…Ready to be flown to the UK next week
BY BENJAMIN NJOKU
Like every other specious apartment in the neighbourhood, Block 20, Flat 6, Avocado Drive, MKO Abiola Gardens, Alausa, Ikeja, looks calm and peaceful. Not until you are ushered into the living room, you will not be in a hurry to leave the vicinity.
But immediately you find yourself inside the living room, your countenance suddenly changes and the peace in you goes away. Sadness and agony overwhelms you. Dumbfounded, and you try to find your voice, but you end up fighting back tears. Then, he mutters, “My friend, I will be fine. My covenant with God is that I will not die.”
This is the tiny voice of hope that kept veteran actor and broadcaster, Sadiq Daba going in the face of despair and battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer. And indeed, he’s bound to survive the scourge. Sadiq had been battling with leukaemia and prostate cancer for some months now, and his plight has attracted public sympathy and support. And the good news is that there is a ray of hope for the ailing actor.
When Potpourri visited him, during the week, he was in high spirits and courageous, even though he was passing through severe pains. In his sickbed, the Kano State-born actor remains optimistic that God will see him through in his travail.
“I hold no grudges against anyone”, he said in a hushed tone. He continued, “But I am angry because it is very easy to verify the story that went viral online, claiming that my sickness was a ploy by some people to defraud others. I have a couple of my friends, Sunny Irabo, Azuka Jebose, human rights activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Chief Kenny Martins. God is my strength.”
“Within a few days, Nigerians have surprised me. I have nothing to say but to thank Nigerians for their love and support for me. The negativism of the newspaper publication does not scuttle the process. I know who I am, and I know who my friends are. I appeal to Nigerians to forget all those negative distractions. I know that my covenant with God is that I will not die,” the ailing actor soliloquised.
However, from all indications, not many people in their lifetime would attract such a stream of sympathizers and support in moments of difficulty. The concern and commitment towards a colleague’s survival was evident and further gave insight into Sadiq Daba’s personality, especially for those who had not met him.
Sadiq admitted that the support he enjoyed from Nigerians was as a result of the good life he has lived. “I served NTA for over 35 years before I retired. Thanks be to the Almighty God, I was not sacked, I retired. To me, it’s by the grace and faithfulness of God. And I worked to the best of my ability. I am not a young man, I am 67 years plus now. But ask me whether it’s what led to this? If you are over 50 years, I pray to God that you do not get prostate cancer. Above 50 years is liable to get prostate cancer. As for leukaemia, I don’t think it’s drinking and smoking that causes it. One has lived a very good life and if I want to live this stage, let me go away gracefully with my sense intact. I hear people say that I have been smoking and drinking. I know someone who was smoking until he was 120 years, he didn’t die. He died naturally. If you are dying, you will die. There is an adage my late father used to say: “Because you are afraid of death does not mean that you wouldn’t sleep.”
“With the team working for me, all we can do is to appeal to the kind-hearted Nigerians to continue to help where they can. Nobody is forcing or arm twisting anybody. Those who have donated generously, I appreciate them and those who are still doing so, I also appreciate them. I am eternally grateful to God. I will be okay by the special grace of God,” said Sadiq.
Meanwhile, according to Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, who has been attending to the ailing actor, plans have been finalized for him to be flown to the UK for intensive treatment, next week.
Dr Odumakin revealed that Sadiq was already battling with leukaemia and prostate cancer, while he was on the production of Kunle Afolayan’s acclaimed movie, “October 1” which earned him the ‘Best Actor’ award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards for his role as “Inspector Waziri” in 2015.
“He gave his all while the production of the movie lasted. From the background, people are saying why is the responses so overwhelming. Uncle Sadiq has contributed immensely to the development of the Nigerian entertainment industry from his days in the ‘Cock Crow At Dawn’. He has paid his dues,”Dr Odumakin said.
“He told us from the outset that he’s not begging. While some are agonizing with the government, we said let’s organize ourselves and give him the best we can offer. And the best he deserves now is proper medical attention. What is the next thing to do is for him to go for surgery abroad. And that’s the fight myself and my team are fighting. People donated generously to save his life.”
Also, ace broadcaster Soni Irabor, who was among those rallying support for the ailing actor, on Thursday, confirmed on his Instagram page, Dr Joe Odumakin’s announcement that the ailing actor is due to be flown to the UK next week. He disclosed that enough funds had been gathered for the actor. A total of N10.5 million had so far been raised as at Monday morning.
Irabor wrote: “It’s time to say thanks to you all; Sadiq Daba is set to move out for the UK where he will start treatment. “While we say thanks, we say please let’s not be stuck midway with this, we still need more from you. “The account is still up and we look forward to receiving from you. God bless you.”
Nigerians come together to raise funds for ailing actor, using the #SaveSadiqDabaProject hashtag, there were rumours from certain quarters that it was a ploy by some people to defraud others.