October 2, 2023

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How My Father Died at 98….Baaroyin Kayode Odunaro

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Another working day for me. Woke up early around 5am. My apartment in Abuja had undergone some renovation and painting. I called in my cleaner for thorough cleaning and was helping out in arranging furniture when Taiye Oderinde (nee Odunaro), my sister staying with and taking care of my father, Chief Josiah Abidemi Odunaro called. Being a Friday, I had thought that she wanted to remind me of weekly stipend for Baba which I usually transfer every Friday to receive my weekly blessing of “omo a se be fun e” from my father. She rather told me that Baba was indisposed all night complaining of back pain and there was the need for him to visit the hospital for check up and treatment. Nothing extra ordinary about that. Baba Olopa as popularly known in Ilaro, usually fell sick and goes to hospital but he is not one to hang around there for long as is soon back on his feet in his house at Alaagba street Ona Ola Quarters, Ilaro.
So I told her to get in touch with a cousin, Odunaro Sunday to get him to his choice hospital, the Hossana Specialist Hospital. I sent his stipend and also some additional fund for Taiye and Sunday for any eventuality. Done with house cleaning and arrangements, I left for what turn out to be a busy Friday at the Senate. I was involved in writing many mails and putting some figures together as part of the 2022 FG Appropriation Bill.
All day long, Sunday as is usual with him kept me posted via WhatsApp with pictures and videos of their progress from the house to the hospital. For me Baba will soon be back in his house. At the end of examination, tests and treatment, Sunday equally informed me that Baba requested for ‘solid’ food from his favourite Restaurant in Ilaro, the Asiri Abo. Taiye did the needful and got him lunch. He couldn’t eat much. He was soon given some drugs and fell asleep from what I was told and shown via updates from Sunday. I continued working including a drive out of National Assembly to deliver some vital documents at Maitama.
I got back to the office around 5pm to put finishing touches to mails being typed by staff only for Sunday to call repeatedly. I didn’t pick his WhatsApp call as I was anxious for the staff to finish their work and close. Sunday call me directly and when I picked he said Baba is gone. Gone? Where I asked and he made it plain that Baba has gone to be with the Lord. It then dawn on me that the end of all men and women had caught up with my father who celebrated his 98th Birthday in September. Well my expectation that this was just another of his hospital visit was shattered as Baba was not returning back to his house alive. Baba passed on peacefully with family members and medical personnel attending to him.
Well I took it in my stride and silently give God Almighty great thanks for his long life in relatively good health without any lingering ailments that took him in and out of hospital. I did not announce it to staff in the office. It would have dampen their TGIF spirit after an unusual hard day at work on a day most government workers work for half a day or not at all. We shut down the office around 6.30 pm and I dropped them off where they can pick their ride home…..Baba Olopa, the Osi Ajiroba of Olu Ilaro-Yewa is gone to be with the Lord. We give God the Glory. Rest in Peace, father.

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