Chairman of THISDAY Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi saturday announced the passage of his brother, Mr. Agboola Adeniyi, noting that he believed in God’s healing power till he finally passed away.
Adeniyi, former Special Adviser of Media and Publicity to late President Musa Yar’Adua, disclosed that the deceased even admitted that it was an act of divine mercy that he lived for as long as he did.
He gave the account in a statement he issued yesterday to announce the passage of his brother, whose experience as an irregular migrant he documented in his book, ‘From Frying Pan to Fire: How African Migrants Risk Everything in their Search for a Better Life in Europe’.
He said he received message about Agboola’s death in Paris where the Air France flight made the customary stopover on Friday morning.
He said: “In Paris, I saw condolence messages. That was how I learnt that my younger brother, Agboola had passed on. And ever since I arrived Abuja last night, I have been receiving a deluge of calls and text messages. I appreciate every one.”
Adeniyi, however, said he was conscious of the fact that it was an act of divine mercy that Agboola lived for as long as he did.
He added that the deceased himself “admitted as much in recent years whenever he recounted his experience as an irregular migrant in the 90s.
“He told my visiting wife two weeks ago in Ibadan: ‘With what I have experienced in life, if God decides to heal me completely, He can. And if He chooses not to, I am still very grateful to Him.’
“Even though he remained positive to the end, he also kept saying he was not afraid of death. Ultimately, he died on Friday morning at an Ibadan hospital of complications arising from liver cancer,” Adeniyi wrote in a statement.
He said: “I am glad I documented his story. Agboola’s experience as an irregular migrant who first travelled to Brazil as a stow-away on a ship (thinking he was going to America) before crossing the Sahara Desert twice, reaching Europe on both occasions, is very instructive.
“I hope his story will be useful to some of our young men and women who may still be planning to gamble away their lives in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea. It is not worth the trouble.
“As the family comes to term with Agboola’s passage, even as we cherish the memories of him, I will be discussing with Bookcraft, publisher of ‘From Pan to Fire: How African Migrants Risk Everything in their Search for a Better Life in Europe’ on an early release of the online edition of the book, possibly with a postscript.
“I want many of our young people to read Agboola’s story and learn. The grass is not necessarily greener on the other side, especially if you do not have the requisite qualifications. Agboola left behind a wife, two children (a boy and girl) and four siblings (three elder brothers and a younger sister).”
He said he was grateful to all close friends and well wishers who rallied in the past one month with incredible support, including offers of facilitating medicals for Agboola abroad.
He, therefore, prayed that God “will always be there for you in your times of need.”