And We Lost AIG Don Awunah
(A preliminary tribute)
By Tunde Olusunle, PhD
We lost a good friend and brother, Don Awunah, Assistant Inspector General, (IGP) of Police, to the cold hands of death at 1am today. He was hospitalized about two months ago for the management of an undisclosed ailment. The wedding of his only daughter, Gabriella, earlier scheduled for April 23, 2022, had to be postponed to enable him recuperate.
Family, friends and colleagues rallied around him, even as we prayed he will become stable enough to stand the stress of a long-haul flight, to seek further treatment abroad.
I met Don Awunah over a decade ago, courtesy of my longstanding very close friend, classmate and brother, Tivlumun Nyitse. Both men grew up together in Makurdi, Benue State, and forged a lifelong amity, which blossomed and intertwined the families of both gentlemen. Nyitse’s wife, Helen, indeed had Awunah’s spouse, Dooshima as her “Best Lady” at the former’s wedding, about 30 years ago. Such is the intertwining depth of the relationship between both families. This is not forgetting the passion for football, which bound Awunah, Nyitse and I together. Awunah was a fan of the English Premier League, (EPL) side, Chelsea. Nyitse and I are Arsenal aficionados. We poked fun at each other from time to time, reviewing the performances of our club sides and projecting into their futures.
Awunah was an exceptionally good man. His gentlemanly carriage and comportment, completely preceded and subsumed the top cop that he was. He was a family man par excellence, a loyal friend and an unrepentant patriot. He had a communal essence about his makeup, he cared for everyone, and loved the rhythm of conviviality and laughter. He was a scholar in his own right, who treasured academic inquisition. Indeed, he had two well-earned masters’ degrees among other academic qualifications. Yet, he was eternally humble enough to subject even his own work, correspondences, speeches, lecture notes, even academic papers, to further interrogation and editorial opinion. He will immediately place a call to you, if he was not in the same space with you, to clarify sentence structures or semantics. He was that thorough.
He treasured relationships. The very first post-retirement meeting of Nyitse and I with former President Goodluck Jonathan, was at the instance of Awunah. As Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa State, Jonathan who was in his Yenagoa home, invited Awunah for a meeting. Nyitse and I were guests of our friend, and he gladly invited us to come with him. He loved to show off his loved ones, and very proudly introduced us as “media scholars, top-flight journalists and erstwhile public officers.” It was the same flourish with which he announced our profiles, when we accompanied him to meet Seriake Dickson, immediate past governor of Bayelsa, in Yenagoa and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, in his Abuja accommodation.
He was one of very few senior officers who attended full term courses at the Institute for Security Studies, (ISS) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), respectively. He was Police Commissioner in Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states, and until recently, he was AIG in-charge of Rivers and Bayelsa states. Apart from command positions in the Nigeria Police Force, (NPF), Awunah served variously as Director of Studies at the Police Academy Wudil, Kano State, (POLAK) and Commandant, Police Staff College, Jos, mentoring younger cops.
To say he will be sorely missed is a gross understatement.
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com