THIS LETTER BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR OF AJAYI CROWTHER UNIVERSITY TO PARENTS IS WORTH YOUR SERIOUS CONTEMPLATION

Dear Parents,

Greetings. It is not likely that I will post any mesg on your platform after this.
I must express my shock at the behavior of some parents and their messages against the VC and the University in recent times.

It is not common for VCs to exchange words with parents or students over matters of University rules, discipline and morals. I’m not sure you individual parents interacted with your VCs where you studied. My simplicity and availability has been abused and that has to be withdrawn forthwith.

You sent your children to Ajayi Crowther University believing that they will get good education and sound morals. The discipline here is no where near that of some sister Christian Universities which are over subscribed. The developments going on here academically, spiritually and infrastructure-wise has been much improved and works are ongoing to make things better. Students ought to have some endurance and not be spoilt with claims and rights that shouldn’t be fought over.

*What happened recently?*

1. ACU would have resumed for second semester on 25th Feb. Due to the shift in date of elections, we changed resumption to 16th March (more than two weeks) yet many students resumed many days after the deadline! And you want us to tolerate that? Parents who habour students when they ought to be in school are themselves not disciplined. You can’t raise next generation with the same corrupt and indisciplined ethos that has ruined Nigeria. We eventually allowed all late comers in after keeping them waiting outside gate for few hours as punishment for them to learn how to obey rules of punctuality. Parents who disobey rules and set bad examples do not expect red carpet treatment just because they paid fees for their children’s education.

2. A student committed sexual immorality and confessed in writing to have had sex with two female students in classroom and was placed on suspension pending trial yet the Parents proceeded to sue the University and post insults against the University, forgetting that we have rules and that the two girls also have parents who have been hurt, and innocent students who might be badly influenced.

3. You complain about light, water, etc. We put on generator for students between 6-8am, 10-1pm and 6-10pm daily in addition to when PHCN gives power supply. We spend N3.7m monthly on PHCN bill and buy 20,000 liters of diesel monthly to run ten generators, totaling about 8million Naira per month yet the University does not receive one kobo in subventions from the proprietor, Anglican Church. We forget that even in our homes do we always have light?

4. Do you know that the hostels, except one, do not belong to the University and that we remit the rent to the owners who do not maintain the facilities? We spend our own money to carry out repairs in hostels that do not belong to us. In this last semester we have spent about 5 million Naira to repair facilities including providing alternative water system, purchase 185 fans, sockets, toilets, nets, etc.

5. You parents decided that we should compel your children to observe daily library hours, which is one reason students are complaining. Be it known that in a three floor library in which we have invested over 30 Million Naira in recent accreditation exercise, you will hardly find five students reading there. They are all busy with their phones: browsing rubbish. They don’t read except a few serious ones who end up with good grades. Many end up in third class. Some hardly attend classes for up to a week yet they turn up for exams and are disallowed. They think that once they paid fees, they are entitled to be passed. Bad homes produce bad students.

6. Recently Deans reported that less than 10 students were found in their respective faculties during a period when more than 1,600 students should be in class. Your children are mostly unserious. They want to play around with opposite sex unchecked, they want to go to town to smoke hemp or prostitute. But we gated them and as a result the University is now well rebranded.

6. We decided to lock hostels during lecture periods in order to force them to go to class or library. But you parents protested asking for “freedom” that will eventually destroy the moral and academic lives of these children. You same parents who have your children elsewhere obey the more stringent rules at Covenant and Babcock Universities, etc and you want Anglican Church’s University to tolerate trash!
Based on your protest we have after one day’s trial, reopened the hostels at all hours and released your children to choose whether to study or sleep in hostel when they should be in classes. They now have freedom to choose whether to fail or pass. We shall henceforth not treat them, in your words, like “Secondary school students”. Some of you will bear the consequences of your indiscretion. But we will not allow anyone teach us how to run our system.

7. Parents who find it difficult to abide by our rules and regulations are kindly advised to withdraw their children. We are not desperate to keep any student here. We will sanction hemp and drug users, those who bully others and want to behave like cultists and sexual perverts. Those who can’t train their children well will not be allowed to corrupt other children here.

8. May I advise that no parent should call me on phone on any matter concerning students henceforth. The Dean of students will attend to the public on complaints.
I wish you all the best and may you and your children do that which is right in the sight of God and for the future good of the coming generations. Amen.

Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo Asaju,
Vice-Chancellor,
Ajayi Crowther University

Copied from Emeka Oparah

“Her Blood Is Not On My Hands”- The Travails Of A Nigerian Medical Doctor (Must Read)

Serious food for thought.

Happens in almost every health care facility in this country.

A colleague sent this to my colleague who shared this with me. I am just sharing as received.

I own a hospital in Southwest- (not Osun state Nigeria …lol). I currently have about 17 patients on my ward each of whom I have admitted at several occasions through emergency. None of these patients has paid upto 30% of his/her bill. Some of them have stayed upto 7 weeks on the ward. I admitted and attended to them based on the fact that their conditions were life-threatening as at the time they came. I made their bill known to them – and they signed before they were treated. But there is a common trend, as soon as they felt relief and became stable they pleaded for their bills to be reduced – this I vehemently refused.
About 4 weeks ago a woman was rushed in with Eclampsia having just convulsed while pregnant and she was unconscious. I promptly took her straight to the theatre without collecting a dime though i had informed the relatives of the charges – #120,000 for her operation and medications. They signed and I carried out the surgery succesfully. Mother and baby survived. Within the following 6-days they paid a total sum of #12,000 and they began pleading to go home for the child’s christening ceremony. I looked at them with disdain. Till now, they have only managed to pay a total sum of #14,000.
Another man who was managed for strangulated hernia has only paid 20,000 out of 75,000 bill. And the list goes on. Their failure to pay has made it difficult for the hospital to replace consumables and medications needed to manage other people’s condition.
In the early hours of today 1:30am, a woman was rushed into the hospital following delivery at the referrral center. Blood had refused to stop gushing out. I did a quick assesment and realised she would need more materials than the hospital pharmacy currently had in store. I could have my staff get from a nearby pharmacy too. However, the husband said he had no money on him and so did the numerous relatives that accompanied. It was indeed a familiar pattern. I decided to let them go. I referred her to a government hospital. Ofcourse they pleaded for me to help but there was nothing I could do. Few minutes after they left – just few metres from my hospital gate, she collapsed. She had lost a lot of blood. I rushed there and rigorously tried resuscitating her right there outside the hospital 2am early morning, but all efforts proved abortive. A young woman of 28years had just died after having her first baby. Screams, wails, cries ensued. I felt bad – this is not why i became a doctor. But her blood is not on my hands.
Her blood is on the hands and heads of all the patients on the ward who can afford to pay but to – on the grounds that – “What will they do?. Her blood is on the hands and heads of the government officials past and present who have made it difficult and impossible for workers to get paid for their work. But the government officials are not the target of this my narrat. It is aimed at those who take hospital healthcare and medical doctors for granted. Those (including myself) who emphasise that doctors should not put money first before treating emergency conditions. In emergency cases, relatives would go to any length through any struggle to get money. As soon as the situation becomes calm, they relax and then they refuse to pay.
Last year a distant relative of mine was delivered of her baby via Caesearian section (in a hospital in Lagos- not mine). They were billed #180,000 which they accepted before the operation. After the surgery, her husband called me and asked how much I charge and i told him. He then began pleading with the management of the said hospital to review his bill. They declined. The husband being who he is, paid #120,000 and absconded with his wife and his newly born son. How he did this, I do not know, but i know that at the christening ceremony a week later, he had two cows slaughtered to celebrate the birth of his first son.
Many times we complain of doctors who ask for charges before treating patients but no one has ever bothered to ask the doctors why they do? Doctors are humans too, we need to pay bills. This is our trade, our profession, our means of livelihood. We have needs too. We can not go to the market place with the ID showing that we’re doctors and hope to get food items on credit. We need to pay our children’s school fees, we need clothes , shelter etc just as you. Everywhere in the world healthcare is expensive, both services and materials are exepensive. Well we understand that you may not have money. The government should find a way. The government should find a way/policy that ensures that we get our money back after we have rendered our service. In the UK there is the National Health Scheme, in the United states they have health insurance schemes too in addition to Medicare, Medicaid. In Nigeria we have the barely effective, poorly regulated and massively corrupt National Health Insurance Scheme.
Well i have decided to change the modus operandi of my institution. The previous one has not benefitted anybody. Henceforth if any one comes to my emergency room without a dime. I will not attend to. If such a person dies, the blood is not on my hands, its on the hands of those who have received treatment in the past and failed to pay afterwards.

