And the ‘governor’ to be has passed (Part II) – By Prof. Afis Oladosu


In the name of the Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful

“Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth has been made clear from error. Whoever rejects false worship and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks. And God hears and knows all things.” (Quran 2:256)

Death, which you are running away from, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did.”Qur’an 62:8.

Each time I ponder the life and times of the late Senator I discover that there are more lessons for the discerning minds. He was one of those who were privileged by the Almighty to enjoy life than others. Yet, his desire to be the village head once again gave a sense of someone who had never passed one night in the Government House before.

In other words, brethren, something about our existence is highly uncanny. We sleep every day as if we never slept before; each time we go into our wives it is as if moments before we were virgins. Whenever we feel the pangs of hunger, we take our meals in the manner of lions in the den devouring their prey. Brethren our vegetative, appetitive and procreative instincts are such that know no closure insofar as the beat still sounds in our bodies. The same thing applies to our desires to be seen, to be known, to be heard. Tell me of a former President, who, given the opportunity, would shun the invitation to become “His Excellency” once again. Brethren, but why; why is it that each time we pursue the pleasures of this world, it feels as if we never had a taste of them before?

When the moment eventually came, our brother departed this world the same way he came. He passed on like yours, mine and ours- our fathers and mothers, our brothers, sisters and friends, have all passed on before him. He came to the word in silence. The moment death came to him was also a moment of silence.

Brethren, whenever people who are close to our hearts depart for eternity, whenever we are bereaved we experience such pains and agonies as are beyond description. The death of the dead always reminded me of the past; of those who were dear to us, all of whom have bid us bye. Then I wondered: could it be that the best experience of death is that which is most painful to the bereaved?

Thus a journey which started years ago came to end last Sunday. His death, like that of those before him, reminded me of the ephemerality of this life, of the nothingness of this sojourn. What shall count at the end of the day shall not be the countable; what shall count shall be your uncountable good deeds and good words. If you do not pay heed to these events, then remember that the angels of your lord do not go on leave.

Meanwhile, his former “excellency” had since begun his lonely journey back to his Fashioner, the Almighty. He departed this world the same way he came sixty-two years ago. He departed all alone without taking any earthly possessions, the lawful and the unlawful, which he gathered over the years with him. He left them all for those who would devour them; properties and wealth for which he would be taken to account in his grave and on the day of resurrection. Please pity him; pray for him; pity yourself.

My sister, Senator Isiaka Adeleke departed this world silently; he came to the world silently. In fact, at the moment of his passing, the whole of Osun State was completely oblivious of the event. He died at the very moment he wanted to achieve fame once again. He died at that moment so that his passing can become a signifier, the signified is the nothingness of this world and all it contains. Senator Adeleke died at that very moment of fame so that those who had congregated under his canopy all these years could remember that it is only He, our Creator, whose pavilion would never suffer dissolution. My brother, please count how many breaths you took while reading this; remember, the beat would stop when we least expect it.

While he was being lowered into his grave, the battle for his replacement had already begun. Yes. The business of politics knows no end, no pause. Politics is like a battle. The death of a hero is, ironically, an opportunity – the opportunity for the emergence of new heroes and new heroins. I always say this- that to be a politician is to live in a jungle; in the latter it is either you eat or you are eaten. But let me close as follows – it is in the nature of the world that those of the world will always fail to know the world.
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Afis Ayinde Oladosu Ph.D
Professor of Middle Eastern, North African and Cultural Studies,
Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

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