Bits and pieces of Professor Ade Adefuye's last moments provide some insight into possible cause of death which appears to indicate he suffered a cardiac arrest. Mohammed Mbodj, Adefuye’s chief security detail, who stood beside him and saw it all has revealed in detail the immediate circumstaces of his demise shortly before his expected return to Nigeria.
Mbodj, confirmed that a THISDAY conversation Wednesday 9.15 am ((2.15pm Nigeria) regarding his send forth party was probably among the last phone calls he made before leaving home at about 10.30-11 am .
During the chat, Adefuye confirmed he would be arriving Nigeria on or about the 18th, adding that Ojo Maduekwe from Canada and the High Commissioner in London were already in the country but that he needed to clear his desk, respond to a number of send forths including one by the diplomatic community, insisting THISDAY must attend all of the events.
According to Mbodj, “Adefuye called me early yesterday shortly after he spoke with you and a number of other people and said ‘let’s go to the office’ and as we approached the Rite Aid Pharmacy close to the house I noticed he was shrieking. He requested we should go back to the house but I said we should rather call 911 and go to the hospital and that was what happened.
“I quickly called 911 which showed up a few minutes later in front of the Rite Aid Pharmacy and from there we moved into a hospital where he had an intravenous treatment. He came back to life joking and asking the doctors, ‘what did you guys do to me?’
“The doctors said ‘we administered drugs on you and have been observing your progressive recovery.’ They asked him: ‘Who are you?’ He said: ‘Adefuye.’ They said ‘what do you do?’ He replied: ‘I am the Nigerian Ambassador to the US.’ They asked him: ‘Where are you?’ He replied: ‘At least this is not the Nigerian Embassy.’ They asked him: ‘Do you know this man,’ referring to me, his ADC. He said: ‘He is my brother.’ They said: ‘He saved your life today.’
According to Mbodj, Adefuye asked if he could go home and he was told he needed some observation after an intravenous administration. He called one of the doctors and told him he had met him somewhere before and enquired if he had been at the Embassy before now.
The doctor said no and Adefuye asked him if he was at the dinner arranged for President Muhammadu Buhari by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council for Africa (CCA). The doctor said yes and the other doctors and nurses were amazed at his retentive memory saying the doctor, not the ambassador, should have recognized him.
“He requested I cash a cheque, bring his clothes from the house and files from the office; he asked for his phone and started making calls,” continued Mbodj with his narrative through a telephone conversation.
In response to whether the ambassador was suffering from high blood pressure, Mbodj said no but confirmed the doctors said he suffered a low blood pressure leading to the seizure.
Mbodj said: “According to the doctors, his blood pressure was below 68. He did not have a history of high blood pressure. The next day (Thursday) when I arrived the Suburban Hospital for his discharge, I saw a team of doctors and nurses pumping his chest. I made enquiries and was told the seizure was back and they were working to revive him. Shortly after that, I was asked to call his wife.
“Incidentally she was the one who just came out from hospital after surgery and the ambassador had been busy tending to her needs as she recuperated. I called and she wanted to know what happened and I told her the doctors needed to see her.
“She eventually arrived and asked to see her husband; the doctors later reported that there was not much left to be done. She placed her hands on his legs and prayed for him saying it was his destiny asking God to receive his soul in heaven.”
When THISDAY put a call across to the Suburban Hospital, an affiliate of John Hopkins and reputed to be one of America’s best for cardiovascular treatments and located in the Montgomery county at 8600 Old Georgetown Road, Bethseda Maryland, to find out how Adefuye died and the cause of death, it met a brickwall.
THISDAY was told that only family members designated to receive the information could make such enquiries quoting an aspect of US Law to support its stand.
Mbodj had to excuse the telephone conversation as he was heading for the airport to receive Adefuye’s children flying in from London.
Several calls to the embassy received no response but Ezinne Osigwe who works in its media section said arrangements for the ambassador’s send forth party planned for Wednesday September 2 were in top gear and he needed to endorse the invitations the day he had the first seizure and that was the much she knew before the demise Thursday.
Meanwhile, members of the US diplomatic community have been pouring encomiums describing Adefuye as a true patriot who held great passion for the progress of his country. At least that was the view of Melvin Foote chief executive of Constituency for Africa, which works to educate Americans about Africa and African development.
Foote said he and Adefuye collaborated and worked closely on many projects affecting his country.
While Chika Onyeani, Publisher of African Sun times observed Adefuye was a strong advocate of the war against Boko Haram, Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders, former US Ambassador to Nigeria added: “I am still in shock. He was a very dynamic representative of Nigeria. He served his nation very well as the Nigerian ambassador to the US. He was very liked among members of the diplomatic corps, the US government and the private sector. May his soul rest in peace and may that peace be translated to his family.”
Nigerian Atlanta-based Soprano singer, Abiodun Koya who has severally performed for President Barack Obama, President Jonathan and recently President Muhammadu Buhari in Washington had this to say of ambassador Adefuye: “When you saw Ambassador Adefuye, you knew right away he was a man dedicated to service, driven by passion and raw patriotism for his country. He served his country faithfully till the end; he was a gem and so will be missed.”
Also Ambassador Hank Cohen known as the Doyen of African Affairs said Adefuye was a very popular diplomat in Washington circles. Cohen who just published a book The Mind of the African strong Man: Conversations with Dictators, Statesmen and Father figures, added: “He was a very popular ambassador in Washington. He knew so many people and was a very strong advocate for Nigeria. He appeared in many functions and gave many receptions to demonstrate that a country like Nigeria was welcome to investments and friendly with the US. My condolences to the family, he died too young and I only wish the children will have a greater career than their father. Nigeria has lost a popular advocate.”
Nigeria has lost a distinguished ambassador, says US State Department…
A statement yesterday signed by the Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson, US State Department described the Death of Adefuye as “very sad” and that Nigeria has lost a distinguished ambassador.
The statement reads: “We were saddened to learn of the passing yesterday of Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye. Nigeria lost a distinguished ambassador who will be dearly missed. On behalf of the people of the United States and President Obama, we express our deepest condolences to his wife and his family.
“Over the past five years under Ambassador Adefuye’s leadership, we enjoyed a collaborative and open dialogue that yielded real results such as the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, a strategic dialogue that succeeded in expanding mutual cooperation across a broad range of shared interests. Ambassador Adefuye helped build the Commission into a collaborative forum that has resulted in progress on issues critical to Nigeria’s and the United States’ shared future.
“A former Fulbright scholar and participant of the International Visitor Exchange Program, Ambassador Adefuye had a keen understanding of the United States and developed strong relationships with his American colleagues. His last major assignment as Ambassador was to receive President Muhammadu Buhari and his delegation during the president’s official visit to the United States in July, during which President Buhari met with President Obama and other senior U.S. officials. The success of this visit speaks to Ambassador Adefuye’s skill as a diplomat. His tenure helped significantly strengthen the U.S.-Nigerian partnership.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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