10 QUICK FACTS ABOUT BISHOP DAVID O ABIOYE By Leke Beecroft

1. David Olatunji Abioye was born into a Baptist family, got saved at a tender age and grew up as a devoted Baptist boy.

2. At the time he met David Oyedepo in 1980 during a meeting, he was 19 and the President of the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), University of Ilorin, Kwara State. He was asked to lead a prayer point that day by David Oyedepo who was the Joint Campus Fellowship (JCF) President but stoutly refused.

3. He started his journey at the Living Faith Church as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), member/staff in 1983.

4. The Church spread out to 5 towns including Maiduguri in April 1987 by divine instruction. David Abioye started the Maiduguri Church which soon became the largest Church in Maiduguri.

5. By June 1993, he was consecrated Bishop and along with the late Bishop Harford Ilupotaife of Victory Christian Church, both became the youngest pentecostal Bishops ever consecrated in the history of the Church in Nigeria. They were both ordained at the age of 32.

6. He is the longest serving Deputy of any major church in Nigeria.

7. He is the only serving Deputy among pastors known to have flown a dedicated private jet.

8. He Pastors the second largest Church and single congregation in Northern Nigeria, 15,000 capacity Living Faith Church, Goshen and runs 3 filled up services every Sunday, yet still goes out in the villages every week to win souls.

9. He administers the 740 acre Goshen City, the largest Church Estate in Northern Nigeria which has a secondary school (Faith Academy), nursery and Primary school (Kingdom Heritage Model School), a new university in the process of construction, the Mission Headquarters of the Living Faith Church, 50 unit housing estate and many more facilities. All these built in 15 months.

10. He has always been present to quell crisis whenever it has arisen in the Church such as the rebellion in Accra as well as the Abuja crisis, yet he has refused to heed calls by some to ‘start his own ministry’.

Bishop David Abioye is married to Pastor (Mrs) Mary Abioye with three children, David Jnr, Ruth and Daniel.

Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola

I will be talking about men God used mightly in the past this weekend, NOW LET’S START WITH AYO BABALOLA (his praying exploits and wrong choice of marriage )Apostle Joseph Ayodele Babalola prayer ministry exploit was quite remarkable; for example, he could pray for three days nonstop. After tarrying before the Lord in prayers, Apostle Babalola was once commanded by God to cut three leaves from a tree and put them on a rock before him; and God asked him to pray until the sweat from his body moved the leaves forward; and he carried out the task.
According to a report, “…that was how he continued praying until he had prayed for seventy-two hours. He started praying around 9:00 p.m on Sunday and by the time he said a closing “In Jesus’ Name I pray”, it was Wednesday evening.
The surprising thing is that, by the time the apostle finished praying, he apologized for prolonging the evening prayer a little longer and then told them to go and sleep. They all laughed at him and told him, ‘Baba, you have prayed for three days.
We left you most of the time and have been going about our normal duties. Today is not Sunday but Wednesday. You have been standing on your feet praying for three days.’” This prophet could spend time on the mountain for many days with absolute fasting of neither water nor food (In fact, there was a time when he did 51 days marathon absolute fasting of no food or drink).
In effect, it seems that Apostle Joseph Babalola was never hungry while fasting, having been fed supernaturally by the angel who accompanied Jesus Christ to visit him at the start of his ministry, on the seventh day of his initial God-commanded seven days’ fasting of no food no water. He had special grace for long dry fasting.
Apostle Babalola once said that the prayers he had prayed are enough to be raising up men and women to evangelize the nation until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. God selected him as a workman selects his tool, chosen to accomplish a Divine work. He had the Stamp of Deity upon his ministry. Signs and wonders accompanied his ministrations.
Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola once told his fellow ministers during prayer meeting to knee down for SHORT prayer. After about 2-3 hours of kneeing down, the minister becomes frustrated and sat down, leaving only Apostle Babalola still on his knee praying for about 5-6 hours. The following day, they asked him “Baba, if you ask us to pray a short prayer with you which took almost 6 hours, How many hours will your LONG prayer last?
Many of us knew Ori Oke Aanu (Mountain of Mercy) Praying Ground, ORI OKE IKOYI, EDE in Osun State Nigeria. This mountain of prayer was founded by this same Apostle Babalola. There is a spot on top of that mountain rock where he knee to pray and his knee pierced through, leaving a giant hole in the rock due to his long hours in praying. That hole is still over there till-date.
He was the only man that traveled overseas for missionary works without airplane or ship. He usual traveled abroad with his ministers for missionary work neither by air or water, he only gathered his minister for prayer and instantly they disappeared into thin-air.
Sometimes, when preaching the angel will left-up his two legs and he will begin to move and float in air without his feet touching the ground. He usually floats on air while preaching, he can also pray for 3 months on knee without standing up.
# THE TERRIBLE MISTAKE OF HIS LIFE:
The known mistake was his choice of wife. History has it that the woman he truly loved was a single mother, but the elders of CAC considered it an embarrassment for their leader to marry a single mother. Hence, they misled him to marry the spinster who later became the thorn in his flesh.
Her name was Dorcas. A Christian name is not the same with a Christian at heart. There was a time she poured palm oil on the white garment of the man of God on his way to a crusade ground. Another time after returning from the mountain after long days of prayers and fasting, the wife served him a delicious meal to break his fast.
He had only taken about two or three morsels when the wife told him “l thought you are a true prophet, because you should have known by revelation that the chicken in the food was stolen”. The man of God gently left the remaining food and returned to the mountain to ask God for forgiveness.
One of the days, he was expected to preach in an open air crusade but suddenly his wife locked him inside the room and ran off. The man just look up and cried “Oh Lord, see what my wife has done” The Lord ask him to lay his hands on the wall and immediately he found himself in the crusade ground.
“As anointed as he was, he had no mentor, real reason for his wrong choice of wife which sadly and eventually, directly or indirectly led to his untimely death.”

