I, Dapo Abiodun, Now Dapo Obasanjo
Baba, you are going nowhere. Baba, by the grace of God, you will live longer. We cannot afford your going now. You have been my father over the years, but, now that my biological father has gone to meet with the saints, you have to step up now to be my father.”
With the above words, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State requested that former President Olusegun Obasanjo should henceforth take charge as his father, since his biological father is no more. Since the former president did not decline the request, it can be safely assumed to have been approved with immediate effect. The governor has thus successfully ‘ported’ to the Obasanjo family, from his natural Abiodun lineage.
Please join me in congratulating former President Obasanjo over the arrival of the new bouncing baby man. The latest addition to the Obasanjo family came to the world on Sunday, August 15, 2021. Until then, His Excellency was known and addressed simply as Dapo Abiodun. All that has changed, with Baba’s condolence visit to him at the latter’s family house at Iperu-Remo in the state. Obviously Chief Obasanjo did not know that he would return to his Abeokuta home with a new bundle of joy. His mission was simply to commiserate with the governor whose father, Pa Emmanuel Abiodun passed on on August 2.
We do not need anyone to tell us that Pa Abiodun died well. First, he lived long enough. At 89, no one could accuse the evil ones of having done their worst. To live that long in this era of despondency in a country that God gave a beautiful cap but no head to wear it on, is a feat.
Please forgive my digression.
I had promised not to talk about bad governance in Nigeria, at least not in this piece designed for relaxation. It has been a recurring decimal in our country where successive governments have always left us worse than they met us. It would be another Miracle of Dammam for the Buhari regime to break this jinx. But, if indeed, morning shows the day, and if experience is the best teacher, we would have known by now that that is seemingly an impossible mission. It is not within the ken of the present administration at the centre to break the jinx. Its contradictory policies and ethnocentricity would never permit that to happen.
As I was saying, Pa Abiodun has not only lived well, he died well as well. Otherwise, he would have died before his son became governor or after he has left the office. In Nigeria, it is a good thing for one to die when one’s child is a public figure. Everyone that matters would be struggling to register their impressions in the condolence register in the event of death, or their physical presence at the event proper if the person is celebrating one thing or the other. Everybody, including those who did not know the celebrator (whether dead or living) would have some kind words about him or her.
The former president was at his sermonising best during the visit. As we all know, only the poor share their grief all alone. Hear what Chief Obasanjo said about the governor’s late father: “The lesson from this is that one day we will be no more. It does not matter how long we live, but how we lived. What will people say about you? Baba lived a life of service to his community, God and his family.
“I have come to share in the grief of missing a loved one. It does not matter how old, we still miss them. Baba has done his best and has gone to be with his Creator.
“On behalf of myself and my wife, we really want to share with you, the grief of the demise of your father. May his soul rest in perfect peace. From what we have heard and what we know of Baba, we can testify that Baba gave his life to serve. He gave his life for service of his family, his community, his country and to God.”
Many other Nigerian dignitaries paid glowing tributes to the departed. But, I am interested in that of Chief Obasanjo whose sermon was a sharp contrast to the Obasanjo that we knew when, years back, he reportedly alluded to the fact that he was born again from the waist up. Meaning he could not vouch for the remaining part of the body down below. Meaning, by extrapolation, that while the upper part of the body would easily make it to heaven, the region down below still has to be delivered from its carnal imprisonment that could lead to stories that touch the heart on the day of judgement. The Obasanjo that many would swear is still being a man even at his very old age because he had access to some of the natural herbs that in their time were in their real natural state, unpolluted with fertiliser and other chemicals that have reduced the potency of the herbs that the young ones take these days, thus making it impossible for many of them to be the man they should be despite their relatively young age.
Anyway, today, we are talking about the penitent region of the former president. I guess that was what informed the governor’s choice of making him his new father. Pa Abiodun, lest we forget, was a teacher and teachers in their own time were epitomes of everything good: discipline, decency, morality, honesty and what have you. That the Owu-born former president is from Ogun State could only have been an added advantage. How do I know? Read what qualities the governor listed his (the governor) late father possessed and you would see the reason of Chief Obasanjo’s choice as his new father.
Since nobody in the governor’s family has questioned or rejected the choice, at least up till the time of submitting this piece for publication on Friday, I want to believe the governor’s choice enjoys the support of all of them that matter. In which case, I can now go ahead to cause the change of name to be published in this highly esteemed newspaper. Let me also say that His Excellency should not bother about paying for the change of name. I will personally take responsibility for that. All that His Excellency needs do is confirm that what I have drafted for the change of name fairly captures what transpired during Chief Obasanjo’ s visit that led to his choice as father. His Excellency should read after me: “I, Prince Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun now wish to be known and addressed as Prince Adedapo Oluseun Obasanjo. All former documents remain valid. My banks, political supporters, and particularly the Ogun State government, take note.”
I guess it won’t be a bad idea if I make that my contribution to the naming. I am always happy when people are celebrating. That is what my Bible tells me. I congratulate Chief Obasanjo on the arrival of the bouncing baby man. May God be with him and keep him safe. And may his arrival herald even better fortune for the family.
Baba, e ku owo lomi o. E ku ewu omo. Olorun a daa si; Olorun a woo o. A lowo rere lehin o. Amin.