Odumakin Gave Me Respect I Didn’t Deserve – Arisekola

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”
– Steve Jobs

Your death came as a rude shock not because you were too young or too old to die but the fact that you lived your life as you wished to.

Our paths crossed during our school days at Obafemi Awolowo University in 1989 when you approached me at the basement of Awo Hall for a lift to Ibadan.

We rode together inside my car, a Mercedes Benz 200 with the plate Number OY 3 B.

I had the opportunity to talk to my school’s fearless Students Union Public Relations Officer.

A man of few words but great action!

Since then, we have been in contact with each other.

I remember how we also met in 2006 when Asiwaju sent you, Chief Wale Osun and His Excellency, Otunba Niyi Adebayo to Ibadan to come and settle the rift in Action Congress between the Atiku/Ladoja Camp and Late Lam Adesina Camp.

We have been communicating since then and you later introduced your wife to me at the memorial service for Chief Gani Fawehinmi the following year.

Severally, we saw each other, even at former Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s house and your humility remained intact.

Two years ago, someone forwarded an article written by you about His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to me. I waited till late in the night before I called you. I told you I wanted to take something from you and didn’t want you to say no to me.

You laughed and said, “Wole, if your request is not my wife and I have what you’re looking for, consider it done.”

I narrated what I read in the paper and how I needed you to stop writing or saying anything on it again.

You responded by saying, “Wole, you used the Ibadan diplomacy trick on me by letting me commit myself before you asked your question.

“Anyway, Wole, tell your Uncle to stop sponsoring the media against me and I promise you, I will stop writing anything negative about him. You can take my word to the bank.”

I told you that you know Asiwaju better than me because both of you live in Lagos. But you always defend him without letting him know. So many writers will gladly defend Asiwaju without his knowledge.

I called you based on what I read in the paper, not because I talked to Asiwaju.

I promised him that I will investigate what he told me and get back to him. I spoke to few people about it and my guess was right.

So, a week later, I called Mr Odumakin back and I think that was the last article he wrote on the same subject.

Little things like this always gladden my heart, when someone who is older than I am gives me the respect I think I don’t deserve.

I pray that God will rest your soul and forgive you your sins.

Ko si awaiye ai ku, ki Olorun te yin si afefe rere.

Amin.

Aare Wole Arisekola writes from Ibadan

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