Portrait of the tiger Ambode rode (3) By Yinka Odumakin

MY first encounter with Akinwumi Ambode was at the Ikeja home of late General Adeyinka Adebayo the day after his transition. I was exchanging pleasantries with Otunba Niyi Adebayo when he walked in. As the governor offered his hand to greet me, a convoy screeched to a halt outside, to my consternation the governor dropped my hand and “pick am for race” muttering “Asiwaju is here ” and ran out like a kid whose father just arrived after a long absence from home .
The second meeting with him was at the Bourdillon home of the tiger. It was the day I joined Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the Leader of Afenifere, late Sir Olaniwun Ajayi and Chief Ayo Adebanjo to visit Tinubu. Unknown to many of us then , Sir Olaniwun Ajayi was already in the departure lounge and was trying to fix the fixable before boarding and suggested at an Afenifere meeting that there should be a meeting with Tinubu to bring some harmony to Yoruba political establishment. The proposal was accepted. I reached out to Mr. Dele Alake who fixed the appointment. In fairness to Tinubu, he sent word back that he would come and visit the elders but Sir Ajayi insisted they should go and see him.
Tinubu had Ambode, Alake and Prof. Bayo Williams on his side for the meeting making eight of us in the room. As the meeting proceeded Tinubu, looked in Ambode”s direction and said “Iwo,lo ba mi so fun Kabiyesi ki won mu suru” (You, go and tell Kabiyesi to exercise patience). Ambode got up and went to meet Olubadan in the sitting room like a schoolboy dispatched on an errand by his teacher. I couldn’t hide my disgust at such situation and a frown descended on my face .Tinubu must have noticed my look, he said: “If Kabiyesi saw that I sent a governor, the message will look serious” by way of an explanation.
The third encounter with the Governor was at the Church service for the late Dr. Alex Ekwueme in Anambra State. Ambode sat next to Tinubu in the church as the latter was being interviewed by a TV reporter. As I passed by where they sat, he beckoned to greet and said “thank you” to me and looking over his shoulders as if Tinubu would give him a knock on the head if he saw him greeting me. He was appreciating me because I made a public statement around the time commending him for taking Lagos State into Oodua Investment and promising to invest in Agriculture in other South West States. From 1999 till when Ambode took that decision, Tinubu had always maintained that “gedegbe ni Eko wa” (Lagos stands alone). A godfather should look for no more an ideal captive than the character in the above narratives but not Tinubu who doesn’t take 99 but 100%. So, there was nothing Ambode could have done to survive as he had made up his mind no General Manager he put in office as Lagos Governor after Fashola will do a second term.
The day he appointed the current Governor was the very moment he started plotting his exit and Ambode made it very easy for him with his own aloofness which made him to carry on like a UAC Manager and not a politician. One major complaint by the feeders on power and mostly Tinubu hangers-on in Lagos misnamed political leaders is that Ambode does not pick their calls. When they go to Tinubu to complain that Ambode doesn’t pick their calls he would respond “He doesn’t pick my own too, I call the ADC when I am frustrated.” Alas, it was the godfather who told the godson to concentrate on his job and shun phone calls from everybody and that if he needs him he would call the ADC. Like a goat being led to the slab, Ambode carried on with the instruction that would lead to his political death . By the time Tinubu pulled the rug from under his feet, all the political dealers of Lagos came out with their own knives playing the role Tinubu designed for them from the beginning .He did not have the challenge of when he intended to stop Fashola in 2010 when critical voices spoke up for him.
Among independent people who approached Tinubu in Fashola’s moment of trial were Gen. Alani Akinrinade and Dr.Amos Akingba. After a stormy session with Tinubu back then, he resorted to his crass material card by telling them he would need a house he donated to a Yoruba cause they were pursuing then in the Opebi area of Lagos They told him he could take possession the following day. Tinubu realised he was stuck. The only contact Ambode could possibly have with many of those who stood up for Fashola may just be reading about them in the newspapers!
I have heard stories of Ambode saying nasty stuff about Tinubu behind him in spite of his dovish disposition before him. His moles around the governor were said to have even played such tapes to him. This brings home the truism of the Yoruba saying that the man whose vocation is severing heads from others’ necks dreads the cutlass dancing kilometres around his own neck. Pray, what did Tinubu not say about Senator Abraham Adesanya and his colleagues who were no taskmasters over him the way he constituted himself over Ambode? I recall how Senator Adesanya called Tinubu , the late Alhaja Habibat Mogaji (Tinubu’s foster mum) and Chief Kafaru Tinubu shortly before the 2003 elections to his home in Apapa when his ears were full. Senator Adesanya looked straight into Tinubu’s eyes and started “Bola, God will not cover your shame if you lie to cover my shame today.” He asked Tinubu if it was true that he was on Level 16 in Alausa and he answered no. He also asked him to name the address of the house he bought for him in London and Tinubu said he didn’t buy any house for him. Papa Adeasnya said the only house he had in London was bought before Tinubu was born and wondered why he was spreading slander about him all over the place. Tinubu denied spreading evil reports about him adding “may be it is Dele Alake and co just looking for tales to spin.”
Back to Ambode. He has enjoyed a momentary ride on the back of the tiger before ending in its belly. I have heard a lot of uniformed commentaries that he could have continued the ride if he had handled things differently. I dare say that those who hold such views do not understand the tiger he rode. Towards the end of his first term as governor, Tinubu impeached his first deputy, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele. An Afenifere panel of Chief C.O Adebayo, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and my humble self were asked to look into the feud between them. After talking to both of them, our verdict was that they could no longer work together. It should have really been no deputy with a mind of his own can work with Tinubu. He replaced her with Chief Femi Pedro. You would think Pedro dropped from the sky the day he introduced him to me in Bourdillon before he nominated him. He impeached him also before the end of his second tenure and replaced him with Chief Abiodun Ogunleye who stayed for a very brief period to suffer impeachment. Let the Tiger make Oluremi Tinubu governor, they will fall out!
The last time I saw Sola Lawal standing behind Alhaji Adeoti, the Governorship candidate of ADP in Osun election was a sad reminder of how Tinubu’s exclusive, overbearing, high-handed politics scattered an assembly of the best and brightest Yoruba young men and women who converged at Adesanya’s feet in 1998 in different directions so the basest, vilest and strange children can take centre stage in Yoruba affairs.
The resort to using the Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly to start issuing executive orders signals the imminent impeachment of Ambode as governor. Whichever way it goes, the No Ambode said that made Tinubu resort to his political wayward ways at the crudest has collided with the law of unintended consequences as something tells me loudly that Tinubu may need to dig two graves as he plans Ambode burial. The tiger has eaten what will not digest. I pause!

