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Chief Samuel Dieprie Fetepigi- Ebifa
November 8th 1931
August 10th 2019
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God brought you to this life for justice and peace and I believe you fulfilled that role in the life of all the people God brought to you for such. I remember how on different occasions I followed you to settle cases of people you had no relationship with nor for money, but just for hearing there stories of how injustice is being carried out against them. In this matter God always gave justice in your favour. I wonder, who is able to fill this vacuum you have left, not just in the family but to the society at large. For this I pray that the Almighty God grant you eternal rest.
A Tribute To My Dad- Chief Samuel Dieprie Fetepigi – Ebifa
Have you eaten? These were some of my dad’s most used words: Family, friend or stranger.
My dad and I got closer in the last 5 years before he passed. 2weeks couldn’t go by without him calling to tell me he hadn’t seen me. Even his carer would remind him I was going to call on certain days. Four to six weeks and he would call to tell me he hadn’t seen his grand kids. The joy he experienced spending an easy Sunday afternoon with them was indescribable. He and I spent some days alone in his room with him narrating so much history, I would wonder if this ability missed a generation.
It was beautiful. Learning about our family history , Nigerian history, colonial history and of course his own personal social history; We had a good laugh with this one and I didn’t do too badly here by his standards, my close friends would say I was truly my fathers child BEFORE I settled down.
Our family set up isn’t the regular everyday arrangement, odd to be honest. In all this you couldn’t take away my dads love and care for his children. He wanted us with him at any given chance. My siblings and I still wonder at how it all worked out for him.
Growing up, I couldn’t understand why there were so many people always waiting to see him. Life has taught me it was his status at the time. More importantly with said status, no one was ever turned away. He supported as many as he could. I am almost certain all one had to say was a Nembe salutation and you were sorted. Years later he would tell me how he became friends with this person or that person and I realised that with his flaws, he was a good human being.
Despite my dad’s position in the police force, the many relationships he built as a result of this, his integrity was never in question. You remained an honest Police Officer.
You had a good run dad, Rest Well.
The late High Chief Samuel Dieprie Fetepigi was a wonderful grandfather to us, who imparted each
of our lives significantly. His stern exterior was a stark contrast to the love and protective instincts
which he harboured towards us.
We are pleased to share some of the memories we shared with Grandpa; which resulted from
Davine and Serenaba’s decade spent attending school in Lagos where he resided, as well as Serenate
and Miller’s frequent holidaying at his home.
We will cherish the following, and many more memories:
• He frequently picked us from and dropped us at the airport
• He knew our school calendars and was fully aware of the noteworthy dates
• He always gave us words of wisdom just before we travelled back home or to school, often telling
the boys to ‘stay strong’.
• He attended all our significant school events- visiting days, graduations, Christmas carols, etcetera-
despite his deteriorating strength, and did not hesitate to show up at school when there were
important issues to be dealt with.
• He always had snacks stocked up when he knew we were coming to his home.
• He stayed up late into the night, to watch television with us.
• He outrightly refused have his meal anytime he was expecting us, no matter how long it took for us
• We had an enjoyable trip to Akwa Ibom to attend aunty Eneni’s wedding.
• He always took the boys on his daily walks around the compound, with his dog Major.
• He joyfully told us riveting stories from his childhood and his police career.
• Finally, we will cherish his big hugs, and will all remember the last times we experienced them.
With an overwhelming sense of loss, we accept Grandpa’s departure, but are comforted with the
belief that he has completed his life’s journey. To this end, we present a poem written by Fiona
Bourke, which aptly captures our thoughts.
We know you can no longer stay with us,
you fought long and hard to be with us.
We know you now watch over and protect us.
Although we cannot hear you voice or see your smiling face,
We know deep down in our hearts that you have not left us.
Instead every day you surround us with the singing of the birds,
the rising of the sun and the falling of the night.
So many broken hearts are left behind,
But in our deepest despair our greatest
comfort lies knowing that you are now at peace with the angels and God.
So as time passes our tears will dry, our hearts will mend,
but our love for you will never end.
(By Fiona Bourke)
Rest in perfect peace, Grandpa. With love from:
Davine Ayebadiepriye Serena-Dokubo
Serenaba Ayebatari Serena-Dokubo
Serenate Samuel Serena-Dokubo
Miller Owanaemi Serena-Dokubo
A Poem to My Dear Big Daddy and Uncle Chief Samuel Dieprie Fetepigi-Ebifa - Love Lives On
Another leaf has fallen,
another soul has gone.
