By Abiodun Komolafe
Both time and moments are separate but distinct realities. They are both real but, at a point, one ceases from the realm of conscious reality. Whereas time is a reoccurring phenomenon, moments are recorded in time. Still, it lives on in the inner recesses of our minds. The important thing to note here is that one must take moment seriously. Time will reoccur but moment won’t represent itself. The way out? Let us be time-conscious and use time to make the best of the moment.
A year ago, my father, Pa Sunday Alaba Komolafe, was alive on Planet Earth. Though, he is no longer physically with us, this nice man and warm soul still lives in the memory of many people, including yours sincerely, his eldest child. My best friend and confidant exited this wide, wild world of war, misery and uncertainty, precisely, on August 11, 2020. He was aged 92. A year after, my father’s death still looks like a faraway movie! It’s like being a guest at a cinema in bewildered amusement.
But, how has life been and what has become of our world, since that fateful Tuesday morning, when my dad breathed his last? A lot has happened at supersonic speed to the amazement of all of us.
To start with, within the last one year of my father’s demise, the Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, appointed me as one of his aides. I thank him! COVID-19 also remains a formidable adversary to the planet and credible threat to all human civilizations.
During the period under review, the security architecture and tragedy report situation of Nigeria has gone from being bad to being frighteningly worse. In our world, human life is now 10-for-10k! It is no longer as sacred as it used to be! Integrity has not only become a casualty of entrenched deceit, the hitherto much-touted harmonious communal coexistence among the citizens also seems to have relocated elsewhere.
Before our very eyes, bandits seem to have perfected the modality of persuading the State that certain amount of money can only release certain numbers of captives. Of course, that’s an eloquent representation of the functional capability of Nigeria as a Sovereign State. But, thank God Pa Komolafe is no longer here to witness these egregious infractions of the ascribed attributes of the State and the violent breach of our Constitution; because his assumption had always been that the sovereignty of the State cannot be successfully challenged by a group of people or associational identities; and that Nigerians submitted their personal liberty, willingly, to the sovereignty of the Nigerian State with the belief that the State would take care of them. Unfortunately, now, when bandits strike, all that the State does is go a-begging, cap-in-hand, at the outposts of the bandits, oftentimes, appealing to the dead conscience of the murderers.
In our part of the world, food insecurity beckons! The menace of herders’ killings and banditry alone has caused farmers to talk to their feet from farm settlements. So, who’ll produce what we’ll eat?
On the economic front, it is as if the falcon has stopped hearing the falconer. To compound matters, economic tools, theories and big economic policies have, at best, proved to be counter-productive. Here, history has proven to have infinite capacity to repeat itself, severally! Barely a year ago, $1 went for about N380.00. Currently, $1 goes for about N550.00.
In the area of commerce, trading activities and earnings of the people have plummeted. The banks are short-changed in their ability to provide loanable funds to would-be investors. Most of the adult population no longer save money. Instead, they spend their little earnings _a la_ survival instincts. Power supply remains erratic. Potable water is also becoming something else. Unemployment is flying to the roof; and _’Area Boys’_ are multiplying everywhere. The situation has become so horrible that salary earners are themselves no longer happy. No thanks to the declining purchasing power of their take-home.
The good news is that the national government is doing its best to stem the untoward situation of the country. The recent delivery of Tucano Jets is no doubt a booster to our Armed Forces.
At a time like this, we must remember that our forbears bequeathed to us values that should serve as a guiding compass for our Public Administration. It’s not always about money or material things. Good name should be treasured above gold. A deviation from this ancient value is what is causing the _’rudurudu’_ in the land.
Yes, my late dad might not have had the Dangote-kind of money but this man of masculine energy and spiritual candor bequeathed the substance of life to us, his children; and, whoever was opportune to pass through him. My father taught us how to trust in God and how to have trust in other people, too! Sadly, that element is missing in today’s world. In fact, it’s so bad that the electorate does no longer trust the elected officers. Coincidentally, the elected officers are also aware they are not trusted by the masses. So, it’s now a case of _’ijamba ta fun ijamba ra. Ole gbee, ole gbaa.’ ‘Thief take am, thief collect am!’_ This makes it a precarious situation! The irony of it all is that there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on how to move the country forward. And that’s where the real trouble lies!
While he lived, _’Baba Kayode’,_ as he was fondly called, never derailed from God. Whenever I needed help and I went to him; even, when he didn’t have the cash or related material things to give, my father’s solace was always in _Jehovah Jireh!_ To him, as long as God liveth, He would always provide. And that’s a serious legacy, because, even, if he had; and he decided to give me all the billions of naira in this world to solve my problems, how would he have solved a problem which status and stature were beyond money? Had he not the God he was always crying to, wouldn’t that have been a disaster?
Speaking for myself, each time my mind is troubled, and there’s no mortal being to take my case to, I always ask, albeit, rhetorically: _’what would my father have done in this situation?’_ Of course, my late dad would pray, and ask God for direction. Thankfully, my two little kids, aged 11 and 8, have taken after their late grandfather. They already know how to fast and what it means to pray. As God would have it, they have been able to see that God does answer prayers. I can only pray that the Strength of Israel would sustain them in His path.
In the last analysis, yours sincerely is grateful to God that He took my beloved dad away when we still had a semblance of manageable normal situation. Take it or leave it, nothing concerns _’Baba Kayode’_ with Sunday Igboho or Nnamdi Kanu and their agitations again.
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, continue to rest the soul of my father and comfort the family he left behind!