By Comrade Abdul-Rahoof Bello
According to Julius Caesar in Shakespeare, “When a beggar dies, no comet is seen but the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes”. Nothing could be more appropriate to capture the mood of the moment in Kwara political terrain over the transition of an APC Chieftain, Chief Rex Olawoye Ph.D (Honoris Causa).
Chief Rex Olawoye bade his farewell to this sinful world after a brief illness and ever since, torrents of tributes by genuine and fake mourners, have flooded the political space.
In 1987, Prof. Oladele Arowolo of the Lagos State University (LASU), delivered the first inaugural lecture in the institution. The lecture was titled, “Inequality in Life and Death”, wherein he proved that nature makes some personalities to be greater in death than alive. Incidentally, the death of Chief Obafemi Awolowo few months later, had come to serve as empirical evidence for his hypothesis.
Many individuals and organisations have continued to express shock and consternation over the demise of Chief Olawoye’s, so much that death itself is regretting and remorseful for its stupidity to have withdrawn Ajadi from political circle when his services were most needed.
What is more! The myriad of funeral dirge to the memory of one of the sector Commanders of “O To Ge” revolution of 2019, has dwarfed the “sting” and the “victory” of death but exposed its wickedness for not allowing him some years of grace to harvest the political crops he had planted. Shame onto thee O’ death!!!
The cupboard lovers also cries
Unfortunately, political opportunists have started shedding blood when the bereaved are just shedding tears, to appeal to public sentiments for political gains. A Yoruba wise saying has it that, “it is only when an elephant is dead that different knives become noticeable”.
Quite a number of “mourners” would be surprised if only they could see Chief Rex’s reaction in his grave for their hypocrisy that smacks of dancing on his grave!
Uncle Rex is certainly laughing at them for trying to give him a honour they couldn’t give when he was around to appreciate it. Chief Rex must be resenting their condolences in the morgue for making a Hero of him only in death when their recalcitrance to his patriotic advice while alive had razed him down to Zero of an unknown quantity in the State matters.
The last wish of the late APC Chieftain was to see Kwara taken to an Eldorado by the government jointly produced by him. Alas! the man died without his vision on a new Kwara State being achieved!
In January this year, late Chief Olawoye granted press interview, which was widely reported by mainstream and social media. It was captioned, “I warned Gov. AbdulRazaq on Kwara APC crisis”, by the Vanguard, January 24, 2021. Today, what could have been greater as honour to the memory of late Rex, if the wise counsel had been taken in utmost good faith by the Governor?
Rather, the hurly-burly of impunity (fo´’pómo´’yo`) in the party had continued with reckless abandoned. The deepening crisis jumping from bad to worse and taking negative tolls on governance and welfare of the people. This might have resulted in psychological discomfort, culminating in opportunistic geriatric issues on the health of the elder Statesman.
Adieu ‘Bàbá Rex’
The late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in his book “Voice of Courage” says, “It is not life that matters but the courage you bring to it”. On this platitude, “Ajadi Òkín Omo Olofa Mojo” had, no doubt, acted well his part on the stage of life. His short political profile goes thus:
1). He was two-time elected Executive Chairman of Ifelodun LG Council. During his tenure, he co-founded the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON). He had the honor to be the pioneer Chairman.
2). He was the pioneer All People’s Party (APP) Public Relations Officer between 1999-2001.
3). He the Chairman of the new improved Gateway Insurance
4). He was a co-founder of “Ifelodun Solidarity Group” in 1996. The group mobilised support for the election of Alh. Khaleel Bolaji to National Confab organized by late Gen. Sanni Abacha.
5). He was a “Garrison Commander” in the “O To Ge´” liberation army.
Uncle Rex cut his teeth in public service as an academic at University of Lagos and later in his professional calling of pharmacy.
A soft-spoken intellectual, savvy and versatile in public affairs analysis. He was a good listener and good discussant in domestic and public issues.
He had two wives (but was survived by only one), and many children.
He was a devout Christian and a prayer warrior. May he sleep well in the bosom of his Lord.
*Comrade Bello, a Political Analyst and Public Affairs Commentator writes from Ilorin.