By Bisade Ojoye
The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Abiodun has been receiving sympathisers in turns daily from far and near since the passing of his father and Patriarch of the Abiodun family of Iperu Remo, Dr. Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun at the age of 89.
The situation had been the same system, to a large extent, same method and format. Master of ceremony would introduce a sympathiser or group of sympathizers and they would step forward, deliver their condolences, take photographs with the Governor and depart.
The situation however changed when former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (Ebora Owu), delegation of Ooni of Ife and Political Elders called. Instead of sympathising with the Governor, they chose to banter with him.
Battering between the Governor and the former President started when the duo came out of the house into the foyer. The Governor, being a thoroughbred Yoruba man wanted Obasanjo to sit down first. But in his satiric and being a respecter of position, he asked the Governor to sit first. The Governor refused, insisting OBJ to sit first. This became, like a drama skit. When OBJ realised the Governor was not going to yield, he sat down.
When it was time for OBJ to speak, he shocked everyone gathered when he said he had come to congratulate the Governor over his father’s demise. “I have come with my brother from Owo, my didn’t tell me he had a child in Owo, though, but he is my very good brother (referring to Pa Fasawe). We have come to congratulate you Mr. Governor on the passing of your father and not to commiserate with you.”
He said he thanked God for the grace upon the governor to survive his father. “Your father died at the age of 89 and the fact that you survived him calls for celebration. We should be eating here, if I can not eat my brother will. Mr. Governor you should be happy and proud your father lived a good life as as dedicated and celebrated teacher.
At the end, the Governor said to Obasanjo that he had always been a father to him and now that his biological father has now joined the Saint Obasanjo should fully take up his responsibility.
The message was one that riven many a people off balance. You can imagine, His Imperial Majesty sending a high power delegation comprising among others: Reuben Abati, Sola Solarin, Akin Osuntokun, General Okunnowo rtd, men of Timber and caterpillar, borrowing the vocabulary of late Ozumba Mbadiwe of blessed memory only to come and tell Prince Abiodun, “You are the most handsome Governor in Nigeria”.
This is a deep expression of thoughts and rare wisdom, because he refused to dwell on the loss as a way of taking the governor’s off grief, rather, he chose to lighting up his heart and restore his groove, as it were. This certainly worked some magic as the governor beamed some smiles and quickly bantered the Imperial ruler reverentially: “Please tell Baba he is the most handsome king”.
For the Political Leaders in the state, the death of the Governor’s called for celebration of sorts. The team led by Alhaji Teslim Daudu said, “We are here to rejoice with you because you are the one to bury your father and not the other way round.
In line with the elders, members of Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter declared in Yoruba dialect, through a beautiful rendition “Ololajulo, oku Eba ni oku baba yin. E pa agbo fun awa Oni fuji, a fe ma sere titi e ma fi sin Baba yin” meaning: “Your father’s at at the age of 89 called for eating of sumptuous meals, give us a band stand, we, Fuji Musicians are ready to be performing from now till your father will be buried”.
The Governor did not utter a word but smiled to the admiration of the audience, and some people said, “The demise of Baba Teacher is really a carnival”