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/10/portrait-of-the-tiger-ambode-rode-3/

Portrait of the tiger Ambode rode (2) By Yinka Odumakin

IN 1999, the entire South West  was under the control of the Alliance for Democracy, AD. When we were approaching the 2003 elections, I told my boss, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to give me the authority to take over the South West from the AD for the party. He gave me the approval. My effort during that election resulted in our party taking over the states except  Lagos State. And the reason was that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and I came a long way from the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the PDM.  I felt I should leave Lagos for him. In fact, I could easily have taken over Lagos, but I did not. I have since regretted my decision; please, my sisters and brothers in the party, I want you to forgive me for taking Lagos out of that arrangement.“-Alahaji Atiku Abubakar in Lagos on 3rd September 2018. Until Atiku detonated the above bomb in Lagos recently, the lie Tinubu spinners had put out was that he became the “last man standing” in 2003 in the South-West because of some sagacity and that he broke ranks with Afenifere over the alliance with Obasanjo. But those of us who are aware  of what happened know that the monkey has no special skill beyond the fact that the trees are close to each other. Ambode The sacred truth is that the deal to have electoral pact with the PDP in 2003 was brokered by Tinubu who had planned to run as VP to Atiku in 2007 under the then ruling party. The discussion started during the convocation ceremony of  the University of Lagos in 2002 where Tinubu kept the company of President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was during the event  that he agreed to arrange a meeting with his colleagues-governors. The meeting held at Dodan Barracks in Lagos and the governors agreed to work on a pact to give the President the support he needed in the South West just as they advised him not to allow Local Government, LG, elections nationwide so it would not hurt his delegates at the PDP convention as his party would not win in the Southwest. The governors who had taken control of the AD as of this time merely came to inform  Afenifere of their decision. They reported all their discussions with the President  and the fact that they advised him not to conduct elections. Papa Adesanya like a General whose troops had moved in a direction decided not to follow another route. He decided to follow up on the briefing by negotiating terms for the pact which included free and fair election and restructuring of the polity. While the deal was in the making, Tinubu gathered through Atiku that the deal would cost the governors their seats and quickly bailed out but this bird did not tell the other birds that a stone was coming. That was how he remained the only surviving AD governor. The former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina was not a happy man with Tinubu in the last days of his life over this and other issues. I recall when he came to meet the elders of Afenifere in Lagos late in 2003 and asked to leave early enough to be able to get back to Ibadan on time. Chief Ayo Adebanjo had told him to either be Tinubu’s guest for the night and  that would he say he did not have a house in Lagos. Alhaji Adesina  responded with a tinge of anger “God will not let me sleep in Tinubu’s house. I don’t have a land in Lagos not to talk of a house. Tinubu promised to give me a land but he kept asking me for passport photographs until I told him I was not going to the photographer again. This is somebody on whose behalf I asked the Principal of Government College Ibadan to keep all crucial files of the school in my office for three years. I have returned the files on the eve of my departure .” Immediately after indirectly sending his colleagues to political Siberia and weaning himself off the influence of Afenifere, Tinubu commenced his empire building project by sending protégés to the other South West states and Kwara for the 2007 governorship elections. Nearly all posted out were either his aides or recruits under his Action Congress, AC. His ambition had become very clear at this stage that it was a negation of collegiate leadership the Yoruba are known for that he was trying to replace with an Emperor reign. Realising what his project meant for the Yoruba on the long run, a group of Yoruba Patriots and Nationalists approached Chief Bisi Akande in 2010 that we needed an audience with Tinubu. A little about Chief Akande After the 2003 elections, we had erroneously thought that Chief Akande was placed to provide leadership in Yorubaland at some point given his performance in office and ideological clarity with a tinge of intellectual underpinning. He authored a book on restructuring with an understanding of our issues. I drove to his home in Ibadan regularly  and we travelled abroad together on a few occasions to meetings with Yorubas in diaspora. When we approached him to complain about the strangeness of Tinubu Leadership Academy to Yoruba values, he agreed to seek an appointment with him. He soon got the appointment and we agreed to meet in his house before proceeding to Bourdilon. We articulated all the issues and we moved. On our delegation were Hon.Wale Oshun, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Mr. Tola Mobolurin, Prince Oye Oyewumi, Mr. Demola Oyinlola, Mr. Adedeji Zacch among others. On getting to Tinubu, we met Professors Segun Gbadegesin and Ropo Sekoni with him. It became a chatting session as we sat down. It was when Tinubu was planning the Ambode treatment for then Lagos Governor, Mr. Babatunde  Fasola whom he railed and railed against. He said he was not going to allow him a second term as he blocked all the drainages he made  for himself before leaving office with droplets now coming to him while Fashola’s own channels were flowing in torrents. He added that he had now seen the thief who can steal better than THE thief. I cut in at that stage to remind him that he told me in 2006 when he was going to foist Fasola on the party that he managed all his assets while he was in exile without a penny missing and he replied, “I was just marketing him then”. Prof. Sekoni pleaded with him to sheathe his sword and allow Fasola to run for a second term. He added that Tinubu should know that he is the elder in the dispute with the greatest responsibility to bring amicable resolution. Tinubu looked at Prof. and said he reminded him of the case of a widow who lost her husband and people were coming to commiserate with her over the tragic loss.The first group to come were elderly and that after all the commiseration they ended by asking the lady to try and eat something as starving herself would not raise her dead husband. They took their leave after sometime. Then came her peers who also went through all the rituals of comfort. They prayed for the repose of the soul of her husband and ended on a note of plea that she should eat something in order not to injure her health. Tinubu threw the audience into laughter when he ended the story by saying that the widow asked her peers “What did you bring for me to set when you were coming ? ” After about two hours of chatting, I went to Chief Akande to remind him we had yet to get to what brought us to Tinubu and he asked me “What is that ?” I was shocked and he lost me forever that day. I got up and announced to Tinubu that we had a reason for coming and reeled out our articulated points. Mr. Mobolurin adumbrated the points. He cut in and flared up “I am not holding any meeting again. I cannot be spending my money for rebuilding Southwest and people will come here and insult me. All my mates have high rising buildings all over the place but this is the only house I have in Lagos because we are spending all the money for politics .” We left Tinubu that day and it was clear that what we were trying to build had crashed. I also knew that the Tinubu machinery had triumphed and would be there for a while. But I was also convinced it would not last forever as the foundation was not in sync with our ancient landmarks. Eventually, Tinubu who had vowed that Fashola would not do a second term  allowed him when he realised he was going to be demystified if he moved openly against him then because he did not prepare the full Ambode package for him. Fashola had been left to build influence within the party and in town though the  political structure was still essentially Tinubu’s. Tinubu and Fasola played cat and mouse relationship in the latter’s second term but the cracks were papered over. It was when Fashola’s successor was to come that the daggers were drawn again. Fashola had planned to have a successor which would have meant setting Tinubu’s “factory ” on fire. But the Emperor moved with all his might and checkmated him by handing Akinwumi Ambode the ticket. Tinubu had learnt from his mistakes with Fashola and vowed that whoever he  must make Governor in Lagos must not develop his own character and he must manipulate him well so that taking him out would not be a problem. That was why Ambode who had a frosty relationship with Fasola and a civil servant came handy as a cashier, not necessarily a Governor. I stated last week that Ambode did not appear a governor on the three occasions I met him in Tinubu’s company.That waits till the concluding part. Feedback Re:Portrait of the tiger Ambode rode YINKA this is a wonderful piece. You showed great presence of mind as a participant observer in the unfolding events in the turn of democracy in the late 90s and the beginning of this millennium. Your fecundity in chronicling the events that foist Tinubu on Lagosians for good or for bad is highly commendable.   Papa Adesanya died an unhappy man. He will be turning in his grave now with great angst because of the happenings in the progressives camp in Lagos represented by the present APC. Poor Ambode!. Well done

