A 64-year-old Nigerian, Okunuga Olumide Saraju, has been found dead in his home in Modena, Italy, where he lived alone. Okunuga, a native of Ikenne in Ogun State and the president of Egbe Omo Yoruba in Emilia Romagna region, was found dead at about 11:00a.m. on Tuesday at his home. There are suspicions that he may have died of corona virus infection, a disease that has ravaged Italy in the past few weeks.
Saraju was well-known in the circles of associations and voluntary workers from Modena. He had lived in Modena for 30 years. A friend had raised the alarm. Upon entry, there were no signs of violence or break-ins in the house, nor traces of blood, according to Modena local media.
According to the information gathered, he had been suffering from high fever for some days but was not subjected to isolation because he had a previous complex health condition. He was being helped by friends. However, a friend raised the alarm when he was no longer answering his calls.
The city of Modena activated the antivirus procedure for the recovery of a body for the first time on Tuesday when removing his body from the apartment. As a precautionary measure, his body was brought to the street closed by a municipal police cordon, with the necrophores completely protected by overalls and masks, a gesture the neighborhood applauded.
The city said it is impossible to ascertain the cause of death for now because the deceased was suffering from a congenital disease, but the coroner will perform an autopsy and swab to check if he contracted Coronavirus. The last word belongs to the coroner who will perform the autopsy and the swab to check for any positivity to covid-19.
Saraju is an employee of an important Modena company, former vice president of the Foreigners Council of Modena, volunteer and former CGIL delegate. He was an Italian citizen in all respects and for 15 years he lived on the first floor of the building where he died. He lived alone since he separated from his wife.
And since he had been sick, his friends had decided to take the necessary things in turn, leaving him on the window at home; that windowsill became his last contact with the world outside the home. It happened in fact that last Thursday he started to feel bad. He suffered from exhaustion and a severe fever. He called the family doctor who went to his house to visit him. The doctor thought it was a normal flu: as friends reported yesterday, he took his leave advising him to stay indoors.
Mohamed Lasry, known as Il Sarto, his friend and neighbour, said: “The last phone call was on Monday evening. He told me he was very sick, he couldn’t take it anymore. Then I passed by yesterday morning. He didn’t answer. Then I raised the alarm. The municipal police arrived on the spot followed by the firefighters. After a few unsuccessful attempts at the intercom, the door was forced and the macabre discovery took place.
“The 64-year-old’s lifeless body was lying on the ground. He had evidently fallen suddenly without getting up again. Olumide was a citizen of the world open to others, to solidarity, always smiling and jovial. A man of the Fim, a man of the CISL as there are few. Never a word out of place and never a controversy.”
“Olumide was a friend, as well as our delegate of reference in Annovi Reverberi,”adds the secretary of the Fim Cisl Emilia Centrale, Giorgio Uriti. “He was one who certainly did not send her, a Fimmino doc of the old guard. He knew how to tame “comrades” well, so he called them those of Fiom.
“Always polite and every time I went to the company to hold meetings, he always brought me the bottle of water and gave me a smile, to show his happiness to see Fim there in the company with him. Fim loses a great person, a respectable delegate always on the front line and on the side of the weakest. All of us who have had the honor and fortune to know him, will always carry his smile and kindness in their hearts. We will miss you, rest in peace, brother Olumide,”concludes Uriti, announcing that, as soon as possible, the metalworkers CISL of Modena and Reggio will honor Okunuga as it deserves.