But still we have God’s promises.
Your love remains with us
for love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one’s gone.
For he is in Heaven,
and though He takes away, He always leaves to mortals, the bright sun’s kindly ray.
He leaves the fragrant blossoms,
and lovely forest, green.
And gives us new found comfort,
when we on Him will lean.
Those we love can never
be more than a thought apart,
far as long as there is memory,
you’ll live on in in heart.
We love you beyond words can explain,
your worth is inestimable and immeasurable.
your love knew no bounds.
For you were made for a purpose, sacrificing all, loving everyone that crosses your path.
You are simply irreplaceable, yes right, irreplaceable!
I am grateful for the blessings and sunshine you brought our way.
May your gentle sweet soul rest in peace!
Heaven has gained an angel!
Tonye Tons Fetepigi.
TRIBUTE TO A FANTASTIC FATHER
My Friend and Confidant!
Always Cheerful and Elegant..!
In contemporary times, I would say you were ''a man with swag'', always on point..!
There was never a dull moment with you.
To me and many others, you were the right person to talk to at difficult times, as you would probe until you find a way around whatever the situation maybe.
You could engage in meaningful discussions on any topic whatsoever.
You were blessed with so much wisdom.
You are the best historian I've come across.
As a child, I longed to spend quality time with you, and in the fullness of time I got the privilege to spend some times with you, and always looked forward to the next opportunity. I am glad to have being around you in recent times.
Honestly, every moment with you were memorable, and by grace your counsel and teachings would remain green in the tablet of my heart.
News of your demise was unbelievable. How can? What went wrong?
I got to hear you were on medical admission on that fateful Saturday morning (10-08-2019), then we spoke twice at intervals, (you were your usual self, asking how I was doing even while you were ill). Only to be informed later that you were no more.
Memories of you would always remain.
You always expressed gratitude; for the smallest of things you would say;
" You have done River " - which you interpreted to mean; 'A River has more water than 'tubo' -Well'...
"Igbogi fere mondegha" - 'Money can't do work a child would do'...
You would insist I speak Nembe and patiently correct my mistakes!
Daddy! your absence has created a vacuum I trust the Holy spirit to fill.
I miss you my friend and confidant!
I miss you my fantastic daddy!
Doumo mu daddy!!!
-Amiete Ebitari Fetepigi
A tribute to Our Grand Dad
We both love you so much and really wish you could stay longer. But God called you to Heaven before we knew it. It was only because you were such an amazing soul, he needed you up there. Here are some memories of you that we will forever remember.
Those times when we would come over to your HUGE house after church. When we entered, a particular smell would fill our nose. We could never quite put a finger on what the smell was, but it was always welcoming. We still remember your dear Major. She would always bark when we came. I (Wanemi) was about 4 years old at the time so I would scream and get really scared whenever she barked . You’d always tell me to calm down. That she wouldn’t bite me. Being the cautious 7-year-old I (Ebitimi) was, I’d still stay inside just to be ‘safe’. When you’d give us a huge jar of crackers to take home. How you said my name with a particular accent! My dad TRIES to say it the same way.
When he’d go to special occasions, looking sharp and all in his Nembe attire. . And his hat! That special hat that we’d always wear for fun at his house. Role playing spies and detectives. I remember once, when I used his walking stick and ‘special hat’ to dance. Like playing a magician and dancer at the same time. He also gave me a special book before our family left town. It contained a bunch of traditional songs from Nembe . I’d been trying to learn the language for a while, so I really appreciated you going out of your way to get the book for me.
I did have a feeling that the last time I saw him, in 2018, would be the last time I’d ever see him. That’s why I tried to make the most of that day and make him as happy as possible. Another side of me said he’d live up to over a 100! He just looked like the type of person that could be old but still strong as ever. His passing really taught me something. To cherish the ones, you love the most and to always tell them you love them. You never know what might happen.
His memory will forever live on. We love you granddad. So much!
Ebitimi and Wanemi
It is still hard to come to terms with not seeing you again…..at least for a while. Any time I saw him his first question was always how are you? Next was how is your dad, I hope you are hearing from him?
As your daughter in law I know without a doubt that you accepted me into the family whole heartedly. Anyone who knows daddy knows he was a historian. He had such interesting stories to tell, he knew soooo many people including my grandad and shared so many stories about my grandad with me.
