During this outgoing week, I wrote on my Facebook wall few words about my certain regret on an octogenarian, Chief Areoye Oyebola, who picked interest in me after I had published him on his 80th birthday in December 2016.
My regret was that last year, the cerebrally combative Oyebola asked me to see him, though acknowledging my unstable work schedule as a journalist himself at the Daily Times in the 70s. I promised him that I would create time to visit his off Ring Road, Ibadan residence. Alas! I rescheduled and rescheduled again. The wicked procrastination abducted me. And the man died!
I wrote that I am still suffering the pain inflicted in me by the evil of procrastination. However, I have since decided to quickly go for anything I need to do before breakfast instead of pushing it to lunch hour which might never be because no one knows what happens seconds away. May Baba rest in peace.
His book-Blackman’s Dilemma, which he autographed for me, is breathing on my shelf as I put this together. Isn’t that enough consolation? No, Baba was much more. He was an excellent analyst of issues, but could be extremely stubborn, especially on right abuse and corrupt practices.
During my interview session in his living room on December 21, 2016, I saw and felt the fire in his belly as he did not spare our public office holders, holding them responsible for the tale of sorrow on the lip of an average Nigerian.
But as an objective analyst for whom he was known in the media and intellectual circle, he also held Nigerian public culpable of allowing themselves to be misgoverned, clinically describing us as gullible and docile.
What he spitted during the interview was just a tip of the iceberg when he rose from his seat and turned his supposed vote of thanks to verbal attack on the people in the corridor of power at his birthday reception.
Again, he was unsparing, charged and threw grenades at the direction of politicians, calling them unprintable names reserved for only enemies of the masses. Because his guests inside Kakanfo Hall on that afternoon were his old time friends and associates, he had a field day. He was given the honour to use the opportunity well, and he did not disappoint.
The manner with which he was articulating his points informed my submission that he was a cerebrally combative analyst. In his book-Black man’s Dilemma, he interrogated the root cause of the black problems all over the world and dug out our limitations and why we played a second fiddle to the white.
He wrote: “Pride in our past is meaningful only if it becomes a source of strength for great achievements in science and technology by some of the free black nations of the world. Pride in our past is meaningful if it enables, at least, a black nation to make an original breakthrough to modernity.”
May God repose Baba Areoye Oyebola’s soul.