Pomp and Enchantment At Adeyinka Adebayo’s Funeral

•Buried in a blaze of glory
At his exit, fades chapters of a world that had turned his life into part of its own projected biography. But while the world mourns the demise of General Adeyinka Adebayo, his son, Niyi Adebayo, accords him a grand and enchanting funeral rite. General Adebayo could not witness his funeral; nobody ever does. And if, somehow, he earned a sneak peek, no one could know what he thought of it. All those flowers and all those wishes; the pageant train and wreath of sorrows unhesitatingly cast for a full life coming to a close.

The wistful wishes and pomp of homage probably elicited from his soul, the hapless tribute of a sigh and perhaps a gleeful tear. The elaborate burial, penultimate Friday, of former Governor of the old Western Region, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo, was no show of decadence but a celebration of a life decidedly well lived. Adebayo died March 8th, a day to his 89th birthday. He was no ordinary Nigerian.

The first indigenous Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army, he was, until his death, the oldest living Nigerian Army officer and retired as a Major General in 1975. And his life could not have been more glittering and fulfilling. His eldest son, Otunba Adeniyi, was Governor of Ekiti State between 1999 and 2003 while another son, Adesola, served as Commissioner for Works and Transport in the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration in Ekiti State. His other children are equally forces in their fields. It beggared no surprise therefore that a glittering array of Nigerian aristocrats, top government functionaries and career socialites thronged the bucolic town of Iyin-Ekiti, otherwise a blip on the state’s map, to witness the state burial of a fine officer and gentleman. The Adebayo patriarch was known for his fine epicurean taste and his thoroughbred children honoured his memory by ensuring that they plied their guests with fine and fitting entertainment.

Who else, but juju maestro, King Sunny Ade, could have been on the bandstand to entertain the colourful guests, remind them of the memorable life of Adebayo, yet, keep them on their toes as they danced into the wee hours of the morning? For the Adebayo children, they merried, not mourned, in realisation that everyone dies, but not everyone lives. Their father lived, and very well too.

Everything she touches glows brilliantly at inception, only to dwindle to a dusky blush midway to full bloom. There is something wrong with Nike Oshinowo. Since she shot to national acclaim in 1991, when she was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, she is yet to midwife a viable venture. While she arguably remains one of the most visible ex-beauty queens in the country, Oshinowo, now in her 40s, is equally hailed as a style icon. But that is all there is to her glamour and persona, it would seem.

Of her litany of ventures, the former beauty queen who is married to Dr. Tunde Soleye, has tried unsuccessfully to bring back the rested Miss Nigeria pageant. The emergence of her fragrance line ‘Asabi’ in 2011 and the release of her first workout video: “Fit, Forty and Fabulous,” the first celebrity fitness DVD produced in the country, initially created the impression that Oshinowo is a creative and imaginative business entrepreneur until it failed to fly.

Her other dismal business ventures include an African restaurant, an under-rated TV show, Skin Deep, and a health and beauty spa which ran for seven years before it closed down. Though many suffer challenges in their various business which eventually shuts down, it was gathered that Oshinowo’s creative and innovative business ideas usually fails after she spends time and money and makes a public show of venturing into the businesses. The Miss Nigeria dream, Asabi fragrance, Skin deep, a health and beauty spa, and her work-out video suddenly grinded to a halt. What could be the cause of this fiasco or is the former beauty queen still trying out on what she will finally settle for at the end? Only time will tell as we watch out for her next entrepreneurial venture.

Those who summon the storm must never cringe from a storm cloud. But having beckoned the storm, Patience Jonathan cringes from its ravage like a spaniel fleeing the gusts of a snowstorm. While her husband, Goodluck Jonathan, was President, Patience wore chaos like a crown and stirred the hornet’s nest with reckless abandon. She elevated strife and cut-throat politics from an eyesore to an art form. But no sooner did her husband lose his re-election bid than her impotence dawn on her. Patience is not so powerful and influential after all. Not with the incumbent government anyway. Little wonder she is on the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Recently, the EFCC froze Patience Jonathan’s personal bank account titled ‘Patience Ibifaka Jonathan.’
But while the spat between the EFCC and the former First Lady generates uproar, several businessmen and women who had done business with her in the past have developed cold feet. Many of them are reportedly planning to approach the EFCC and give themselves up to the anti-graft agency in pursuit of a ‘soft landing.’ The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to apply for the final forfeiture of choice properties allegedly owned by the former first lady.
But the commission has been having difficulty in getting the original titles of the assets. They include Aridolf Resort, Wellness and Spa and eight others.

The anti-graft commission may ask the court to compel the agencies with the titles in Bayelsa and Rivers states to release them. These are indeed the worst of times for Patience Jonathan. It would be recalled that she held court and paraded herself like an empress while her husband was Nigeria’s most powerful and influential figure. Soon she evolved to become the most powerful voice and conspicuous face of her husband’s administration often to the detriment of her husband and former ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

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