The passing of Chief Smart Owonikoko-Decency


By Olusola Adeyegbe

He was a formidable business tycoon, a London-trained accountant hailing from a prominent Lagos family. Known for his blunt demeanor and fierce ambition, he was nonetheless meticulous in his dealings, achieving great success in business without compromising fairness. Inheriting the family company from his late father, Chief Smart Owonikoko-Decency (Chief Smart) propelled it to unprecedented heights, with the business’s value soaring to over N120 billion ($80 million) during his tenure as Chief Executive of the Owonifaari Group. Seizing opportunities in supporting services for Nigeria’s burgeoning telecommunications industry following the country’s return to democracy, he further expanded his enterprise’s scope.

Chief Smart’s passing at the age of 86, attributed to renal failure by his wife, Mrs. Jelenke Owonikoko-Decency (Jelenke), marked the end of an era for the business community.

To Chief Smart’s utter surprise and confusion, as he departed from his physical body, he found himself observing his discarded form lying on the hospital bed, while simultaneously perceiving himself in a different, more refined body. It was a surreal experience, witnessing his wife Jelenke’s tears and lamentations over his passing, as she knelt by the bedside. Two devoted nurses and the lead doctor/consultant, who had tirelessly strived to keep him alive, offered her solace.

In the corner of the exclusive private room in the highbrow hospital where he had spent the last month battling his ailment, Chief Smart’s son, Ariwo-ola, stood calmly. Despite the gravity of the situation, Ariwo-ola appeared contemplative, his thoughts evidently drifting toward the future of the Owonifaari Group business, which he envisaged continuing from where his father left off. Chief Smart couldn’t help but feel a pang of shock and disappointment as he realised that his son, unlike the others in the room, seemed more preoccupied with the business than with his father’s passing.

In this transcendent state, Chief Smart found himself endowed with a newfound ability to perceive people’s thoughts clearly, offering him some insight into their innermost feelings and intentions.

Meanwhile, Jelenke remained inconsolable despite Chief Smart’s attempts. Drawing closer to her, he reiterated that he was still alive, urging her to cease her weeping. However, Jelenke remained unresponsive, her sobs unabated. Placing his arms around her shoulders in a gesture of solace, Chief Smart repeated his reassurance. Yet, Jelenke’s demeanor remained unchanged.

Chief Smart was yet to fully come to terms with the fact that he was no longer working through his discarded physical body but that his finer body was the one making contact with his wife’s finer form, rather than her physical body. Moreover, he remained oblivious to the fact that Jelenke, still in the flesh could not perceive his touch on her finer body. Frustrated and distressed, Chief Smart cried out to the others in the room, proclaiming his continued existence. Despite hearing his own voice and the voices of others, they remained oblivious to his presence, adding to his bewilderment.

In a state of utter despondency, Chief Smart collapsed to the ground, losing consciousness. Days later, he witnessed his own lavish funeral, astonished by the lack of compassion and the envy evident in the expressions of some attendees. Moreover, he observed with surprise how individuals he had once despised now extended well-wishes towards him in his transition.

Exhausted by the ordeal, Chief Smart drifted into sleep, only to awaken to a suffocating darkness. His attempts to call out were met with a chilling silence, devoid of the sound of his own voice. Bereft of sensation in his limbs, Chief Smart grappled with a sense of profound loneliness and hopelessness, signaling the onset of a long and arduous journey into the unknown realms beyond.

During his time on earth, Chief Smart rarely entertained matters of spiritual significance. When his son, from a tender age of seven, questioned him about life after death, Chief Smart dismissively asserted that upon his demise, his body would simply turn to dust, discouraging further inquiry into the topic. To him, such inquiries were deemed trivial and unworthy of attention, as he urged his son to focus on weightier matters.

In discussions among peers regarding the spiritual essence of life, Chief Smart’s response was often laced with mocking laughter. He regarded such conversations as juvenile, asserting that his role as a businessman was solely to amass wealth for himself and his family, while also creating opportunities for the less fortunate. With an air of ambition, he expressed his desire to leave a lasting legacy as a successful entrepreneur and a benefactor to humanity.

The narrative of Chief Smart’s departure unfolds as a tale of hardship and bewilderment in its initial hours. Yet, this narrative merely scratches the surface of a much deeper reality. The choices he made throughout his life on earth have led him to confront the stark consequences that now unfold before him. Despite his refusal to acknowledge the existence of an afterlife and his dismissal of spiritual matters as inconsequential, Chief Smart has no power to annul the continuation of life after his physical demise. Consequently, he now faces the daunting prospect of navigating a desolate and solitary existence in the realms beyond.

However, for those who have devoted their time on earth to acquiring knowledge about God and eternity, their awakening in the realms beyond shall be one of profound joy. The Hand of the Lord extends to us through His Word, readily available on earth today. This divine revelation illuminates the operation of God’s Laws in Creation and offers a path to redemption from the entanglements of guilt. With a genuine comprehension of these Divine Laws, we can sidestep experiences akin to those endured by Chief Smart Owonikoko-Decency.

Now therefore is the time to concern ourselves solely with the Word of Truth and a clear understanding of the Laws of God! 

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