Profound respect to the office of the Regent
On remembering death, water runaway my eyes
The face of the heavens was driven to tears and the young ones to unavoidable droop, the birds have crowed in the stead of the usual chirp, all at the sudden pounce of the ancestors and on the soul of a virtuous king who crossed. Calamity happened, the worst of stories just knocked in years and on the door of a reserved people, who got lost in their nests. I must come to confess at this point, my tears and sorrow. I gather myself to say “water runaway my eye.”
The regret is not in his death, not in his vacating mother earth. Jesus did after all, including the Sauls.
I remember what laureates posited, that death is not death but a mere transmigration from the conscious to the subconscious: from a mere appearance to the peak of spiritual reality. I want to be there, at least to fellowship with philosopher kings.
Alade community before the black out, a fair, fanatically religious community, with experienced and learned Chiefs as don. The chiefs laced a cerebrally urbane king, born and bred in the reality of honesty, justice and equity. The man of letters is he, baptized too in the theater of imitations, where realities have also emanated. A lot of people believed in his imperial majesty, for goodness itself would not cede cheaply the children, not to the scorching hands of some oppressor comrades, who just cornered the world. Oba Olusegun Ayodele Akinbola!
I grew to roll with a man of his timbre and caliber, most especially as a very young person, who got nothing to be proud of in this world except a grammarian father and his very small library. I remember we used to fellowship at the feet of Kabiesi during the very dark nights, at the old Alade palace. There, he had treated us to the history of the wars, of the hurricane and the third world. He had described most of these horrible experiences and with the adroit gestures, just as of the theater he belongs. What I can still vividly recall is the way he crosses his legs while outside, the way he punches with words too. He calls me his friend, as he also settles disputes between my mum and the husband. I have always been part of the palace, my mum also served as the palace maid!
I was detached from the place for some time, at least for about six months. This was unconnected with my poor leadership in academics, I returned at the full wake of my brain. My additional stint with the palace happened while I birthed an uncommon innovation in Idanre High school as an author of a short story and which was immediately adopted by Ondo state government for schools all over the state.
There was a precursor to this: the marathon revival organised by Kabiesi and for students on the floor of Idanre High school. In conjunction with the Christian Association of Nigeria was this Five Days revival and it was some few years after he objected to dancing to the esoteric tune of Ogun. I was driven to the palace in my principal’s vehicle and by one Hon. Afolabi, the school’s Counsellor. Kabiesi received me in his parlor, he read, credited the innovation birthed through me. He called me by the usual name, “Ore mi.” I remember he launched with a paltry sum and had ordered me to go make exploits, for I have truly proved the stuff he wants of his friends.
However rebellious I might be, I have actually suited a Kabiesi, who would call me his friend even at death. He later saw me in the cubicle of Saint Andrews Church, garbed in the plain robe of the choirs, laced with red stripe as of Jesus too. I was playing the drums with class and alongside the organist son, Adeyeba. Adeyeba is the prince who was noted to have taken after his grandfather, an organist. He must be the reincarnation of the biblical David. Kabiesi shook hands with me, laughed. I was in my elements.
To present a balanced story, it is expedient to quickly seize this ample chance in talking about the value added by the temperately fair Olori, who was noted to have taught in WILLYDORC, a school owned by a couple at inception, as well as the premier Nursery and Primary School in Idanre.
She confessed once to have been enamoured by the husband’s resilience, brilliancy and character. It is on record that she settled with her heartthrob at the age of 24 and had consistently assisted the king in sustaining what Dr. Olugbenga Oke-Samuel called a resounding community. It is unbelievable that she teaches till date at MANDATE INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE, so many of her literature students have consistently rung her ingenuity as bell. She was described as an hardworking and invaluable woman, with the most congenial bent in that subject too.
Over the years has she assisted in grooming future leaders in Alade and Idanre communities, she successfully added value with what she knows how to do best, teaching! I heard she recently converted the dormant old palace to a qualitative Creche and had given knowledge to so many young persons for free. She is an epitome of beauty and fashion, Olori Abiola Akinbola!
This one might be a bit funny but it is the bitter truth about Kabiesi, an activist Comrade, who would not entertain laxities, especially with places of responsibilities. He once counselled me to teach at the front of the Youth’s Center and that the cluelessness of the local government had denied us. He clamoured our appealing to the public, for the Local Government had failed us.
I try as much as possible to find consolation in resurrection but I must come to say I am not comfortable: for the community might not have such a good man to its breast again, not a person of his mien. I also pray against a struggle of desperation as titans, for the jostling is here and the vampires there. Say no to a drag! Say no to a stooge, unduly devised to effect some aberration as tributaries. I call on all strong men of this community to rise and see to the Ark of Convenant.
I came to terms with a blockbuster book on Alade community and that was earlier presented me by the Late Kabiesi, it goes by the name, “Awon Asiwaju Alade.” I read through the pages some weeks ago, a mobile compendium on the history of the ancient community, as written by one Pa. John Melakinnu Akinbola. Pa. Akinbola was the father of the Late king, the articulate son edited the viable document of history and republished in a congenial print. Of tremendous assistance is the trite and authoritative pronouncement on the resonance of current “Oja Alade,” a world market which played host to merchants from faraway Benin city, Lagos and Oyo. The manuscript purportedly constitutes one of the materials that won the latest suit on Alade Market for the community.
Oba waja! He redeemed from reproach and with the records. I just realized reasons why the late sage needed me as an Historian, other than some lawyers with watery English.
I think Patriarchs are martyrs, they just don’t die too. They are crucified on the altar of that which they unrepentantly held unto or believed.
Let it be on record and that we lost a mandate against oppression, grandiloquence and fake leadership. He consistently fought the battle and had finally dropped the sword at the lord’s feet.
In unalterable peace and tranquility shall the soul of our king rest. Let no man tarry, for it is to us that it had been committed.