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/10/portrait-of-the-tiger-ambode-rode-2/

Portrait of the tiger Ambode rode (1) By Yinka Odumakin

LOUIS XIV was King of France for 72 years and 110 days and became the most powerful French monarch who consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule that endured until the French Revolution. At the peak of his maniac, he said: “L’Etat c’est moi”(I am the state). Ambode I am not aware Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is given to so much reading to have come across Louis’ declaration but I once heard him making the same declaration as he got up from his seat and said “Eko fe lo sun”(Lagos wants to sleep). The embodiment of the current pathetic Lagos by the man who rode to power in 1999 largely on account of his association with NADECO abroad is an interesting study for some of us who are eyewitnesses to recent history. It’s all coming back to me now from 1998 in a rush. Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi and I had led a group from the National Conscience Party, NCP, to join the Afenifere after the radical party we belonged to had taken a decision to boycott the 1999 transition programme without subjecting it to thorough debate. We were received at a rally in Oworonsoki area of Lagos by Leaders of the group such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo and late Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu. Chief Ayo Adebanjo had asked Omoseyindemi and I to go purchase nomination forms for the House of Representatives election but we told him we did not want to appear as position seekers and would want to build the party first. He commended our spirit and asked us to meet Alhaji Dawodu to assist him in organisational efforts. That was how we became regulars at his Western House office where we worked round the clock with Mr. Aro Lambo. Alhaji Dawodu’s office became a place of voyage for the leading governorship aspirants under the banner of Alliance for Democracy, AD. After interface with them all,we concluded we should support Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu on account of his role in NADECO abroad. On our first meeting with him at his residence on Sunday Adigun, he introduced us to Rauf Aregbesola who was like the DG of the campaign. I recall how I put together the first jingle Tinubu had on TV which I composed from one of the popular songs the struggle field which I had to work with Pat Nebo to record with Tinubu doing some voice over message as : “This na the governor we don dey wait o (2ce) This na the governor we don dey wait Heeeeee Bola Tinubu(3ce) This na the governor we don dey wait”. I do not know if Alhaji Dawodu knew we were Tinubu-leaning as he donated us to the National leadership when panels were being put together to supervise gubernatorial primaries being conducted in December 1998 and we were posted to lead the team to Ondo state. When we returned from Ondo, Lagos state was already scattered over dispute between the camps of Bola Tinubu and Funsho Williams. The AD Chairman in Lagos, Alhaji Dawodu already submitted the name of Funso Williams to INEC as he won the contest if results of all 20 LGAs were added. But there was a lacuna. The guidelines used for the primaries stipulated that the electoral panel should cancel results anywhere violence takes place. And there were incidents of violence in four LGAs that were strongholds of Funso Williams and if they were cancelled Bola Tinubu was the winner. Unfortunately for Williams, Dawodu submitted his name to INEC and disappeared. The Tinubu camp intensified protests and the Leaders of Afenifere looked into the matter. Their decision was that in accordance with the rules they made,Tinubu won the primary if the votes from the troubled areas were removed and directed the Acting Chairman of AD, Chief Ayo Adebanjo to write to INEC and withdraw Funso Williams’ name. It was this adherence to the rule that those who are not aware of what happened then use often to accuse Afenifere of imposing Tinubu on Lagos in 1999. It took six years after before I stumbled on the fact that the crises in those LGAs were contrived to deny Williams victory. Tinubu won the elections but with a plan from day one to weaken Afenifere so he can replace the collegiate leadership Yoruba are used to with a caliph order in Yoruba politics. His first deft move immediately he became candidate was to be the arrowhead of the group that stopped Chief Bola Ige from picking the AD Presidential flag for the 1999 elections at D’Rovans Hotel. But the moment elections were over, he moved to Ige’s corner when he started his rebellion against Afenifere. His strategy was to start filling the void once the schism in the group became unmanageable. Even when Ige was assassinated,he ensured that the empty coffin that was paraded all over Lagos as his remains was not allowed to stop at the Afenifere Secretariat,a group he was Deputy Leader of till he died. I should not forget to mention the fact that the open split in AD was as result of the Dawodu-Tinubu feud in Lagos as it was the parallel congresses held by the two factions in Lagos that led to the AD holding parallel conventions in Abuja in 2000. It was that crisis patch Chief Adesanya was managing in the group till the 2003 elections.The group was able to put some temporary truce in place in all other five states for the elections except in Lagos. It was at the last minute that a deal was offered for Tinubu to return for second term and keep 60% of the remaining elective posts and allow the Dawodu faction fill the remaining 40%. A three – man committee made up of Chief R.Fasoranti, Gen. Alani Akinrinade and my humble self were sent to Lagos to implement the decision.I went to Tinubu before our sitting to persuade him not to disgrace Papa Adesanya around whom there were already loud whispers of indulging Tinubu as he truly loved him even when he disliked some of his ways. Tinubu told me he did not understand Arithmetic and that the proposal was undemocratic. When we eventually met the two factions at the Airport Hotel for a whole day, he came and bluntly refused to implement the decision. I remember this incident a few days back when he called the meeting of the so-called Governor Advisory Council to order a Governor it should be advising to withdraw from the gubernatorial primary of APC in Lagos because Akinwumi Ambode is a captive and not a free Governor like he was when Afeifere handed him the ticket in 1999. I have met Ambode only on three occasions and all in the presence of Tinubu and the indignities he went through all made me pray to God not to be that type of governor in my life. I will narrate them next week. Talking of the love Papa Adesanya had for Tinubu, I would just give one instance. Months into Tinubu’s tenure. a scandal broke out around him that he did not attended any of the schools he listed in his resume: from St John’s Primary School, Aroloya in Lagos through Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago. The scandal broke out shortly after then Speaker of House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari had perjured by submitting a fake certificate from University of Toronto in Canada and was forced to step down. The media was celebrating the scandal and just a sentence from Afenifere against Tinubu then would have done him in. I recall vividly being in the office of Senator Adesanya with the late Rev. Tunji Adebiyi when an old man with all grey hair and beards dressed in immaculate white dress with white shoes walked into his office and we had to excuse them. When he left, we went back to meet the Leader and he was in a pensive mood. He told us what the old man told him: “Abraham,you have to disown this boy (Tinubu) now” and that he said to the oldie that “a person who builds a wall does not pull it down.” He said the man got up to leave and said: “You will regret not doing so”. The scene played in my mind in the last inactive days of Senator Adesanya as the last major outing he had before he went down was over Tinubu. Afenifere had decided to meet all former AD governors who lost in the 2003 elections and Tinubu who survived the Tsunami largely on account of his close relationship with Atiku. We held meetings with his five former colleagues but Tinubu refused the invitation until January 2, 2004 when Senator Adesanya called me that Senator Ayo Fasanmi had persuaded Tinubu to come for the meeting on the 4th at his Apapa residence. I informed all that were supposed to be at the meeting. On the appointed day, only Senators Adesanya, Fasanmi, Tinubu and I were in Apapa. Tinubu came and Pa Adesanya told him all the grievances against him. He responded to the effect that he accepted Adesanya as his father and Leader but he would not have anything to do with his colleagues again. Papa told him that saying he would not relate with his colleagues amounted to repudiating his leadership. As we rounded off the meeting Sir Olaniwun Ajayi called Pa Adesanya that they were waiting for him at the Afenifere Secretariat for the meeting scheduled with Tinubu. He asked if I did not tell them that the meeting would hold in his house to which he responded that all his colleagues were received at the secretariat. As Papa could not get his driver, he asked me to drive him to Jibowu to meet his colleagues. When we arrived there, it was the late Chief Wumi Adegbonmire who fired the first salvo that they were sorely disappointed that Papa would indulge Tinubu once again by moving his own meeting to his house and meeting him in their absence. Sir Olaniwun Ajayi asked me to excuse the meeting at a point with Senator Adesanya telling me to wait for him.I said I knew he had no way of getting home without me. When they were through with the meeting, I joined him in his office and I saw tears dropped off his eyes as he said to me: “Wo bi Tinubu se so mi di alaimose bayi “(see how Tinubu has turned me to somebody who does not know his left from his right). I drove him back from Jibowu to Apapa and we did not utter a word. He suffered stroke a few days later from which he did not recover till he died. Whenever I reflect on his last days, I always remember the admonition of the Wise Old One:”Disown this boy now or you will regret it”. ….To be continued .

