise, Amen.
SA Media to the Governor