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The past one year without my hubby and son has been awful – MIC boss, Tunji Okunsanya’s wife grants rare interview



year after the Magbamawo Industrial Company (MIC) boss Tunji Okusanya
and his son Olatunji Okunsanya Jnr died in the ill-fated Associated
Airlines conveying the body of the late former Governor of Ondo State,
Olusegun Agagu, the pains inflicted by the accident is yet to subside. Read this report by the Nation newspaper below:

Today is a sad day for Dame Mobola
Erogbogbo, the mother of the late Olatunji Okunsanya Jnr who died with
his father, Olatunji Okusanya, in the Associated Airline which crashed
near the Lagos Airport terminal a year ago.
Erogbogbo had lived and showed her son motherly love until the cold hands of death snatched him away.
She told our reporter at her office
situated in Shomolu, Lagos mainland that for the grace of God and
support of people, losing her son has been a terrible experience that
she is still fighting hard to cope with.
She explained that the late Olatunji Jnr
on October 2, last year dropped her off at the Murtala Muhammed
International Airport, Lagos on her way to London for an exhibition.
Right after checking her in, Junior, fondly called Jay, insisted that
the mother must take a photograph with him before departing.
“On October 2, last year, Tunji Junior
was the one that took me to the airport. I was going to England for an
exhibition. He took me to the airport and we checked in. As I was about
to go in, he said: ‘Mummy come back. I want us to take photograph
together’ and I jokingly said to him: ‘Jay, what do you mean by
photograph? I hope you want me to get to this London safely because we
have never taken photograph at the airport before’.  I asked him why he
wanted the photo. He said: ‘Mummy, let’s just take it’ and an employee
who accompanied us to the airport took the photograph and he immediately
sent it to the sister in London, even before I got there.
“While we were on board, there was a
little turbulence and my mind flashed back to the photograph and it
created anxiety in me but I had no clue that it had nothing to do with
me but was all about my dear son.
“When I arrived in the UK, I tried his
father’s line to inform him that I had arrived safely but his line did
not go through. I called his line and luckily it rang and we spoke
extensively. I even told him about the turbulence we experienced on air
and my fear about the picture. We laughed about it and he told me about
the publication that Thisday did on him and he was so excited
about it and wanted me to see it. I had no clue that it was going to be
my last discussion with him.
“In the morning, I woke up and my
grandson came to my room and appealed that I should put on the computer
for him for 10 minutes because his parents won’t allow him to watch TV
during the week, and when they all left home, I decided to go and sleep
but I could not sleep. I tried to put on the TV but could not until my
daughter came back and put the TV on Sky News and I saw the news
highlight:  ‘Associated Airline crashed in Nigeria, two dead”. I shouted
and informed my daughter that it was Junior’s plane because I was aware
of the arrangement for the company to convey Agagu’s body to Akure
before I left Nigeria.
“ It was about 9.45am and we called
Junior’s phone and it rang but no response. We started calling Nigeria,
but nobody was willing to tell us anything, and people I had not spoken
to for a long time were all calling me and my daughter and it was at
that time I knew something had gone wrong.
“All of them refused to tell us the true
situation until a family friend called and I asked him not to lie to us
about what had happened. He said ‘Mummy, it’s all about you’ and I know
that the worst had happened.
“It was like a dream and it has not been
an easy experience. I had to cancel my booking for the exhibition and
come back to Nigeria.
“I was very fond of him. We were living
together and he was supposed to get married this year, and each time I
teased him about scattering things, he would say it was only for a while
that when he got married, I would be the one missing and sending for
him. I did not know that it was not going to be.”
She said the late Junior loved birds and
the environment, adding that it was in preserving his memory that Jay’s
Garden would be launched today to promote the preservation of garden
birds and the environment.
“Jay’s Garden is basically a section of
Merry Maid Water Garden. He was a bird lover, just like me, but he was
more of a fanatic and these things just evolved while we were cleaning
up this place. When the idea came, we decided to call it Jay Garden’s
because apart from my son being called Jay, there is a bird also called
“He got the love for birds from me and
his dad who was a bird lover too. They had some bird cages with all sort
of birds in their office at MIC Funeral Undertakers. But he was more
into it than us.
“On Saturday morning in the house, he would just sit down, even with his last kobo, he would buy food for birds.
“Jay’s Garden is far beyond this space.
It is all encompassing; we are going to have competition and we will
have talk for school children. It will be a foundation that will
continually get young people involved in looking and respecting garden
birds. Some children just stand on the road and they start stoning
birds; part of what Jay’s  Garden stands for will be to discourage
children from doing that and educating them that the birds that they
don’t care about are very important in our lives because these birds eat
up insects that could affect our food crop, bugs as well.”