Legend of Faith: Benson Idahosa

DID YOU KNOW?
1. Benson Idahosa got born again in the Assembles of God in January 1960?
2. Benson was excommunicated from the Assemblies of God Church by his pastor (Pastor Oko) for buying a motorbike? (at that time, only bicycles were considered proper for believers and a motorbike was considered extravagant and worldly).
3. A few months later, Pastor Oko’s wife was pregnant and had to be taken to the hospital on Benson’s motorbike and that was when the pastor accepted him back into the church?
4. Benson Idahosa was the first pastor in Nigeria to buy and use a Mercedes Benz and he was criticized for that by a lot of ministers especially from the orthodox churches for being ‘worldly’?
5. Idahosa was the first minister in Nigeria to preach on. The radio and show a Christian program on Television. It was considered wasteful and a show-off by both Christians and non-christians.
6. Benson was the first pastor to start a ministry and go on evangelism from Nigeria to other countries.
7. Idahosa travelled to about 145 countries to preach mostly without being invited but just to preach the gospel?
8. Benson preached until his death to more whites than any black man and to more blacks than any white man?
9. In his lifetime, he raised 14 dead people?
10. He introduced the use of ‘agbada’ (big traditional garb or clothing commonly used in traditional parlance for ceremonies etc or by Royalty)to preach and he was highly condemned for that?
11. Before Benson Idahosa, people often linked poverty to the church ‘as poor as a church rat’. After Idahosa, people now link the church among the wealthiest institutions?
12. Idahosa was the first Nigerian to suggest the idea of a private university in 1979 (He said God told him) and today, we have Benson Idahosa University, one of the first generation private universities in Nigeria?
Now you know!

When a Degree is not who you are.

Gani Fawehinmi was the best legal mind of his time in Africa but he was not even the best in the University days, truthfully, he had ordinary pass in his Law degree, not even a third class degree. He could be classified as “let my people go” in those days.

After Gani left the University and passed his Law school , there was nothing ordinary again in his life, he was the best in everything he touched. He wrote lots of legal books and journals in Nigeria. He visited Courts more than those who made First class in the same school with him or those who became SAN before him.

Gani’s presence in any court was a big news to the Press and the nation, he was delightful and reassuring to watch, he spoke the language of his profession like an angel and every judge knew him as a man of integrity.

Gani was the most honorable lawyer Nigeria ever produced, to most Nigerians particularly the poor and middle class,he was their hope, and epitome of graceful expectations of how to prosecute cases, he made legal profession honorable.

Gani’s most memorable case to the Oracle was against Rotimi Williams over integrity. He made a mockery of the man Nigeria called *Rotimi the Law* the Chairman of the 1979 Constitution drafting committee of 49 wise men. It was supposed to be 50 wise men until Awolowo pulled out of the committee.

Why?

The first appointment given to Rotimi William as Attorney General of Western Region was by Awolowo as Premier. It was the mistake of the Head of State Gen Muritala Mohammed to think Awolowo could serve under Rotimi unfortunately, he never consulted Awolowo before the announcement on the radio.

Rotimi Williams had sued Gani over his integrity and like Shylock he wanted a pound of flesh, the flesh that will show the nation Rotimi was the law. He also wanted an open apology in the court with the Press and new radicals of media like Dan Agbese, Dele Giwa, Mohamed and Ogunsanya around. He got more than what he bargained for.

When Gani stood up, the poor and middle class stood up with him, if Gani had failed lots of his fans would have cried openly in the Court but he turned things around. He took few steps towards the Judge and demanded to put Rotimi the Law on the witness stand for cross examination.

No one had ever done that in the history of Nigeria, probably in Africa. Rotimi was not a short man either probably around 6.2 ft, tall and huge with sharp penetrating eyes, broad shoulders, his presence took away the oxygen in the room, he was the attention in any Court.he was indeed the Giant of legal profession.

Rotimi wore his robe like a rag and if the event could be biblically assessed it was like David standing next to Goliath. Rotimi had everything his profession could offer, fame, money and power, Judges bowed before him and who would not? He wrote the law of the land.if not why would he be called* Rotimi the law*

To the surprise of the nation, the presiding Judge granted the request of Gani to have the man that was greater than life on the cross-examination box. Gani had a mischievous smile on his thin lips, he knew he had Rotimi by the balls, he was going to tear down the wall to show Nigerians how coleric his adversary was.

The hate was glaring, we knew the occasion would be historical as we were about to witness how David of Nigeria legal profession would defeat the Goliath of the learned colleagues.

Gani asked if Rotimi ever attended the popular High School in Lagos, he mentioned. Rotimi had no choice than to confirm he did. Gani told the Court to look at Rotimi Williams as a student of the High School who stole a calculator or so and was sent out for stealing if such a thief had any integrity?

Rotimi never had any integrity he said infact he lost it from his High School days and wondered what he wanted to protect as an adult. Gani Fawehinmi concluded. Rotimi was almost in tears.

