By Kola Animashaun
When October 1st came I nearly did not know. And it was supposed to be the anniversary of the independence of Nigeria. It was supposed to be the day when we dropped the shackles of whatever held us down.
When we are expected to be independent not only in name but in every sense. When we are supposed to announce to the world we have arrived. But have we?
I was visiting my friend and classmate – Agbo Majekodunmi – in London and we were rendezvous with some of our other friends, it was impromptu. Immediately Agbo saw me in his London home, he called on some of our other friends and the group got together.
And it was a group of old and I mean real old friends, and there was no one who would be less than 70 years. But I can swear it was a lively 70s. when it transpired that it was October 1st Agbo said we should make an anniversary of it.
Agbo has been in London since he left the Abeokuta Grammar School. He has been there and retired there. He lived a comfortable life with his lovely wife who is 60 and still going strong. She still drives the families Mercedes and, at the drop of a hat, she is happy to prepare you a healthy meal.
Dapo Sokeye, a surveyor had travelled from the United States with his wife to see the children who are in the U.K. Both couple have travelled from Lagos initially. He could not afford not to see me and the group. He attended Abeokuta Grammar School.
Lekan of course was a product of the Baptist Boys High School. He always spent six months in Lagos and another six in London. And this is the time to be in London. He has spent time in Nigeria working with the NITEL from where he has retired from as a top manager.
Of course he worked in London in the post office. He now combined his benefits-talking of enjoying two worlds! Lekan dropped in on the group.
Another member of the group was Lekan Alabede, a medical doctor. Lekan was a friend of mine-a very ancient member-in our school days. We pound the street in Abeokuta and did same in Lagos. Lekan received my wife and I in London and preceded me to Lagos.
He went back to London and finally went back to work for the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital. Since retirement, he has retired to London.
A valuable member of the group was Otunba Yomi Nubi. Yomi was a business man and our paths crossed since 1965. He of course travelled the globe and sold all that could be sold until he settled in the hospitality industry. He enjoys his leisure and it is not surprising to have Yomi here at this time in London. After a day or two Yomi will be airborne to USA.
Those who did not meet us here for the impromptu get together we feed them in or they feed us in.
But we did not have anything really to say. Rather, those who congregated here, do so for being able to keep their sanity. They do not need to have a car, buses, the train, to do admirably well; they do not need to have generator, electricity will serve to his ability. The water never seize as long as you pay your rates. The roads are mended as and when necessary.
These are the minimum requirement and the citizens and visitors are satisfied. So, when those of us ask Agboola (our host) when he would return to Nigeria and he asks us how far we are preparing for his return, we had no answer.
As basic as electricity is, the people of Pakistan protested a few days ago for erratic supply. I cannot remember when we protested something like that. Oh! I remember: we always protest salary increase! What is the use of salaries that one cannot enjoy.
Obasanjo promised to make our burden light by giving us uninterrupted power. He was there for eight years and would have wanted more time except we said no. Yar’Adua/Goodluck failed to do nothing in four years. Would he – Goodluck – be able to do anything? Remember, a third of this year has gone.
Nigerian still at it
A Nigerian, Oje Ilaboya, has conned a British woman, Sonia Richards (57) of her life savings of £15,000 (N3,750,000). Oje posed as a London businessman on a dating website.
You see Sonia’s marriage had broken down and was looking for a solace and Oje posed as ‘’Jack” and sent a picture of actor Robert Frost. Friends became suspicious.
Even then after that Sonia still sent Oje £80(N20,000) for a ‘’visa to visit her.”
Sonia, mother of two has now set up a website called www.romances.com to warn ‘’others of online date hoaxers.”