A father that was a god: Tribute to iconic man that lived for others
Benjamin Taiwo Adeleye
I remember you today as we mark the 25th year anniversary of your departure to the fortress of eternal bliss,with a mix feeling of conviviality and nostalgia.You lived noble and died in nobility,not only as a giant of history but as a father,who,in paternity,was part of eloquent history of my transformative years.A man,whose creed determined his conduct and whose valued asset was his reputation.
While others make history,even when they undo nations and corrupt ideals,your actions were always propelled by the irresistible summons of honour and integrity,devoid of human philosophy and blind gropings of human wisdom. Your strength of character,depth of conviction and obstinacy in pursuit of worthy causes was a verdict,iron cast in posterity.
Being our father, though,by divine coincidence and share conspiracy of destiny and circumstance,you never left us in our agonies and struggles,seeking us out in our trying moments,guarded and protected us in our exuberant prodigality.Not only did you give to us the sweetest sweet of your palms,but you also provided for us light,that illuminates in our canals of darkness, throughout your varied,rich and colourful life.As a father,you spoke to us words of wisdom,admonition and encouragement, in the most earnest, frank and eloquent manner;in a language of love and affectionate intimacy.You inspired intense personal love and interest in our hearts,such that,till date,your words and appeals still echo down the corridor of time.
As a cultured family man,who knows the beauty of genealogical reckoning,you radiated so much zest in fellowship and cultivation of acquintanceship. You pulled down the ‘Berlin Wall’ of separation and extended unblistered hand of friendship across your parental family frontiers,thereby creating a bond of umbilical intimacy among them,while relying more on conscience than cunning,in the conduct of such family affairs.
In resilience,and by share tenacity and inexplicable pendulum of fate, you sprouted in rejuvenation,despite your indigent background,to become one of the celebrated building contractors of your time,not only in Ijero LG,but throughout the old Ondo State. You built houses, hospitals,bridges,culverts,shops and markets for govts; you built mission houses and churches for faith-based institutions;you also built classrooms, hostels and libraries for schools,as well as private houses for individuals.Many of such edifices are still standing tall today as reference points and evidential monuments of your skillfulness and dexterity in architectural designs and building construction.You exuded talents beyond the embodiment of talents as a notable personality among your peers.
Your strength of character,depth of conviction and obstinacy in pursuit of worthy causes, made you to contest for ‘Eisaba’ chieftaincy title in Ijero Ekiti,in1970. Among the arrays and rainbows of contestants,you emerged as the preferred candidate and eventually made the Eisaba of Ijero kingdom,from 1970-1973. However,due to unsubstantiated clames and inherent animosity by renegade members of a section of the town,the whole exercise became a subject of judicial contestation that led to the eventual annulment of the whole installation process.
It was a period when some people exposed dislocation of conscience and misplaced pursuit. A period of insanity when psychopaths wore deceptions as badges of honour; seized and squeezed the town in the jugular,held it to a paralysing stalemate and to its suffocating cubicle.It was an era,when those who stood for justice could not bear the moral burden of principle.In their virtuperation,vulgarity was the order of the day,giving excuses that stood logic in the head,as reasons for their aberrant disposition to the candidacy of the other two sections of the town,who had equal stake in such matters of customary and traditional importance.
It was a period when family ties and organic social reach were dead.In their poverty of reasoning,they abused words and fell into a pit of emotions and consequently left reason gravely embattled.In the tumult of sophistry,truth got mortgaged and redefined along bigoted and sentimental paradigms.How, sadly,had our people become in their sadistic intent; petty,partial and partisan!
In your quest to serve your people, you made foray into politics and played the political chess game of your time.Due to your complex and watertight political network,which transcended party affiliations,narrow and parochial tendencies,you built a strong template and a web of political support base.With this,you became one of the major political players in the LG. This support base culminated in your phenomenal political upswing, that made you become the NPN Party Chairman,Ijero ‘Ward A’,from 1979-1983.
‘Aba leye’,as you were fondly called, by peers,friends and even fiendish detractors;for the duration of your life, you were exemplary in thought and uncompromising in actions.Smart,suave and stylish.Though your chieftaincy ambition morphed into a mirage,but the evanescence of a rainbow, detracts not a whit from its beauty,and no matter how tough a Jungle is,zebra lines can never be erased. Despite throwing cat into the pigeon hole of your chieftaincy ambition
Thank God you lived to comb your gray hairs.However, we cannot say goodbye to someone,whom we have grown to love, because true love don’t say goodbye,but just take an extended leave of absence. Nevertheless,there is an end to all things,no matter how long we hold on to them.You have created a legacy that will achieve a multi generational relevance,hence, we shall continue to work through the dark night of your absence,with the radiant conviction that all things work for good.
On behalf of your children and other family members, daddy,I say good night!