I was extremely comfortable in his company and that was because he treated me like his daughter. Visiting daddy meant having one or two meals at the house and sitting at the dining table meant we were going down memory lane…daddy shared everything, his time in the police force, time spent exploring the social scenes in Lagos (how we laughed and laughed over those).
Daddy was a fountain of knowledge, times he spent sharing stories are memories I will forever hold dear.
We love and miss you Daddy!!!!
Tribute to my boss
, daddy your death came as a shock to me even till now I can't believe you are gone 10th August is a day I will remember your death as it was a shocked to me when I heard the news of your death, you were God's sent to me working with brought God's blessings to me you made me to understand what it's takes to be a man when I came to work with you I have no intention of staying so long but you took me as your own biological son, you taught me to put God first in every thing you made me understand that good name is better than sliver and gold our well been he put first daddy will always ask what is wrong are you ok you taught me the importance of been thankful to be contented with what I have how to leave in peace with one another to say sorry even when the person wrong me you always give people even when you don't have enough you taught me the importance of giving, my history taller is gone I will miss your words of wisdom and love, sleep in peace ! sleep in peace! Until the trumpet shall sound.from
SD Fetepigi: Historian, Storyteller extraordinaire!
On Saturday 19th August, 1989, when His Highness SAMUEL DIEPRIE FETEPIGI EBIFA walked his niece, (more like his daughter, I would say) Helen Mark down the aisle and handed her over to me at the Catholic Church of the Assumption in Ikoyi, Lagos, he and I solidified a relationship which had hitherto been more like that of a distant uncle whom one was afraid of, if you didn't treat his niece well.
Looking at him from behind, standing straight and ramrod, you expect to see a frowning face when you get to his front to look at him. But the face you would see would surprise you - it always had a happy smile of one who was pleased to see you and have you around. He always had that twinkle in his eyes and he always looked regal in those flowing traditional wears of his!
Uncle SD was always happy to have people around him. You will be making a grave mistake if you tell yourself you want to stop by his house and stay 10 minutes, because you need to dash somewhere 'As Soon Ss Possible'. That 'ASAP' may be one hour or more. It was not as if he would stop you from leaving; no! But the 'gist', spiced with stories rich with historical perspectives only an erudite historian could possess, will keep you stuck to your chair, sometimes with mouth agape.
Yes, Uncle SD had the history of different parts of Nigeria and beyond in his head and always loved to share it with everyone, so much so we knew that even academic historians in the ivory towers could not compete with him.
I knew him as an extraordinary storyteller, a man passionate about history and a great father and friend of the Eboigbe family. When we were celebrating, whether it was a naming ceremony, a one-year birthday of a child, a 50 or 60 year birthday, he would be there. He had no prejudice about the age of the celebrant; he just loved to have people around him and chat with them and share his views on topical issues, laced with history, of course.
He knew hundreds of years of history and he loved to bring that wealth and knowledge into people's lives. He told history that was intellectually of the highest order but sometimes combined it with a profound sense of culture and tradition. And he was a tireless man when it comes to speaking about a better world for the now and future generations.
His generosity and openness in engaging with people who were either much younger or less endowed, made him a very unique man who who cared less about grinding an axe with anyone.
There is no doubt that Uncle SD was a giant in the service of his people and the nation, and had influenced a whole generation of younger people, including policemen who saw in him a good example of the type of man in whose hands the country would have been a better place.
Contrary to expectations, his service in the police force did not seem to have affected his calm and friendly disposition to all manner of people. He just loved to have and help people, advising them on the way to go - like the mentor-in-chief he always was. Rising to the post of Commissioner of Police seemed to have made him even a humbler person and he was open to all.
In the course of an extraordinary life and career, Uncle SD obviously personally witnessed many of the most dramatic events he spoke about and was always ready to share his experience so that many of us could learn from them.
We will remember him as one of the greatest men of this century and wish we had more time to 'gist' more about this country and drank more from his wealth of wisdom.
Farewell, Uncle SD. May your great soul rest in perfect peace. AMEN!
Ogie R. Eboigbe
TRIBUTE TO LATE HIGH CHIEF SAMUEL DIEPREYE FETEPIGI EBIFA (UNCLE SAMMY)
It was an honour to know you even though I was trying to
Grapple with the realities of life.
You made me to understand the meaning of life;
That determination, steadfastness, consistency and hard
Work are ....... the driving force.
And most importantly, maintaining a good relationship
With your maker is what brings about the desired happiness
And purpose of life.
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