Sat. Apr 17th, 2021

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Yinka Odumakin And The Tragedy Of Easter By Tunde Akingbondere

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The reality behind the public intellectual and activist called Yinka Odumakin was never a known fact to me, maybe at some point when I was still grappling with my career as a reader who is strongly believing in people reading his book some day. I felt so engrossed in the book I bought while I was just in secondary school, this set of ideas portrayed and did justice to the Nigerian polity, the personality of one of its foremost leaders, one Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo.

Olusegun Obasanjo released a qualitative book as autobiography, most accurately after his historical stint with the apogee of power in Nigeria. “MY WATCH” was written with the assistance of some renowned professors of English, History and Literature. They most professionally engaged words with class, not even when some nasty stories had been successfully beaten into a casket of spice and by the Midas touch in these radically brilliant ghost writers.

I sacrificed my whooping amount in exchange for this great book, got it via the very popular AROWOLO bookshop in Akure. Most of my teachers were interested in reading this book, they borrowed and returned it. A few of those who drank from this stream of consciousness were one Mr. Segun Adeoye, popular for the sobriquet, OZONE. He is and used to be a physics wizard. Another is one Mr. Sola Atere, including the friend, Idowu Omojola. The duo championed the two important subjects in my High school, the endearing English and most tactical Mathematics. These three titans would sit peacefully under the teak trees to argue the plethora of ideas in this book. I fellowship with them most times, learn and contribute in the most civil way. “MY WATCH” appeared to be our bible.

There was an unexpected twist in my intellectual fate at the termination of my sojourn in the high school. I never had access to Yinka Odumakin’s “WATCH THE WATCHER,” until I secured admission into the university as an History student. Ran into it at the University of Ibadan bookshop, had to pick it, read and digest his disclaimer of the ideas in the book which appeared so sacred to me and my teachers.

I never knew the catalyst in a less than 200 paged book can successfully neutralize a book of three volumes. It did and I was wowed! I felt like meeting this literature possessed comrade, birthed in the trite wand of history. I did explored the flow of his diction, the power of his words. I had prayed within me to God, to avail me with the opportunity of meeting and discussing with him. Some of the things I like to do on meeting him is having an handshake, pitching an intellectual discuss on topical Nigeria issues, not even when I would come back to share the good news with my teachers.

The opportunity never came until two years later, it came just when Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the activist publisher of Sahara Reporters established a link between us. We talked and brainstormed on topical Nigeria issues, he was extremely interested in my personal development. Only this, was enough to inspire him to present a blurb on the latest project I am working on. I have seen him as highly cerebral, stern and unbreakable. The mien cannot be said to have accommodated ignorance, not even he would continually engage what is bad. He, despite his busy schedule had taken time to engage me. He calls and calls, sometimes when the network is bad. No wonder, he was part of a Zoom engagement I organized.

Yinka Odumakin’s sudden demise can be said to be a rude shock. His being sick might not be enough reason for people to capitalize on COVID-19. The Zoom event I invited him for was postponed twice because he had to be at the hospital to receive treatments. Man is definitely bound to die, COVID-19 is enough reason to die but it can be said that he had neutralized the said virus before dying.

A bit disheartening that the physical meeting we earlier slated would not happen.

Rest on! Rest in power! Comrade.

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