The Judge called the two lawyers to his chambers and Rotimi withdrew the case. He never recovered from the bruised of the shame which the Press sensationally reviewed on the pages of the newspapers and talk radio.

From Gen Gowon to Military President Babangida, they were all scared of Gani Fawehinmi. Gani was a friend of the sick and the poor, a philanthropist with special attention to education where he noted his own weakness, he gave Nigeria his all, energies and commitment to the rule of Law and love for humanity.

If his profession were to be military, Gani would be more than a four star General. He was indeed what a Lawyer could be, to this Oracle, Gani was the Perry Mason of Nigeria law.

The Oracle says, what you make out of your University education depends on what you put into the society. Your degree is not a waste it is template for you to understand life and contribute meaningfully to the society, the man who made a difference is the one with education to improve his environments not the paper qualifications.

I beseach you my readers to have a renewal of spirit and mind in how you see life, let you goal in life be guided with your contribution to your society and never looked down on anyone who came out of the University with ordinary pass. He could be the one to make a difference.

Credits: Zents Kunle Sowunmi

Pius Adebola Adesanmi: Like A Dew On Grass, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

It is a week since the crash that took you from me, from us… Your death shook Nigeria, Africa, Canada and the world. You were a change maker in life and in death. Because you died, many will now be spared the horror of death in Boeing 737 Max 8. They say time heals all wounds. True, this wound will heal but it will leave a disfiguring scar.

He appeared like a dew in the grass of my morning and evaporated at the rise of the sun. He knew, yes he knew. We were created with an expiration date. God gave us hope so we can live. Otherwise we would sit and wait to die in despondency. Pius knew, he just was not certain and he could not have been. He was, a mere mortal. He did everything in a hurry and lived quickly.

Most people know Professor Pius Adesanmi, the University teacher, author, writer, public commentator, activist etc. I know Pius, just Pius. I know Pius, the loving and dutiful only son of Mama Louis Olufunke Adesanmi. The favourite nephew and son of Mama Oyelude. I know Pius, the wonderful and dotting father of two daughters; ten year old Damilare from his first marriage and six year old Tise from his second marriage. I know Pius the husband of Muyiwa, the brother of Iyabo and Tinuke.

To know Pius is to love him. A few years ago, he gave a lecture at Lagos State University (LASU). While at the podium, he noticed one of the people involved in making the event a successful one, looked like his primary school classmate. He gave his lecture, at the same time, he kept eye on the man wherever he was in the hall. After the event, he sought the man out, they embraced and exchanged phone numbers before he was peeled away by his professorial cycle. When he got to where he was lodged, he called his classmate and invited him over. The man told Pius he lived somewhere in the ravines of Okokomaiko. Pius wanted communion and more time with his long lost classmate. He followed him to his apartment in Okokomaiko. They ate, drank beer, and talked about the rascally little ones they once were. By the time he realised the day was far spent, he could not get back to where he was lodged. He slept at his classmate’s one bedroom apartment. At 6:30 a.m., the driver assigned to him called to remind him of a breakfast meeting; that was when Pius’ wàhálà started. He rushed out to hail a taxicab, he found none. Taxicabs are a rarity there, because his friend’s house was in the farthest interior. Without further ado, he perched on an Okada and sneaked into his room pretending to have slept in the accommodation provided by LASU.

Pius was effortlessly ordinary. He fraternised with mechanics, “vulcanisers”, students and peasants with remarkable ease and joked around speaking “Ojulowo” (native) Yoruba without affectation, like he had never been to school. Behind the fiery notes and the wickedly humorous updates was a very simple man who loved the simplicity and survivalist life of the streets. He often dwelt there to have a feel of what it held for many without privilege. He was ordinary in a world where people invest in hopeless complexity, bought themselves airs and lost their originality.

Pius Adebola Adesanmi was a proud Isanlu son. His voice reverberated in Yoruba cultural rediviva. He was a pride to Nigeria and a scholarly beacon on the Africa literary scene. He lived and died working towards improving Africa’s higher education and cultural renaissance. He wore the indigo plumes of Agbe (Greater Blue-eyed Glossy Starling – lamprotonis chalybaus). If you know Agbe, mourn with me the lack of indigo in my dyeing pit. He wore the carmine plumes of Àlùkò (Carmine Bee-eater – merops nubicus). If you know Àlùkò, mourn with me the loss of osùn in my jar. He wore the crimson plumes of Odíderé (Africa Grey Parrot – psittacus erithacus)’s tail feathers. If you know Odídẹrẹ́, mourn with me, over the broken pieces of my prized jar of palm oil. He wore the unstained white plumes of Lékelèké (Cow Egret – areola ibis). If you know Lékeléke, mourn with me the rending of my white garment. Pius wore these colours without contradictions, as symbolised by the many lives he touched, in many different and unique ways.

My very dear friend was very visceral, and humane. He believed everyone matters, that we all are unique and entitled to a simple life of dignity, freedom, happiness and such inalienable rights ordained by God. He paid attention to small things, knowing small things lead to big things and small evils lead to bigger evils. He spoke and wrote against evil and worked against evil when it was fashionable to embrace evil.

“You killed the academic, do not kill the author”, he told me in my living room in Michigan in 2012. That sentence began my journey into public intelection. His birth lent him to me, and his existence and friendship showed myself to me. Sometimes, as we journey through life’s meandering courses, we meet that person who completes a part we never thought missing and we become kin with them. Then, you grow up together, year on year, sharing life’s triumphs and frustrations. That is when you realise the bond of kinship, the conviviality of sprit and a sense of security in each other’s company. He was my friend at play and my comrade in arms. The only one I tap when I get to E. T. C – End of Thinking Capacity. Pius Adesanmi tended the shriveled cotyledons of my late literary sprout, guiding it towards light and it blossomed. One day in May of 2014, he told Musikilu Mojeed of PREMIUM TIMES, “I have a writer for you”. After telling him, he gave me an hour to send him my first column. I muttered: ‘column!’ ‘One hour!’ It was 8 p.m. in Nigeria. I went to work. When he gave orders, I obeyed; and when I gave orders, he obeyed. With him I understood the psychology of a positive mutually reinforcing relationship. I penned “For The Love Of Country” as my first column in the PREMIUM TIMES within an hour. He read it and exclaimed! “Bamidele, o mọ iyì ara ẹ!” (Bamidele you don’t know your worth). That is Pius the enabler and promoter of latent or unrecognised talent! I considered my introductory article the best I have written and adopted the title for my book. His total belief in me made all the difference in my contribution to Nigeria’s public intellection. With me, he extended the frontiers of friendship and remade genetics. We completed each other’s sentences and predicted each other with alarming accuracy. To me, he was the face of loyalty. His loyalty to me was unquestionable!

He never hid his frustrations about the Nigerian project. In almost every Facebook update, columns, lectures, keynotes, he mused with a bitter shrug, the sad perplexity and the terrible uncomprehending surrounding Nigeria. He often wondered if our dreams of a great Nigeria will ever be realised. He preached the gospel of change with tenacious commitment by shaping the discourse on the demands of leadership and the responsibilities of followership, in a narcissistic and shallow country lacking in realism. Pius was a courageous apostle of our anachronistic values and an unsparing critic of our contemporary society. He was refreshingly honest, open and real. Since he died, many who did not know him but were touched by his writing, have been celebrating him because he had a commanding passion. He was outraged by oppression, corruption, stealing, conversion, impunity, cronyism, deplorable education, fatalistic health systems, and every dangerous adjectives of “-isms”, “-sions” and “-tions” plaguing Nigeria.

My very dear friend was very visceral, and humane. He believed everyone matters, that we all are unique and entitled to a simple life of dignity, freedom, happiness and such inalienable rights ordained by God. He paid attention to small things, knowing small things lead to big things and small evils lead to bigger evils. He spoke and wrote against evil and worked against evil when it was fashionable to embrace evil. He was the pillar in many people’s fence, the irrigator of many brains, the holder of many hands, the shoulder many leaned on, the enablers of many dreams, a committed and relentless cheerleader of his many teams and a promoter of upcoming talent.

Pius Mi Ọ̀wọ́n (Dear Pius), that was how I addressed you in my numerous email. Your high pitch cackle has been ringing in my ears since you departed this world. I have recalled every joke, every jest, every encouragement. You knew me so well as to ask: “Bamidele, isn’t that eyelash grey?” Ah! It is grey oh! I don’t understand this atúni l’àṣírí irun ojú o! I can’t recall calling you prof. Except in jest like, irú professor jákujàku wo ni ẹ́? (What manner of yeye professor is this?) Ẹ wo bata professor? (See professor’s shoes? These can only be worn by a professor). Ẹ wo okùn ṣòkòtò professor ni gbangba! We were so much ourselves when we spoke or when alone. I cannot recall a specific instance we spoke in English. I recall celebrating your appointment as the director of the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University from the perspective that you will now be forced to call meetings, be in meetings and stay glued to one place for an hour or more, play host to visiting dignitaries and be on campus daily in a strict regimen. I know regimens are a punishment you desire only for “enimis”. We know ourselves so well and we can laugh with each other and at each other without a care. We even lash out at each other and still continue the conversation. I was waiting to see you use those pesky reading glasses we thought only our village cathechist used when we were young? How I often ask if and when that nuisance was going to hang on the bridge of your nose? How I silently wanted to see greys in your hair because you cheated me so much in height and I wanted an edge. I taunted you, that grey hair and reading glasses are professorial bonafides you must acquire fast in addition to your Obesere and Rapala street creds. Oh God! How I love that guttural “Bamidele, ìwọ lọ mọ̀” (Bamidele, that is your problem), whenever I asked if you breathed for five minutes prior to taking your pictures as it was obvious you tried too hard to suck your tummy in; when I reminded you that your gym membership was more like a charitable donation, asking when last you were there?

I was true to you in life, I will be true to you in death. You loved your two daughters equally. I will be there for Damilare. You never mentioned her. Many did not know her until your death. You left me to do that. To set the records straight. I thank God I pressured you to bring her to spend time with us in 2016. Now I am grateful you did.

We all are fleeting shadows. Pius, you knew it and I know too. When your plane stalled three hours before landing in Accra in 2016, you were shaken. I tried to dismiss it as turbulence but you told me oxygen masks deployed and that events of your life flashed in your face. You told me; “Bamidele, ó dà bí plane crash lọ má pá mi”. (Bamidele, it seems I will die in a plane crash). I rebuked it. Since that day, no two weeks passed without you telling me to take care of Damilare and Tise, should you die. You asked me to make sure they become united as sisters. You told me to make sure they have education befitting the daughters of a professor. You were so convinced you would die young. Pius Mi Ọ̀wọ́n, were you an emèrè? I took your casual warnings seriously. I prayed. Although, I did not tell mama about your constant warnings; I asked her to pray. We held joint night vigils. My mother and sister joined. March 24 last year, you called me to warn Mama to stop fasting. You said she had emanciated due to excessive fasting. I did! She promised to fast less but she said she cannot stop as long as she is alive. Your death was your mother’s biggest fear. Sadly, it has come to pass. Surely, God is All-Knowing. When you had that accident along Ogbomoso/Oyo road, I felt that was it! I felt we had triumphed! I had no idea my song of victory was premature. You struggled with recovery. You lived in trepidation. It took a lot of effort to nurse you back to public life. Was that the clue I missed? I don’t know.

You came back on your own terms. You became zestful. You wrote and wrote. You started “Injury Time With Pius Adesanmi” in the Nigerian Tribune. You pursued with renewed vigour many ideas to uplift the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University. Every Summer, nothing competes with University of Ghana Pan-African Doctoral Academy where you sat on the faculty as Carnegie’s African Diasporan Fellow. We were so excited about the African higher education summit you would have anchored later this year. We thought about proposing knowledge hubs to governors in the South-West. You championed African Institute of Governance and created African Doctoral Lounge to mentor emerging scholars on the continent. In hindsight, everything you touched worked! Could that have been a clue?

It is a week since the crash that took you from me, from us. The sun still rises in the east and sets in the west. The stream still flows forward not backwards. Your death shook Nigeria, Africa, Canada and the world. You were a change maker in life and in death. Because you died, many will now be spared the horror of death in Boeing 737 Max 8. They say time heals all wounds. True, this wound will heal but it will leave a disfiguring scar. Why? Can I just thank you in this tribute? All through our friendship, you retained that fundamental grounding. Thank you because you did not get dense when I needed you to be smart, you did not close when I needed you to open up, you did not pretend to snore when I knocked on the door, you did not disconnect when a pertinent call is in progress pretending the network was busy, you did not hide in altars or the mansions of Abuja feeding fat on people’s ignorance. You had a rich and full relationship with me and many of us your friends and family. Thank you for living a life of meaning, for fighting important fights, for being true to yourself.

I was true to you in life, I will be true to you in death. You loved your two daughters equally. I will be there for Damilare. You never mentioned her. Many did not know her until your death. You left me to do that. To set the records straight. I thank God I pressured you to bring her to spend time with us in 2016. Now I am grateful you did. She bonded with Opeyemi, my daughter and I. I took this picture of her clinging to you in my farm in 2016. Only two weeks ago, I asked you to send me her Canadian passport so she could spend this Summer with us. You promised to renew it upon your return from Nairobi and asked me how to go about it, with her not with you in Canada. I will miss our Saturday video chat rendezvous with Tiṣe. By God, your daughters will be united as sisters. They will have good education. They will excel more than your hopes and aspirations. I will ensure that.

Okun, Pius Mi Owon! Aṣọ àrán tí mo ń wọ̀ láàárín àwùjọ lo jẹ́. Ikú rẹ gba aṣo yí ní ara mi. Ṣùgbọ́n, ká kú l’ọ́mọdé kó yẹ’ni, ó sàn ju ká d’àgbà la’i l’ádìyẹ ìrànà.

May God rest your loving and gentle soul. May he make your death a rest from all evils.

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú a farmer, youth advocate and political analyst writes this weekly column, “Bamidele Upfront” for PREMIUM TIMES. Follow me on Twitter @olufunmilayo